Wednesday, May 9, 2012

goodbye: old love

It's funny, this blog thing. Who do we write it for? It's different than a journal because instead of turning inward, privately, for just ourselves, we open outward, publicly, for a perceived audience, an assumed audience - even if it's never confirmed. Are we writing for ourselves here, or for the other selves we imagine peering into our world? Do we write with the idea of how someone might see us? Does that somehow then make us who we are?

I rushed home from the corner bar just now - literally a block away from my home, but oh rush did I - and I immediately went to the sink and frantically washed dishes and I frantically put on the song that says to me "with every broken heart I become more adventurous" and I scrub away and I hum and then I realize my eyes are filling with tears, and I'm not numb, I am feeling something, I do hurt. So then I came here. Hello computer, hello possible audience, might you want to hear today's goodbye?

Goodbye love. Long-overdue goodbye.

(Disclaimer to the assumed audience of 1+: there might be lots of run-on sentences occurring here. My brain is scrambling to understand itself and I'm trying my hardest to be authentic and real, which sometimes translates to the written version of babble.)

I'm not sure if in my young life I've yet to have good love, love that sustains and nourishes and brings out the part of me that I truly want out, but I have had my run-ins with some types of love. Ranging from the spectrum of really bad and unhealthy to fairly interesting and good at inspiring personal growth.  And recently, I've had a most confused love, a love that tore me in two and that I wasn't brave enough to admit did so.

So, it's held on. For a good year, almost to the date, I've tried to understand my brokenness while simultaneously moving on and forgetting. Those things are hard to do at the same time. I should have just stared my hurt in the eye as long as I needed to and then dealt with the moving on and healing. Ack, live and learn.

Tonight, something brought us together. My own longing for closure? My psychic abilities or sixth sense that something was up? Or my desire to sit together, like we used to do, when it meant nothing, when it was simple?

We sat side-by-side at the bar (because face-to-face was just too much for me) and he told me, after the world's longest pause during which I suddenly knew what was coming next, he told me he and his new love are engaged. (Which I understand seems to imply I am his old love, which is not the case. He is my old love, and I am his....his thing which he has no words for, which he cannot articulate or place in the story of his life.)

The thing that I have been asking myself is: what did I feel in that moment?

I felt something that was enough to shortly afterwards draw tears while washing dishes and listening to cheesy pop music, but that in the moment nailed me to my seat, numbed me to my core. I don't know what I felt because I shut down almost instantly! And that bothers me tremendously.

He rambled on a bit, and in that ramble he brought up "us" (and used the words "us" while also struggling with words a bit, avoiding words like "relationship" and "love" and "intimacy.") And he talked about how this next step with her made him think about a lot of his old relationships, and a lot of the lessons he'd learned. And he tried to talk about our thing, but I was so gone at that point, so shut down. He wanted me to chime in, but I was scared. Scared of opening up that place again and finding that what I thought was dead and done with is actually alive. I was scared of him seeing how much he got to me. How deeply he wounded my most vulnerable core.

And as I sat there longer, I realized that even if the animal is alive in me, it's dead in him. It's so over for one of us, so it has to be so over for both of us. That that is then, and this is now.

Then was laughter and fun and closeness and vulnerability that quickly morphed into ugliness and yelling and distrust and betrayal.

Now is two strangers sitting at a bar, talking around the fact that they inflicted real hurt on each other. Now is one stranger who  still can't "go there" without being deeply inside the hurt, without it feeling present and full-bodied, even if not fully present-tense. Now is the other stranger who can talk about it as a lesson learned, as the past, as over.

Then was learning and hurting and steps forward, steps back, steps forward, steps back, steps back and back and back for what felt like infinity.

Now is two people who can barely look each other in the eyes, and one who is trying so hard to say something he's wanted to say and the other embarrassed by the fact that she's still wishing she had the last word, still wishing she had the perfect thing to say to make him understand, and instead resigns herself to saying nothing - or saying just enough that still amounts to nothing. Now is his release and her sink deeper into the quicksand of her hurt.

Now is seeing the future is never sitting side-by-side at a bar, catching up like old friends do, because now is the real truth that that friendship died the minute one heart broke, and no matter what wounds heal and what apologies are uttered over a 12-year-aged scotch, there is no future for "us." There is only goodbye.

And why write? Why speak in circles about the matters of the heart? Why do this when writing can only uncover a theory and confusion still reigns supreme?

In an attempt to say hello to real love one day. One day. One day...

I'll write until it's real. I'll write until it feels like it could be real.

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