Falling In Love With The Past: I’m Still Thinking About You

ethermoon
ethermoon

I keep wanting to write about him, but deciding not to. Instead, I find a movie to distract myself with. I’ll make an OkCupid profile and then immediately delete it because someone messages me: “Would a nice Jewish girl like a sugar daddy?” I want to call him and tell him because I know we’d laugh until our sides beg for forgiveness.

I’ll text a friend.

I’ll call my mom and she’ll ask how I am. She’ll ask innocuous questions and my answers will go places I don’t expect.

“I think about him a lot lately.”

She reminds me it’s been a long time and things happen the way they do. Not always for a reason, but they happen, nonetheless. Dwelling makes us sick. Idolizing the past is a recipe for current unhappiness.

“I miss him too, you know,” she says, her voice softened.

The thing is, you can love someone for a really, really long time. It might change. It doesn’t always look the same. I wondered for a while if it was nostalgic — if I just enjoyed thinking about ghosts. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done it.

But that wasn’t it. My loneliness has nothing to do with being alone. I’m realizing. My loneliness is from losing him. As a friend. As a lover. As a person in my life.

Talking on the phone, hearing his voice, I remembered. He was my person. Not just a boyfriend. He was my person.

You know, we grow apart from people. It’s an inevitable fact and one that will never change. Loss is a guaranteed aspect of life. So losing him wasn’t bizarre. In fact, it was at my own hands. I had so many moments to fix it, to try and give it another chance. Sitting in the parking lot of Zachary’s Pizza, his hopeful face inches from mine.

So maybe I did this. Maybe I was the one who needed freedom and exploration, but figured we’d find each other down the road. I never thought our roads would be so far apart, even when we are a mere 30 miles away.

We were once 3,000. And now, a short drive and I could see him again. I could see us again. Maybe. I don’t know.

I thought about him while I had sex with a boy in Los Angeles recently.

That’s not okay, is it?

It’s not okay to still think about him, is it?

I want to be 18. Just for one more night. Drive-in movie theaters and staying awake for hours, just looking at each other. Nobody has looked at me that way since. And even when they come close, I call them the “T eyes.”

I use his name. He is always the measuring tool. And they never really measure up, do they? TC mark

Ari Eastman

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

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