Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril. Today's prompt: Spill.
I don’t remember what happened. It was inconsequential, the kind of thing that no one noticed but me. But it was hilarious. And I knew it was the kind of thing you’d appreciate. I was halfway through the text before I remembered I couldn’t send it.
This part is The Silence. And it’s the part I hate.
When the world feels like it’s been carved open wide, a chasm running between you and someone you used to know. The unlearning of including them in your day even though it feels second nature. Finding distraction when you feel the need to say things you may as well shout into the wind. When the rhythm of your whole day feels off because it’s not punctuated by hearing from them and you have to manage to find your footing somehow. When they may as well have been flung to the moon, they feel so far from whatever it was you used to inhabit.
You live in The Silence now. In here, there’s only distance.
Like most temporary things, it gets better, of course. To be clear, The Silence is most often forever, but it eventually becomes a dull ache from the sharp break it started as. And eventually, you won’t feel it at all. It will just become What Is.
But you have to get there. You have to inhale every minute of every sleepless night and swallow them down on top of the words you don’t get to say until you feel you might burst. You have to sort through the thoughts that bubble up when you aren’t expecting them, even when you have nowhere to put them. And you have to arrive out the other side, somehow healed and whole though something you once thought was tattooed on your life has been washed away.
If you’re me, the only way to get through The Silence is to smother it. To counteract every what if with a reminder that it ain’t. I delete all the pictures and the texts. Eventually the contact info altogether. I find something else to do with the time I took such great effort to carve out for you to exist in. I set about the work of forgetting the inside jokes and the places we’ve been and the intimacies I wish I’d kept to myself. I mentally open the box where I store All The Little Things About You, and dump them at the curb, letting the elements and time do to memory what I cannot force. You are a specter looming in my days, and I smother it until dies.
I work to forget you, and eventually I will. It is the kind of thing I have grown good at. Forgetting the details, forgetting the feelings, until they are so gone it’s almost like I never knew them at all. I will get there.
But now, I am in The Silence. And so are you. But I’m here alone.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Friday, April 1, 2016
This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril. Today's prompt: Demolish.
Here is how you go from We to Me.
First, you have The Conversation.
This is no mere mortal conversation. This is The Conversation. The one you can’t come back from. This is the conversation where you say The Things. The things that have been looming. That have been lurking in the shadows, growing, sucking all of the oxygen from the room as you slowly suffocate. These things are the dragons you have to slay before they kill you.
Because they will.
Our conversation happened at 3:27am, on one of many a string of nights I couldn’t sleep.
“We’re not going to make it, are we?”
The Conversation usually starts with The Question. The one that one or the both of you has been choking on, trying to swallow down because most of you knows the answer and it’s not the one you want.
“No. We’re not.”
You talk it out. You fight it out. You say the right things and the mean things and the true things. You say things that, were this a thing that should work out, might draw the other closer to you. But because this is the drawdown from We to Me, it only inches them further away. There’s a last grasp, the Hail Mary, the last thing you say when you’re ready to go for broke. And that’s when you realize that The Things have pulled them just beyond the reach of your fingertips.
That’s when The Resignation comes. It’s usually easy to spot. It’s everything that comes after The Sigh. The Thing has been vanquished. It’s let all the air back into the room. And it frigid and still. You have to settle into it as though it were comfortable, but it’s not that it’s cozy, it’s that it’s permanent. The Resignation comes when you know you have to let go.
“I hate this.”
“I know. Me too.”
“I really thought-“
“I know. Me too.”
You lapse into quiet. The words running out isn’t because you have nothing left to say, it’s because everything you have to say is futile. There is no coming back from The Conversation.
“I’m coming home in a few weeks. I need your undivided attention for the weekend. I’m not asking.”
You want to say no, because you should. It’s wiser.
But The Conversation leaves you raw and exposed in a way that you’d never choose to be. And every no feels like being stabbed with a hot, salted knife.
“I’ll make that happen.”
Then there’s The Goodbye. Which- even as it’s awkward and uncomfortable and hurtful- isn’t even the hard part.
Because the next part is The Silence.
And that’s what will kill you.