1) It’s winter. Hold your own hand when walking down the street. Revel in the ability to touch and be touched by someone who loves you, even the cold parts.
2) Die your hair an unnatural color. When your love doesn’t recognize you for the millionth time, you won’t recognize yourself either. This will make the leaving easier.
3) Do that silly thing. Don’t stop. Remember how you loved it, before him. When he tells you it’s silly, you won’t want to give it up; you’ll want to give him up.
4) You are a scientist. He was a discovery, a whole new species. Name him in Latin. From here on in, refer to him by only his binomial nomenclature. It hits you then that you weren’t even in the same genus. Hell, you weren’t even in the same kingdom. Maybe that’s why he never kissed you right—your hearts were in totally different places.
5) Turn beggar. Say you want to try again. Ten days later, when he drops you a quarter and you still feel homeless, realize your heart is not an empty coffee cup. Love cannot be asked for.
6) Run into him accidentally. Talk about the weather. Again, he will let you go without a fight. You’ll still cry, but this time you’ll thank him. You are a fucking birthday party, one with infinite cake selections. And after so many failures to RSVP, you’ve finally done it: You’ve stopped sending him invitations. Soon, you won’t even want his company.
7) Talk to anyone. Talk and talk until your throat is raw. Repeat the things you couldn’t say because there was always a radio on somewhere, tuned to his favorite station, and you’d hold your tongue for love. Remember that love is a conversation.
8) Don’t water your plants for a week. Watch them turn brown like your heart. This is called a pathetic fallacy for a reason. Water the damn plants already, they’re dying.
9) Hang your favorite herbs from the window over your bed. Grow roots together. When your new lover asks why you put up with the falling soil, don’t tell him the truth: that sometimes you wake up from forgetting how to breathe. You’d rather need lavender than an oxygen tank.
10) The hardest step: You meet someone new. He will be warm in the ways you are cold. Maybe your silly thing will be his favorite thing. And when you hold out your hand, you will feel at home. Then one day, without your asking, he will simply give. You won’t understand, you will wonder why. You won’t believe him. Find a way. That’s survival, a smooth landing.