What did I learn from us? I wake up every morning with a burning sensation in my chest. Is it my heart breaking apart at the seams? Or is it just chemicals coursing through my body and settling in the valves, waiting to be expunged, like a drug that wears off over time? I let my body burn and recede into my mind. Was I as good as I could have been to you? Was I good to myself? Review everything. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. I just need to find it. The burning subsides around mid-day and I keep searching.
Have I learned anything from you? I tried and tried to be the one for you. The one who made you feel safe and loved to the point where you didn’t question your own existence. I saw you suffer and let my own demons rest while I donned a cape to save you. Did I say everything I could to save you? I don’t even have all the words. Who am I to save anyone? You looked at me that one day in that one hotel room and said you were going for coffee. But, your eyes… They filled with tears and, before you could leave, I grabbed you and held you tight. I asked you what was wrong. What a stupid thing to say. Even though I didn’t know, it didn’t need to be said. I didn’t have the words. I didn’t have the strength to be your savior. So, I let go. And you left. Abruptly. As if you were escaping from something horrible. Something unseen there in that one hotel room. High up, away from life, a box of things that mean nothing. But, me. I was still there. Left alone with those things.
Was there anything to learn? I tell myself that there was. That there were many things that I could have learned. I just can’t find them. Examining our conversations, your movements, your proclamations. Maybe I need to examine my own. I have and there is nothing there. I wake up with that burning. It runs down my arms and I shiver. I lay there, waiting for it to go away. I examine. And wait. And examine more. But, nothing comes to light. The burning will go away around mid-day and I will continue on. Like a tragic figure on the sidewalk, head down, walking. Just walking. I remind myself where I’m going and it seems futile. Because I’m not going toward you. I’m not bringing you words of wisdom or gifts from the heart or revelations to your soul. I’m just walking.
Maybe there was nothing to learn. Nothing at all. Not every experience has to have a reward or punishment in the end. Not every day is a closing or opening. It was just another experience in a long line of pain. It was your pain, not mine. I made it my own out of love. But, I didn’t need to. I have my own life to live. Yours on top of mine was too much to bear, though I didn’t know it at the time. Now, I’m just left with my own. I had to let you go. I had to. But, you are still in there. Part of that burning is you. I just have to wait until mid-day.