Ghost

November. It is nowhere near me now. November is circling back around though. It moves along confidently, in an evil orbit, content to slowly circumnavigate it’s way back to me. Floating overhead like a bloodlusting scavenger bird. Feathers that are oily with the stench of black. A sickly, satisfied bird, pleased with itself and a meal yet to come.

Patiently, November waits to destroy me again. To cast a coasting predator’s shadow over me. Every love song in this honky-tonk bar reminds me that I broke up with a whore, but that I still miss her. Relapse. I’m not in this moment. My friends disappear like a mirage as my emotions take over. I miss her. Her horrible betrayals, her deceptions and unbelievable cruelties. I miss her treachery the way an addict misses the necessary needle; poison in the veins.

I broke up with the worst person I have ever met, last November. I’ve been running ever since. Like a doomed animal scared of the growing, approaching darkness soaring in callously from above. There is no escape.

The further away from November that I get, the closer it becomes again.

I’m drunk and I need to find my way home.

Not For A Reason

Things don’t happen for a reason. Things happen because people make choices. Lauren chose to lie and cheat on me. I chose to allow it. She chose to disappear from my life. I chose to feel extreme pain.

I now choose to move on. I am still not ready to date, because I need time to myself. But I have brought friends back into my life that I cut out when I dated her.

I have been applying for job promotions in other cities. I am back in the gym 3-5 times a week. I yoga twice a week. I go out again. I go to counseling.

I laugh again. I’m looking forward to my first night of good sleep. Soon, I hope.

Born Free

I finally broke through to the “acceptance” stage of grief.

Sweet relief!

She made a point to bring her new boyfriend by my office door and had a gawky conversation using a voice and words that sounded like awkward daytime script. Forced playfulness for the benefit of the audience.

I felt no pain. No sadness. I just kept working.

Ten weeks. It took ten weeks to be set free from her toxicity. I feel as though I pushed through a terrible membrane, and now I’m breathing. Fresh air.

I see her for who she really is now. I finally see what my friends warned me about when I first started dating her. It’s like using my eyes for the first time.

I have so much that I want to say, but I haven’t slept much in ten weeks and I’m exhausted. It’s time to get some peaceful sleep.

So I will just say that I’m so grateful that it’s over. I learned so much about myself over the last year. More later.

Distracted

I worry about Mandy. She worries that I will leave her. Leave our friendship. I worry about staying alive. When did that become a thing?

She got me up at two this morning so that I could get showered and begin the long drive from her house to be at work by seven. How many hours is the drive, again?

Four.

I think I actually got up at two-thirty, which stressed her. But I still showered, and I made it. She stood there, sleepily, arms folded, and told me to text her when I made it to work. I did.

She loves me, and she is in love with me. She worries about losing me when I “meet the one” … I don’t even know what that means anymore.

She doesn’t always hear me, but she does listen. I always laugh when she asks questions I just answered.

We make the most wonderful plans, but often don’t do anything. We sit together, like birds on a wire, balancing for hours on end.

She’s my best friend. When I am with her, I can be in the moment.

When she is near, I can turn around and face the scary thing behind me that makes my neck prickle. I can sweat, I can gasp, I can weep. She just watches me.

She says I still love my ex-girlfriend, but I am sure that I hate her. What she did to me was worse than anything that has ever been done to me. Mandy makes me realize that that kind of hurt is only possible when you are capable of loving unconditionally… so there’s hope for me. She sort-of-subtly reminds me that she wishes I felt that way about her. My heart is empty, and I reply with nothing. I’m null. She doesn’t want my platitudes anyway… “It’s not you, it’s me” …an inanity.

In a room full of people, these days we often find each other and stand closely together. Penguins that mumble rather than honk.

She vapes. I put my hands in my pockets, put my shoulder to hers, and look at our shoes. The most comfortable couple in the room, yet we are just simply complicated friends.

We never get enough sleep. We both have dark circles under our eyes. Something keeps us both unsettled. We are both running from something. Even when sitting on the couch, we are running. Binge watching “Lost”

She sees me with soft honey-colored eyes. She’s my height but says she’s five-seven. The hospital says I am five-eight. I am reminded every time they see me. They always want to see me.

