Yes, we’re friends. That’s not even a question. We’ve been through so much together it’s impossible to think about. We trusted each other more than anyone else, more than our own family members even. And you’re still the person I’d call first in the event of a death or a fire or a nervous breakdown, mine or someone else’s. Well you’re probably not, but I’d still want to call you first. I haven’t shaken that instinct yet.
True, our breakup wasn’t just any breakup. It was especially painful and horrible because we wholeheartedly believed we were IT for each other and the realization that we weren’t snapped us in half like a film cut, but it’s okay now. We had our run, it was good (for the most part) and now we’re going our own separate ways. You found someone else and I’m happy for you. But I’m still not ready to see you, because I know it’s going to be hard.
It’s going to be hard because I don’t remember you not with me. I don’t know who you are outside of me. You’ve only ever been mine, kissing my fingers and putting your lips next to my ear. Watching you do these things to someone else will feel like a weird replay of my own past, only with someone else cast as me and I’ll just be watching it, confused and displaced and feeling too big for my chair.
It’s going to be hard because even though I don’t miss you, I still kind of do. But I don’t know why, I’ve checked with myself and I don’t want you back. I don’t miss your weird neuroses, your stubbornness or your chain smoking. I hated the fact that you refused to quit smoking on purpose, but it doesn’t matter now because I’m not the one who’s going to be single when you die. I bet you still don’t think you’ll get cancer. I miss your weird convictions, how you used to think you were invincible.
It’s going to be hard because it’s been so long — we’ll be like semblances of our former selves trying to embody them unsuccessfully. We’ll try to put each other at ease but it will be like drawing a thicker Sharpie line over the thin line you messed up which will result in a nebulous black blob. We’ll get drunk like we used to but not because we want to, it’s just what we remember. You’ll tell me some vague outline of your life and I’ll nod like I understand what you do at your job, but I won’t. I won’t understand a lot of things.
It’s going to be hard because no matter how great she is, I won’t be able to fake liking her. No, I’ll probably drink too much and say something mean, or drink too much and get lost inside my head. I’ll wonder what makes her so great, why you suddenly decided to call her “baby” and make me sleep on the couch. I’ll think she doesn’t know you like I do but the fact is I don’t even know you and I haven’t for awhile, though obviously I’ll ignore this fact.
I’m going to sit across the table and watch you weave your fingers into hers, chew the same crust of bread for five minutes and sip my cocktail and try to smile. I’m going to think you can’t tell her “I love you” and mean it because you’ve said it to me so many times and meant it and now you don’t so you’ve already used up that phrase, get a new phrase or keep your mouth shut. This will make me feel unhinged and I’ll find an excuse to send myself home early.
You love me differently just like I love you differently and people change and move on and blah blah, but why is this sort of distant love the hardest thing to handle? How do people handle this? Do they? Pin It