On Remaining Friends with My Ex-Girlfriend

Every time I meet her she seems increasingly disappointed in me, as if I’ve failed to keep up. I find her life grotesque— the piñata at a New Year’s party, the Costco quiches, her husband’s lightsaber on the windowsill, the way we missed the ball drop because their DVR automatically switched to “The Walking Dead” at midnight—but I am too polite to say so. Their friends are fine but like her seem to have filled their lives with bric-a-brac: road trips to Seal Beach and Sonoma, the one television show watched as an indulgence, spouses clutched like a drowning man to a bit of detritus. These are the moneyed dead who gradually displace the living.