And then all of a sudden, it was over. Just, one day I realized: I haven’t talked to him in a month and a half. I was struck with a sharp sense of emptiness, not in a bleak way, but like in those Hoarders TV shows where they show the before and after pictures from when the house was filled with trash and when it’s not. That kind of emptiness. Which is supposed to be positive and uplifting but it’s still emptiness.
I don’t deal with emptiness very well. I know this, and I know it even more so now because I’m grasping at my chest, gasping for air, clawing at nothingness. Fuck. I mean, I dragged that break up on for ten months. Or, we dragged it out for ten months. We. Which is another thing that I don’t want to think about: we. Us. The two of us, as we used to be, but now we’re just different people living different lives.
I spent so long unbuckling myself from years’ worth of chaos and sex and love and pain and revenge and the mundane things we used to do on a day to day basis back when we were inseparable. I spent so long wanting to be right here, right now, without him in the back of my mind or at the bottom of my incoming text messages or right in front of me. Now that he’s not here – now what?
I hate this feeling. Every time. This happens every time! Because, no, this was not our first break up. But, fingers crossed, it’s the last! I mean, I say that every time. I’ve started to wonder when it will be true. Will it ever be true? And what does it take for it to be true?
Someone recently said to me, “At least it’s over.” To which I responded, “Is it?” At which point I felt that heavy burden of loving someone and not knowing how to stop. Because, let me tell you, a month and a half of silence does not necessarily mean that the break up is final. We’ve gone a year before. And then, poof, like nothing, back at it again.
I’d like to think that this time was different for a myriad of reasons. First off, oof, the hatred with which he cut me off – that sure did reach a fever pitch. I don’t think there’s any bouncing back from all the awful things he said to me, or at least I hope there’s no bouncing back because I don’t even want to begin to think about how broken I’d have to be crawl back into bed with someone who treated me like that. Of course, we all already know: I would probably do it in a heart beat. But I’m trying to be optimistic! And I’m trying to reinforce my sense of self esteem and tell myself, no, that was the last time. That was the limit. That was the cut off. That’s it.
Unfortunately, I know my weaknesses, and one of my weaknesses is a foolish, childish, undying belief in the supremacy of love. Ah, it sounds so corny just seeing it there on the page, but it’s true. I’d like to think that my love is eternal, and that love overcomes, and all those other cheesy things that people say about love. I want to believe all those things. To a fault, apparently.
I cannot seem to kill my love. And, ooh, girl, I have tried. Apparently there’s no amount of fucking someone’s friends that can kill love. Or getting drunk and screaming the most horrible things in his face at the top of your lungs. Or wanton betrayal. Or slandering him on the Internet. Or even the slow, subtle death rattle of growing apart. Or sitting in my room on my hands waiting for time to heal all wounds. Or watching someone disintegrate emotionally over time.
So this means that I just get to walk around filled with some dead, unreciprocated, rotting love in my heart. And at any moment, that person could come back and fuck up my day by asking me to love him again. I’ve done my best to put up as many barriers to seeing or interacting with this person or risking any sort of crossing of paths. All I can do is hope: this is the last time. Because no matter how much I love him, I never want to do this again. Not with him. I want the part of me that loves him to diminish over time, to go quietly to the bottom of the pile, to almost disappear but no quite disappear. I want the part of me that loves him to atrophy, to fall away. I want the part of me that loves him to be eclipsed by other, better things inside me. I want the part of me that loves him to be safe inside me where it can do no harm, and I want the part of me that loves him to stop being the excuse that I use to hurt myself.
I want something better. In fact, if I’ve learned anything here, it’s, damn, I really enjoy loving other people. It’s very rewarding and uplifting, even if it does come with a whole mountain of pain most of the time. That’s not going to stop me from doing it. If anything, I have all this left over love from my last relationship that I’m not really using – might as well do something with it, right?
Watch out, world.