Thought Catalog

The First Heartbreak

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You stare at the chat window. It is white on white on white — oblivion’s vanishing point — this contemporary art piece. You can walk by or be kicked out by the guards for vagrancy. You are staying too long. Before: her sparse yeahs and okays accented with periods (always with periods, you notice) occasionally garnished with a colon and parenthesis, backslash. This is all so meager; she’s not giving you much because she cannot, she is not able. Wait for the is typing that never comes. Insert religio-jurisprudence metaphors: purgatory, final judgment, the jury she’s sleeping, not in session.

Try again tomorrow.

Today the sky is an unfinished quilt. Everything doesn’t fit; you’re walking around in a fitting room. You try to ignore the pins embedded in the carpet. Except: a couple gets out of their respective cars in the coffee shop parking lot. She embraces him. No, wait—kisses him, jumps, straddles him like she did on those old department store rides powered by coins—and this is the most beautiful thing you have seen in a while. You cry. You’re not used to the non-control. You turn your back not to be that sad guy. Wipe off your face, your coworker is driving you home, you don’t want to hear what’s wrong. But you want everyone to ask.

Send text messages to the great silence.

This emotional earthquake (you’ve never been in a real one, but the human body was designed for neither, you gather) that evening on the three-season porch shakes off your glasses, everything five-year-old-with-a-camera when you try and see. A shred of you wants to shake like this forever, like a sacred flame in a temple that floats only on water. In between the cry/gasp binary it’s cigarette like a snorkel: this will give me air. Zippo clicks like multiple smokers outside a bar, but no, still you and there is one in your hand one in your mouth, nevermind; it’s all early grade school math in the child-like now. The sobs administer novocaine to your nether regions, libido paused like a download. For a second you think you can’t feel anything below your eyes.

Everything now a scratched cornea.

It’s so new, a big deal, and you feel the clichés flowing through you like a human minted virus: you are so unique and alone, that no one gets you. Good news! — your heart is not a Stoic existential roadblock, you can feel like everyone else. You are nothing new. Using these ears of sadness and perception, you may finally decipher the words of For Emma, Forever Ago. You want to retreat to a cabin and embrace celibacy, become a monk in the cloister of your unkempt ego. You want to think there is no one else. You want to think that no one has ever thought this before, but you think about how everyone thinks that, even now. Well. You know how insignificant this really is; you know how catastrophic this really is.

You are no cartographer. TC mark

image – Helga Weber
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  • Cassandra Gonzalez


  • Dsadsa

    what did you say again?

  • Sophia

    loooved this. love how you captured the way that during heartbreak life seems simultaneously like a giant cliché and like an experience no one in the world has ever had before.

  • Karen

    For such an eloquent piece, I have only these simple words that are sincere despite how they sound insufficient and unsophisticated…

    I feel you, bro.

  • Alexa Thompson

    Touching. This may be the start of a new era of romantic literature – romance in the age of technology. It may be sad but it is certainly true: so much of our communication has become via text. How do you decipher what a person means when they type? Somehow we can just feel it. Great piece. 

  • SusanDerkins

    The paradox of the crash. Exactly what I was dissecting this morning. 

  • Asdf

    I view all my comments with the same gusto outlined in the opening paragraph: oblivion’s vanishing point.

    …This was a beautiful piece.

  • Jenny

    This is beautiful. Not a big fan of the Internet communication though

  • guest

    super pretentious writing. a billion adjectives and a thesaurus doesn’t make you a skilled writer.

    • Stefan

      eh, I think it has its moments, but there also seemed to be a bunch of distracting nonsense which ruined it for me. I mean, I guess it’s ok, in that way that he’s writing about heartbreak and things are sad, and everybody is really into those, but otherwise I thought it could use some work to be more than “eh, sure, it’s ok…”

    • EP

      Yet describing something as “super ____” shows you know how to describe a number of topics and feelings with great detail.

  • Jordana Bevan

    someday my pain; someday my pain

  • Anonymous

    It’s a mood, a terrible terrible mood. 

    -Referring to:

  • IndianapolisChick

    It has it moments… stop trying to make it sound so good. Get out of your own way and it would be much more poignant. 

  • Luke Finsaas


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