Just Like Cigarettes, I Can’t Get Enough Of Him

Jesse Herzog
Jesse Herzog

I wanted to start this story backwards – much like almost everything in my life I guess. But it wouldn’t be fair, it wouldn’t be right. After all, we came a long way since the beginning and it would be strange to start by the end, even though looking back, the beginning still looks very abstract to me.

What I do realize now is that I, more than ever, am a shitty lover, proudly may I add.

The thing that makes me a shitty lover is that I mean everything that I say. And that is the problem with people who mean everything they say, they think everyone else does too. And when in a relationship, even though trust is the key to make it work, the infamous white lies are just as fundamental. And I am learning quickly that what is right and what must happen aren’t always the same thing.

So here it is a white lie:

It was love at the first sight.

See? It was a first sight thing, I noticed him before I noticed anything else in the room. With his tall, slim body, his beard, and his golden eyes. And in that moment, all I wanted to do was go back to my home, turn on Breakfast At Tiffany’s for the millionth time and wait until the end so I could have an excuse to cry, cry because there are a few things in life so beautiful they hurt: swimming in the ocean while it rains, reading alone in empty libraries, the sea of stars that appear when you’re miles away from the neon lights of the city, bars after 2 am, walking in the wilderness, all the phases of the moon, the things we do not know about the universe, and him.

And all it took was a thirty seconds conversation to know that it was as easy to get addicted to his little dimples that used to dance in the corners of his mouth whenever he smiled, as it was impossible to me to smoke only one cigarette; in fact, looking at the whole thing now, he and my cigarettes were pretty much the same. The way I hold my cigarettes very tightly in between my fingers and very close to my lips, always afraid to see them escaping through my little fingers and suddenly being distant from my mouth, the way I hold the smoke as long as I can take and to let it go is almost like losing something really dear to me, the way I simply couldn’t bare to step on it in order to light it down.

He, much like my cigarettes tasted like heaven. The only thing is that, unlikely my cigarettes, he wasn’t mine.

They told me to pour my heart into everything I do. So that’s what I did, I poured and poured and poured. Now they ask me why I’m so empty. It would be wrong to lie here, but I don’t think I know how to make it sound less pathetic, because the truth is, he probably has a big part of my heart right now. In his hands. And if my heartbreak would have a name, it would be his. But right here, it is important to realize that it is okay to miss something but not want it back. After all, I drowned in his ocean and he wouldn’t even throw me a life jacket, but this, once again, is not what I am going to write about today.

This is supposed to be about my pain. My pain is supposed to be felt and I don’t know any other way to feel it other than putting it to paper until it is all absorbed, until it is all there, black on white, until I can’t no longer write it because my eyes are so full of tears and my heart is so tight in my chest that it becomes unbearable, as unbearable as it is to know that nothing in this world is unbearable. We were made to love and feel pain, and everyone has their pain. Some people survive chaos and that is how they grow. And some people thrive in chaos, because chaos is all they know.

I have been thriving chaos and my chaos is him, begging to be let in, but my pain only has room to grow, since my love was just worth a blow.

I’ve always been bad at reading between the lines and he’ve always loved blurring them. And right now I just have to accept that some things can’t remain the same. Love does fade away and things do change, and the funniest part about it is that sometimes it wasn’t even meant. It wasn’t love, I mean, it was but only singular, and everyone knows that loving in the singular is the worst kind of death. There are ways of dying that don’t end in funerals. Types of death you can’t smell. But oh boy, they hurt.

He was just like my cigarettes, – quick and never enough.

And addictions are tricky to deal.

For example: A man who quit smoking for 11 years stood in an elevator with another man smoking a cigarette. He gave in.

What I’m trying to say is I might as well always give in.

Because I will never be able to forget the look in his eyes.

His arms around her.

The dimples dancing in his cheeks.

The way they leaned in and kissed.

And the pain that grew in me.

It was one of those awful moments where you have no control over your reaction, when the pain is too exposed to hide.

To finish this, a heartbreaking but necessary advice from my mother: No one teaches you how to let go of the things you love. It’s just a heartbreaking lesson you have to learn for yourself.

And again, just like my cigarettes, someday I will find a way to learn to quit. TC mark

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