The Sting Of Almost Having Something

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I don’t believe in soulmates. I used to, once upon a teenaged, puppy-love haze, but the older I get, I’m not sure I’d even want to believe in something so melodramatic. One? Just one person? I’ve already been in love twice (or felt something that seemed a lot like love), and I haven’t even hit my quarter-life crisis yet. How can there really just be one person out there? What if your soulmate dies? Is across the planet? Is Gary Busey?!

No. I cannot accept this idea of two people being fated together (or anyone being Gary Busey’s soulmate, sorry any previous or current Mrs. Busey…) and if you don’t happen to meet this person, ENJOY YOUR FUTURE DIVORCE OR UNHAPPY EXISTENCE FOREVER. That doesn’t seem romantic to me. That seems foolish.

A few years ago, I heard about an ancient Chinese legend referred to as the red string of fate. According to the myth, an invisible red cord has been wrapped around the ankles of two people destined to meet. This chord may stretch far distances, or even at times become tangled, but it is absolutely unbreakable. It does not matter the timing, place, circumstance, whether or not one of you is Gary Busey, those connected by the red thread are fated lovers.

My ex-boyfriend told me this string is what made him look up one day walking home from class sophomore year of high school. Some unexplainable force pulled him to look over in my direction, and when he saw me, I had a glow. I had a glow he had never seen another person have. And I was such a sucker for those words.

Maybe Karma is just biting me in the ass right now. I shouldn’t feel devastated over something that didn’t even fully happen. You are not my soulmate. I know that. You never even gave me your full heart, just a few pieces that seemed like the start to the whole thing. I gave you an entrée, but you sent those penguin-looking waiters that carry around appetizers at Galas and other pretentious events into the kitchen. They never came back out. They might, but at this point, I’m just too hungry. I’m ready to take off my gown, put on sweatpants, and drive to In-N-Out.

My mom says that timing is an important factor in relationships. Two people can meet, enjoy each other, connect on various levels, blahblahblah, but if timing isn’t right, it doesn’t matter. But honestly, to that, I say a big, “FUCK THAT!”

There is no right time, wrong time, time time. Time moves so quickly and can be so unkind. I didn’t get enough time with my father. I didn’t get enough time in this university that I love so much as a transfer student. I didn’t get enough time with my goddaughter before moving 300 miles away. I didn’t get enough time to breathe in every second you were in my bed. Time is an asshole. I hate time. The only time is now. If you care, you take the plunge. You take things day by day.

I don’t believe in something as sensational as soulmates. But I did believe in us. Hell, I believed in us without even being an us. And I will continue to believe in you. I just wish you could too. TC Mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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