I call her by her middle name: Starr. You can call her Amanda.

I don’t know what else to say. That happens a lot these days. Again, and again. My chest is uncomfortable again, and I am counting the days until I see her again.

Four.

Crossing

There is no more need for you, now. Should I keep my killer?

Murderer of the misled, your gentle prints are everywhere. But no one is looking for you.

Your sanguine stroke, plunging the knife forward in full view of the greedy glass eye. You snap, you chat. Filter. Your wolves gather.

With a slasher’s practice you swipe right. You match, and my bruised blood flies. You smear it with pointy fingers; a thirsty boy audience erupts with erotic glee.

Your blade flaps and laughs. You circle back and twirl with an injured smile. A final fatal strike, and for the first time I rise.

No Closure

The most painful question for this wounded lover is

“Why?”

The hard, most jagged, bitter answer I received was

“It doesn’t matter now, anyway.”

She pitched that answer to me in a parking lot, when she already had been making arrangements with another man who lived in her apartment complex… And several other men using the Tinder app.

“It doesn’t matter now, anyway.”

A cowardly dismissal of what we held dearest. A year-long love affair batted away amid a parking lot conversation, like a nuisance bee, as she collected her keys, called me a beggar, and drove to him… I’m told she just tweeted that he’s the “2018 upgrade”. Dear friends: Please don’t tell me these things. Because now I have to eventually forgive her for that too, and I’m running out of forgiveness. Please don’t let me run out of forgiveness. It’s the only thing keeping me from drying up, the only liquid I have left.

But please, friend: Have you heard anything else?

“It doesn’t matter now, anyway.”

Hearing those words was beyond belief. Those words. They were a dagger thrown into the middle of a beautiful portrait we painted together and tenderly called “us” and kept on the wall for the appreciation of all, including ourselves. A Rembrandt created with two brushes, by two lovers who made promises of forever.

I will always love you.

I will always take care of you.

I will grow old with you.

I will protect you, and never, ever hurt you.

“It doesn’t matter now, anyway.”

It rips through the canvas and tears at the soul. The agonizing abruptness and cold cruelty slice through the stomach and let everything inside the body spill out to the ground. The appetite leaves because there is no longer a reason to eat. Food falls from the hand, back to the plate.

Now for the worst cruelty: this week she made a point to seek me out, and kiss Mister 2018 in front of me.

“Why?”

For reasons that are unknown to her, for reasons that are stark, ironic and hellish to behold, she is ultimately right:

It doesn’t matter now, anyway.

Gratitude

“I hope one day, we find each other again and laugh over whatever pain we might have caused…” – R.M. Drake

I am trying to make you a part of my past, to break away from you, but our experiences together keep us connected on a cosmic level. Forever connected. Time is an illusion.

I have to change the way I think about you. The lens I use to view our experiences together… Our “time” together. I must be aware that I cannot bury your memories, lest I should bury a part of me. I am alive, and no part of me can be buried until all of me is ready to return to dust. I must accept my experiences with you the same way I accept a sunrise and a sunset.

Eventually I will heal enough to smile about some of our memories together. For now, I will settle for just being grateful to the Creator for putting you in my path although I do not understand why.

I am grateful that I survived you.

I am stronger for having survived you.

That’s the best I can manage right now. But I know me well enough to know that I can and will change my view of our experiences, eventually. Those changes in my heart will bring me more peace and awareness; they are blessings, waiting on my horizon.

Forgiving

I forgive you for the lies you told me the entire year we were together.

I forgive you for cheating on me.

I forgive you for the STD you gave me and then lied about, as I choked on the chalk water they made me drink at the hospital.

I forgive you for abandoning me with no explanation.

I forgive you for the way you twisted the knife, by parading men around in front of me.

I forgive you for your continuing harassment.

I forgive you.

I forgive you, because I need to do so in order to forgive myself too.

And now, I’m moving past you.