Tuesday, September 26, 2006

To All the Men I've Left Before

Cripes, almost did not make it last night in time, it was about 23.45 by the time I posted the blog. It's only been a couple of weeks and already I almost missed my self-imposed deadline - how embarassing. If you're still digging the whole girl sleuth thing, check out the links in G's comment from yesterday - there's a quiz and some more titles for you to track down. With your magnifying glass. See where I'm going with this?

It's a funny evening, I feel a bit emotional and I'm running out of hormones to blame it on. I've been thinking a lot this week about my last break-up, not in a wistful way, but just remembering how it felt - I recall it as the emotional equivalent of sitting on the toilet for a waz and then being blasted into space by a rocket suddenly launching up your jacks - a bit fish out of water.

Years ago, someone called Craig, who was a friend of my first boyfriend's, told me that it would be my third love affair that would break my heart. I wondered about that for the duration of my first and second relationship, and at the end of the third one, two years or so ago, I realised that, for me at least, he was right. Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but when my last relationship (and I use those words carefully) ended, I fell into a slice of a nervous breakdown. Nothing had ever hit me so hard before.

I'm not sure in hindsight that it was all about Scott (names are changed to protect the innocent). In fact, I think the harshest part, and I don't necessarily like this thought, is not that the person you love (as Hicks would say, the one who told you that he loved you, and then left) is gone, but that you're still here. In fact, let me be more honest than that and quit talking about you and start talking about me. I prefer that, anyway (why do you think I have a blog - writers are, by trade, self-obsessed: look at me! Read what I think!).

My relationship with Scott was a gift, a real psychosis of a relationship, a mania of a love affair, crazy intense and perfectly short (or am I describing myself?). I wrapped myself up in every aspect of it, I lived it and drank it and asked him to come live with me, and he did.

The year he lived with me contained some of the most passionate and romantic (God, I hate that word - replacements on a postcard, please - for the word romance, not for Scott, although I will consider either) moments I've ever known in a relationship, one that I wasn't reading about, or one that wasn't happening to someone else, I mean. It also contained some of the most dangerous, self-harming ones, go figure. However, the whole year consumed me, in whatever sense you prefer, and I spent all of it considering, not me, not Scott, but that sudden, elusive entity - Us.

When he left, he took us with him. Actually, he didn't. I think he left us in a bin bag with the clothes he'd outgrown or outworn in the time we'd been together, but that's by the by. Us was gone and in our place was, just me. The dream that I wouldn't have to take responsibility for this crazy existence went with us, as did the idea that there was a hero waiting in the wings, like Louise L. Hay waiting to come Heal My Life. I wrestled with the idea of seeing what number I could count to while waiting to hit the ground from my balcony and wallowed for a few months in the sheer loss of it all, until, without my consent, life carried on and dragged me with it. But those first few months were the worst I've known at the end of a relationship, just as Craig promised. I cried more than is legal in Alabama and I cursed everyone and everything: Scott, me, his new girlfriend, a God I didn't believe in, love itself, my parents - the usual suspects - until I had nothing and no one left to curse. Because none of it was anyone's fault, not his, not mine, not even ours.

I don't think it goes away, a heartbreak, a loss. I think that you absorb it and live alongside it until sometimes, you think it's just gone. But this week has made me think again that we don't get to pick and choose the good moments from the bad and even if we could it would only render the good things pointless and empty. I wonder sometimes if I will feel this familiar sense of loss and wonder combined when I think of our relationship, until I'm old. Although it hurts, it also makes me smile, so, increasingly I can't help but hope so, because the whole experience held so much meaning to me, and in the end, I think that's all we really have.

Both sides of the story are true, the wonder of intimacy and the reality that, in here, there's only me, no matter how closely I connect with someone. Where I'm at now, where the thought of allowing another man into my personal life makes me want to punch the nearest candidate for romance in the face (I'm not kidding, I feel very aggressive towards men who fancy me right now. Except if you're Zach Braff, then you ignore that and step right up, without fear, because I already worship and adore you), I can at least entertain the idea that I'm curious to know what it feels like to step into a relationship when I don't have quite so many self-demons snapping at my heels. I'll have to find out one day, because I never asked Craig about number four.

1 comment:

Heather said...

hello pretty lady, i miss you, sorry it has taken me a while to find you, i dont use that email anymore cos it's unreliable. Hope to catch you soon babycakes

H x