Here we are
You’ve moved on
In my heart I know you’re not gone
Gotta find ways to shed this old skin
Where were you, were you in that room?
Were you watching as I wept for you?
Curled up next to your body so still
Wanna let go, don’t wanna lose
Wanna let go, don’t wanna lose
Wanna let go, but I don’t wanna lose
~”Let Go” by Hank Dogs
I fake it so well, most of the time. So well, in fact, I occasionally fool myself.
Today was one of the days I didn’t do so well. I was fine while laughing and chatting with others, but a poem written by a friend sent me on a full-body flashback, and I was living it again:
The way your breath stirred the dark…hands stroking, voice holding me up, tethering me to the earth, losing even that last tenuous connection as the world exploded in my head, in my heart, in my soul…
And that was the end of any illusion of calm, any semblance of peace. Need and longing and searing pain traced the length of every nerve as his voice filled my mind…
“We’re going to be old people together, I promise…”
“I don’t know how anyone could mistreat you, Angie, I really don’t…”
“Oh, I love you, I do, never like this, never anyone like you…”
“I didn’t know, oh, didn’t know I could feel this way without being high…”
Oh, gods. In the back of my mind, thudding up from the base of my skull, come the pounding strains of Placebo’s cover of “Running Up That Hill,” burning with all the frozen horror of an empty future; vacant-hearted, hollow-eyed, bargaining with gods who aren’t listening:
Tell me we both matter, don’t we?
You, you and me
You and me won’t be unhappy
And if I only could, I’d make deal with God
And get him to swap our places…
This pain is bottomless.
I pulled myself together for a while. Laughed, chatted, talked. For a while. Then one by one the voices stilled until the only one left was the one in my head. Echoing.
I made dinner. Ate it, standing at the counter. Didn’t taste it.
I could pick up the phone. I could call someone. Save me from myself, from my memories…
But I won’t. Sometimes I just have to be sad. The only way over it is through it, after all. Which is damn cold comfort when I’m looking at a long day tomorrow and a cold bed tonight.
Gold and silver line my heart
But burned into my brain are these stolen images
Stolen images, baby, stolen images
Can you picture it, babe, the life we could have lived?
~”Without You” by Lana Del Rey
I can. All the time. I just can’t picture the life that doesn’t include him. So I go from day to day. I don’t really plan ahead. I’ve made some long range plans for my future as far as education and career goes, but that’s almost it. I start to picture the new cozy apartment, the furniture just so, this color, that fabric. And then, my heart turns to the one who should be there to share it and he vanishes like smoke, sad crooked smile hanging in the air.
Are you proud of me? Are you watching me weep for you? Can you see how I struggle, see what I create in your name, in your honor? Are you finally at peace? Are you waiting for me? Tell me! Something, anything, dammit! Let me know you’re still with me, that you haven’t left me so alone…
It roils and bursts; it’s viscous and thick, this grief. It clings to the soul, coating the bones, freezing the heart into place, leaving it to thump and twist in its new prison of darkness and cooling stone.
And it isn’t. So what? What does that change? A temper tantrum over the unfairness of it all doesn’t bring him back to me. Nothing will bring him back to me. I am serving a life sentence, after all; I knew how this was going to go the moment I knew he was gone. When something blows a hole through a life, it tends to stay open.
I miss talking to him. Miss the sound of his voice, his insights, his warped sense of humor, his open and unabashed expression of feeling, of desire and hope and love. I miss his companionship, the way we fit together.
I’m afraid. Afraid no one will see me the way he did. That no one else will love me the way he did, feel so lucky to even have known me. That no one else will feel that thrill of want and desire that he did for me. The same things I felt for him.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to feel those things for someone else. I just turned 36 and have no desire to date. Sometimes I feel as if my best years have already gotten away from me, that by the time I get my life together and I have the financial security to be equal in a relationship, I’ll be into my 40s and most of my life will be behind me. Sometimes I feel like he was my last shot at lifelong love and true connection.
I know that’s mostly bullshit, but that doesn’t change the way I feel about it.
Seems like some days, not much of anything changes the way I feel. Some days, it seems like this is just the way it’s going to be.
Maybe tomorrow won’t be one of those days.