Over Now

So it's about a year after the end of my engagement. How do we score the aftermath? Well, let's not put points on it. But, as I was listening to Third Eye Blind the other day, I started laughing--that loud belly-laughing you can only do sort of ironically. I mean, sincerely I was laughing from surprise and pleasure but still there is a hint of... So but I was hearing this song and I realized the pain, like all those emotional wounds and scars we carry in the back of our deepest selves, that little box we all hide in the back of the closet with those tiny sharp-bladed momentos, is less. Lots. And this is sort of surprising; and so this realization comes due to a comparison with what was going on with me last winter. And I laughed and laughed, but I didn't cry (that's another story, constant reader).

Yeah, yeah, I lost you at "Third Eye Blind" but look, if someone is allowed to like Matchbox 20--and they are--I think my guilty pleasure(?) compares favorably.

But the abstract notion of healing doesn't help when that person is right in front of you. The Ex, I mean. And the first thing that happens when she opens her mouth is, everything that contributed to the breakup comes back, like a comet, burning fire in the sky. The words don't even matter. And you still aren't sure how this happens but you're trying to escape this and you're trying to breathe and you're trying not to make a scene and you're trying to explain how this is the worst possible moment and then... Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

I saw the pain on her face, but I couldn't stop it, and I wanted to tear out my beating heart in front of her eyes and scream that she couldn't touch it anymore. That would've been a lie. (For, constant reader, how familiar is the feeling of presence just behind every door and under every slip of paper--everyone left behind.) And my narcissism contributed. And my violence. And my blood. And my faith. And my naive belief that the truth, as much as it hurts, should not hurt us.

Trudging home, I thought What next, we wonder, what next behind that door or buried in this haystack of possibilities. The needle is infected, the boogey-man waits. Then I slept, and my dreams were weird and phantastic. Morning brought those messages on my phone. You know.

We spent a pregnant term together after the break (don't ask, dear reader, but unfortunate circumstances of various origin contributed to that travesty), and our supposed friendship is a stillbirth. I suspect, sadly, that we were never more than playacting at friendship. Which doesn't mean that nothing equitable may come every after, no, but rather that a fresh start is all that can be allowed. It is all I will allow.

But isn't this just another start, O Author? Good question. Another "fresh start" begun as a stale imitation of reinvention. Wax fruit with rotten core. I don't know, maybe. But this is me after months living alone, truly alone, for the first time in... a long long time (5, 6 years?) Maybe I'll tell you about it later, if you ask real nice. It's hard. (And this is the part maybe I'll rehearse another time: I've spent my entire life trying to find something at which I can fail...) And as the man says, I've never been so alone, and I've never been more alive.

...Uh-yup. The beginning of next month, sometime, I think, is the date, though I don't care to remember it.


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