I learned that even the worst times will end. That after a day of struggling to breathe, there could still be a moment of stillness, and the beauty of a sunset could be the only thought in my head. I learned to expect it, and wait for it, and rely on it. When I was curled up on the floor unable to do anything, still there was room for a little voice saying “I know how this goes. I’ll wait it out. I don’t know how long it will take, but I can wait it out.”
I sometimes wonder if honesty is selfishness. It’s easier for me not to filter what I say, not make the difficult judgements about what to withhold. I know that what I’ve said has hurt sometimes, and I know also that I’ve diminished myself in your eyes by showing you all my shame, all my desperation, all my humiliation. And despite this indiscriminate and devastating openness, still there has been so much misunderstanding, and so much hurt from that misunderstanding.
So has honesty worked? I can’t say that it has.
And yet. There are many unique aspects to your place in my life, and one of them is this: from you I withhold nothing. You are the only one. Probably the last one, too, as I say I don’t know if this has been good for us and I don’t think I’d try it again.
Sure, there are things I don’t talk about, polite fictions I maintain, because you’ve said you’re not interested in knowing those depths. But if you asked – you can have anything. Know anything.
So maybe if I was kinder, or more generous, or less selfish, I would tell you:
I’m doing fine. I think fondly of you, but it’s over, and I’ve moved on. It was good, even great, and though I wish I’d handled its ending better, I accept now that it’s over, and I’ve moved on.
But that’s not the truth.
The truth is that everything changed with you. The truth is that it can never really be over. The truth is that every time I see you – every time, all this time later – I am right back in that room, with the length of your body against mine, your head on my shoulder, and your soft voice in my ear whispering your secrets into me. The truth is that I’m lonely with everyone but you, and only with you am I found, and the last time I was happy was before you turned away. And still, after all this time, the only time I know peace is those few occasions when we meet, and have time and space to sit, and your soft voice is in my ear, saying anything at all.
So if I say I’m fine, it means I think I might survive the grief, and if I say I’ve moved on, I mean I’ve moved on from you to the emptiness of after you, and if I’ve accepted it’s over that means I’ve learnt to live without hope.
If you asked, that’s what I’d tell you.
You don’t want to matter that much, to anyone. You need not to matter that much. Telling you all this would hurt you. Maybe next time you ask I’ll have the strength to keep it to myself. Or maybe you’ve learned not to ask. Maybe that’s for the best.
You called to say You are doing just fine, The world has not been as cruel, As i was. It unfolded in a million ways, You see. But I, I stand here still Choking on my own words And a longing You couldn’t fulfill either, Walking alone would lead To dead bridges And broken […]
“You know what? I’m done. I’m done with anyone who cant make up to me, or make time for me, I don’t deserve that, I deserve people who care, who check up on me, no, who want to check up on me, people who can’t let me stay mad at them, who’d always wanna make sure I’m happy, loving myself and living my life, who support me and lift my standards so high because they really wanna make me feel all loved and heard, with everything in them, they’d always inspire me to be better, to do better, to love myself and to see beauty in it, and I’m unimaginably grateful i can actually say i have this kind of people in my life and i swear i’ll hold on to them as tight as I possibly can because honestly, i would never want to let anyone like that go”
I don’t have those people. But you do. And I’m not done.
I can still remember when I didn’t feel this anguish. When a day was just a day, boring or exciting, or maybe with some small or large upset. Life was good because it was supposed to be good, things would work out, love and security was there all the time. Is it even possible to feel that way again? I’m through the looking glass, the world has changed, the air has changed colour. The daily rhythm is a cycle of pain and struggle and acceptance, love is a traitor and hope is a stranger, and l breathe longing like I used to breathe air.
It’s not about dying alone. You were right, everybody dies alone.
It’s about this moment right now. At 4am. 2am was just as bad.
It’s this aching emptiness between my arms, where my lover should fit. This parched feeling on my skin, like every nerve ending is straining outwards to meet a touch that isn’t coming. The barrenness of my tears. Meaningless sorrow, here by myself. Nobody is coming. I am speaking to no one, crying out to no one. It doesn’t matter that my desperation ratchets up a notch each day. It doesn’t affect anyone but me, and I’m just an unheard voice in an empty space. It doesn’t matter what the words are where there’s nobody to hear. It doesn’t matter what’s written when there is no reader. It just doesn’t matter.
I don’t really know what marriage means, but if I’m married to anyone, I’m married to you. One person can’t own another, but I know I belong to you. Whatever love means, whatever ball of need and want and fear and joy and giving and taking that is, it comes from and goes back to that place in my heart where you are.
So now I’m supposed to move on, carrying you with me and leaving the best part of me behind with you. Move on – to where and to what, and why? With you in every step and every breath, with you wound around each rib. With you seeping into every crevice in my mind, in places I don’t even know exist. With every touch an echo of yours and every moment missing one thing. When making love feels like a memory and every time I close my eyes I see you, the way you looked when I was moving in you. Sometimes when I open my eyes too.
And with every moment of affection, when someone looks at me with loving eyes I feel I should explain: ah, you are beautiful, and you warm me, but, you see, I am deeply and secretly wed, I am taken; every part of me that is here with you is more deeply hers; all our moments are like shadows of that happiness; and on those terms – do you still want me?
Who could say yes? And so – where would I be moving on to?
I found her. Stumbled across her in the dark. The one I was supposed to find. The one who made it all make sense. The missing piece of the puzzle. It’s a puzzle that has hundreds of missing pieces but with her there none of the others matter. With her jagged edges and bloodstains and the madness in her eyes and the sadness in her heart she is perfect. With her there the roaring in my ears stops and my heart stops tearing apart. With her there there is always a reason. I was never supposed to find her and I was always supposed to find her. It was impossible but she found me. She found me and the world changed.
And then she got scared. I was just one missing piece and all the hundreds of other missing pieces mattered more. She closed the door on me, she drew up the drawbridge and closed me out and the thing is, I didn’t get out in time and I didn’t want to get out. Everything about me that matters is still in there, deaf and dumb and blind but there, with her, and my senses and guts and pain and logic are all out here. Lost, with no reasons, because all the reasons are behind that wall. So I stumble around lost, and there are no reasons