I lay in bed and count to 100, and then once I get there, I count down back to one. I do this over and over until I fall asleep, because it keeps my mind from wandering. When I wake up, my mind automatically goes to you, not because I want it to, but because I can’t help it. Instead, I force myself to get up, and I shower and I take extra time washing my body, slowly scrubbing every inch, because I heard once that after about 35 days, skin renews itself, and I heard that the process is sped up if you scrub hard enough. I want to be new again, something you’ve never touched, so I do that every morning instead of thinking of you.
I always say yes whenever anyone asks me to hang out, because maybe it’ll be a good distraction, and maybe it’ll help me to forget. I sit in the back seat usually, with the window down, and I let the breeze whip my hair around, and I sing too loudly along with the music, and I laugh and I smile because sometimes, that’s what you need. Sometimes, all it takes is a good drive by the beach with the windows down to make the pain disappear. Sometimes it takes a cross-country road trip. Sometimes even that doesn’t help. Sometimes I feel like I could drive from New York to California and back three times and I’d still feel crippled by the pain that comes when I think of you.
I go on long walks around campus when I start to feel trapped by the walls of my dorm. The walls are decorated and fun and colorful, but my eyes are drawn to the empty spots where pictures of us used to hang. I stare at those empty spaces and I think of you and so I stop myself by walking through campus. I usually end up at the café, and I spend money I don’t have on what’s usually my third cup of coffee of the day — that’s another I thing I do instead of think of you — and I sit by the window, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone, and I stare out at the quad and I think of how beautiful it’ll start to look soon, when the trees start to bloom.
I drink too much coffee and I eat too much. Food is my drug of choice; when I’m eating, I concentrate on the flavor of the food and nothing else. I drink cup after cup of coffee, thankful for the many different places scattered throughout campus where I can get ahold of coffee at almost any hour of the day, and I pray to my roommate’s Keurig for those few hours when I can’t. I drink too much coffee because when I’m drinking it, I don’t think of you.
I spend a lot of time surrounded by other people. Sometimes, it’s nice to look around a room full of strangers, people you know nothing about, and know that everyone is going through their own personal battles. It’s interesting to think that what seems like the end of the world to me can be a laughable matter to someone else.
I tend to spend nights in bed with my roommate — I don’t do it on purpose, but I usually end up there. We spend half the night talking and the other half sleeping, and I always fall asleep with a smile on my face because I’m not alone and I’m not thinking of you.
I also spend a lot of time contemplating the idea of love and what it really means, and sometimes, I get confused and convince myself that it doesn’t exist, kind of like when you say a word over and over again until it loses all meaning. I think that’s what happened. You said it over and over again until it lost all its meaning. But I don’t think about that, I think of the concept because the concept effects the entire population of the world, not just you and me. So I think of the concept of love and how bizarre it is.
I do little things every day to keep myself from thinking of you; I go out of my way to avoid spots where we spent time together and I often waste time to ensure our paths won’t cross.
These are not things I necessarily like to do, but they are the things I have to do in order to forget about you.