He has so much dandruff on the shoulders of his sweater.

She has this tendency to play up one drink like being a lightweight is the cutest thing in the world.

The waitress’ smile.

The barman’s jokes.

The way he says stupid things like “server” and “flight attendant” as if he’s scoring points with her gender.

The way she seems to think politics has nothing to do with her personally. She’s apathetic and she doesn’t care.

The quarter-zip sweater itself and how far up he zips it. Pompous.

Her drawer full of thongs and G-strings. White trash.

Photo by Saeah Lee

At one point they agree it isn’t working. They find a couples therapist they can agree on. She tells them to watch out for contempt. Contempt is the one emotion a relationship cannot survive. Have all the fights you want. Break dishes, punch walls, but don’t get contemptuous.

So they try this.

She doesn’t know how to throw a punch and so they spend one Thursday night in the emergency room over a fracture in her hand.

She jokes that a black eye would almost be easier to explain at work.

He tells her that’s not funny.

Valencia, 2017