He broke up with me over a pay phone . . .

I know what you’re going to say. It’s a punchline I’ve heard many times now. “There are still payphones?!”

Yes, there are still payphones.

This payphone lived outside the 7-Eleven across the street from the one-screen movie theater he worked at. The movie theater I used to work at. The place where we met.

That night we had plans. I had just spent a week out of town and he had the evening off. We were supposed to spend time together.

Instead I waited alone at home. And waited. And waited.

He finally called. He was calling me from the payphone because his phone battery had died. He said he wasn’t coming home and that he thought we should talk about breaking up. I asked why, shouldn’t he come home so we could talk about it. He said he was about to run out of time on the payphone but he would call me from the phone at the theater a few minutes later.

I waited. And waited. I called a friend. I waited some more.

Hours later, after watching the film that was playing at the theater, he finally called me from the phone in the theater’s office. To tell me he couldn’t talk because the manager was there.

After a sleepless night and a failed attempt to go to work, I was sent home early so I could go find him and talk to him.

I had to go to the theater to confront him.

In summary, deciding that our relationship was doomed, but unable to just come home and talk to me about it, the man had spent the day of the payphone breakup getting drunk and hooking up with some random girl before calling me from outside the 7-Eleven.

As if just saying he wanted to break up and his reasons for the decision weren’t enough, he needed to do something more dramatic.

He needed to push the self-destruct button on our relationship in unforgettable style.

He broke up with me over a payphone.

Yes. There are still payphones.