‘Exes’ – a story by Joanna Walsh
Posted by Joanna Walsh
Some people are prolific with xs. Some use a single x,some several small xxxs. Some of them put a numberof xs before their names, which are sometimes initials,so that there are more xs than anything else.Some of them put the xs after their names, whichare longer than the xs: these people are more likelyto use a single x. Some of the xs are unexpected, likethe single x from someone who flirted with me, butwho withdrew his attentions so that the persistentx seemed insincere, impertinent. Some of them arefrom people who use too many xxxxxs and obligeme to use too many in return. Most are from friends.Few are from lovers, who tend to drop the xs whenthey are interested, resume them when they are serious,then drop them again when they no longer feelinvolved. Only one is from a person whose name isx, whom I slept with once, and who decided not tosee me again, which is confusing as I no longer knowwhether the x is his initial or a term of endearment.