Day Fifteen   /   lettering by Ryan Essmaker

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
No.

What did y’all do together?
We spoke on the phone.

Did anything interesting happen?
I had dinner last night at Roberta’s Pizza with a few girlfriends. Afterwards, I shared a cab ride home with one of my closest friends. We talked about this project and my health. I broke down crying. I told her how overwhelming everything has become with my headaches and insomnia. I’ve been researching treatment solutions for the headaches, and the options are not good. The pills they’ve given me are extremely addictive and they cause rebound headaches. Surgery or anesthetics could be a possibility, but sound risky. The idea of living a lifetime in this pain is depressing.

My friend told me that she asked Tim several days ago to end the project because she was so worried about me. The more time I spend with Tim, the more I really care about him. Learning this made me wonder if Tim might care more about this project than he does about my well-being.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
One of the girls I was at dinner with admitted to sleeping with Tim many years ago. This is the third time this week that I’ve learned he’s been with someone that I know.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
Growing up, my parents put a huge emphasis on perseverance. One of my most vivid memories was when I desperately wanted to quit Tae Kwon Do training after receiving a yellow belt. I just had way too much going on with school and other sports. They convinced me to stick with it, and I was grateful. Receiving that black belt felt unbelievably rewarding.

Since then, I’ve always tried to work through bumps and failures in all aspects of my life. This means relationships, too. I don’t give up easily, and I will try to work through all the issues before resorting to breaking up. However, this perseverance strategy seems to only prolong the demise of a doomed relationship. My mom always says that when you meet the right person, it all just clicks. Everything feels easy, and you just “know.” I guess in the context of dating, perseverance is not necessarily the best solution.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
After I got home from dinner last night, I couldn’t sleep. I contemplated continuing this experiment. I hate the idea of giving up on a project that I was excited about, and I don’t want to let down someone who I care about so much. On the other hand, I am in serious fucking pain and this project is making me a little crazy. Sometimes life shits on you and there doesn’t seem to be a right way forward.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
After much consideration, I’ve decided it’s best to end the project. While I hate to quit, my friends are right: I am too ill and have too much on my plate. I need to focus on my health, and get rid of any unnecessary stress in my life.

Additional comments?
Sorry, Tim.

Day Fifteen   /   lettering by Joe Shouldice

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
No.

What did y’all do together?
We didn’t see each other today because I woke up this morning to a text message at 3:48 AM:

TextMessage_Jessie

Did anything interesting happen?
Jessie went out with a bunch of girlfriends last night. Now, from what I gathered, (without sounding too gossipy), this is how it went down:

This project came up in conversation during the course of the night, and it sounds like she was slightly ridiculed for doing a project like this with me. I feel like I was made out to be some sort of heartless lothario. One girl who was there (whom I still consider a friend) is someone that I slept with over five years ago. I guess that fact came up, too. Obviously, Jessie has already been struggling with her health, and the project, so I think this just solidified her decision to walk away.

It’s hard not to be disappointed, but I’m not going to fight her about it. She has to do what’s best for herself, and it seems like this project has become too much of a burden for her considering her health issues. I just wish we could have had a conversation about it.

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
I’m learning that she can be very easily swayed. I wish she would have stood up for herself, and I wish she would have stood up for me. While I understand that her friends are only looking out for her, she knows me better than any of them. That’s what bothers me. Sometimes friends can very easily make it an ‘Us vs. Them’ situation.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
Our past will always come back in some form, and we have to be ready to deal with it. When I was younger, I gave guilt trips to some of my girlfriends about their past relationships. Thankfully, I don’t do that anymore, and this is a reminder of how much it sucks to be judged for my past.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
This relationship is ruining our relationship. The main point of this project is for Jessie and I to work on our past issues with sincerity. I’m trying to support her through these headaches, and I’ve deliberately tried to not let anything sexual happen with Jessie for fear of screwing things up. Yet, I feel like my past is still being used as a way to divide us.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
Everything. How can I purchase a time machine?

Additional comments?
We talked a couple times during the day. Honestly, I don’t know what to say anymore.