“I deleted your number from my phone month and months ago so that I wouldn’t text you in the late night. I know you sleep well, and fully throughout the night, and you grew sad and distanced yourself each morning you woke to find my frustration, years too late. I unfriended you on Facebook because you liked all the posts I put up, the happy ones, the good ones, the fun ones. I trained my brain to forget your last name. I taught myself not to think of your eyes. Or the shape of your collar bones. I now can proudly say I don’t think of you late at night when I stare at the light coming in my bedroom windows.”
I’m trying to slow time, and stay still enough so that I don’t wreck anything. That I don’t turn any of the good let in my life into something negative.
I’m writing everything down lately. Because I don’t trust my memory to catch all the good and bad. It’s like a recently mended net, about to test it’s new strength.
I hate writing K’s and G’s in my handwriting. I like writing L’s and S’s. I bought a spray bottle at the dollar store and filled it up with water and eucalyptus essential oil. I’ve been burning lavender incense and spraying my pillows with the eucalyptus water. I’ve rearranged my bookcase, and listened to an old FM radio. I searched for a station that didn’t have commercials for about 20 mins. My internet had been down some 24 hours at that point and I just needed a little something in my ears.
I’ve been gone 11 days, and now my cats don’t leave me alone. They come, twirling and dancing between my feet as I walk around surveying this apartment I missed. Each tiny and large thing put in a place that feels right, at least for now.
In college I would repaint my studio apartment’s walls in the middle of the night because I needed a bit of a change. I would rearrange pillows, shelves and furniture because it felt better thinking about how I’d never been kissed. How I’d never known the touch of a trusted lover. Now I do it because it feels good to seek and find solace and comfort here, away from the world outside.
I’m not sorry that I’ve allowed certain men take root in my memories. Idaho with his grumbling, growling, and breathtaking smile, his declarations. Brown eyes with the way his mouth moved when he talked and his tattoos, and his love of achingly soft music. The midwest gent for his attentive nature, patience, and his stoicism. My southern best friend who made me laugh like no other, with goofy memorable moments of pride and care, his strength. My contractor ex, nationally ranked rugby boyfriend who lived in the Poconos and who made me feel delicate, womanly, but who trusted me with a hammer and power tools. The tall gangly boy who grew into a handsome man, one night to take my hand late at night in his sports car only to whispered beautiful words of praise besides a lake under the moonlight some miles later.
But that’s because I sometimes forget the bad associated with each. Or the bad I brought to them.
I’m sitting on the floor, my legs have fallen asleep and I know I should shed my clothes and crawl into my bed. I should make a list of all I want to accomplish tomorrow, and I should, I should, I should, I should.
I think I’ll soak in the tub, or change my sheets and get into bed and play a song that starts slow and sad, but builds in my chest like road trip views where you get surprised by a great landscape after the same sad thing miles and miles. Just one more hill. Just one more hike, one more mile, until you’re closer. I’m closer.
Everyday, I am thankful for those who have loved me, and who have allowed me to love them, even if it wasn’t enough for either of us in the long run. Because I’m learning to love myself more, and more. Learning to call myself out on my bullshit. Learning that exciting things happen every day, that I can make exciting things happen, worthwhile things.
That one day, doesn’t matter how soon, all these memories, all this growth will mean a more successful relationship with another extraordinary person. With my extraordinary person. Who will grow with me. That will take me as I am, a person capable of greatness, even if that greatness is just great according to each of us, and the small things I do to affect others positively.
I just have to breathe in, make several small movements that turn into larger ones, exhale, then do it all over again.