A Whole Bunch Of Maybes

It’s like an old pair of shoes I know how to slip into. A worn-down, broken-in, well-read book. A place I’ve been to and grown to love. Maybe I was stranded there at one point, maybe unexpectedly in some ways, but not entirely in others.

Maybe I took a chance. Maybe I’m that person who shows up at the airport at 6 a.m. after not being able to sleep, trying to catch a flight when all the others have been canceled. Maybe I’m the person who says, “Fuck you” to the storm. Because wherever I was trying to get to was more important, was worth the risk.

Or maybe I wanted to be disappointed. Maybe I wanted another failure; a dramatic, a tragic one. Maybe I had learned how to recognize something that wasn’t going to work. A firm, irrevocable, set-in-stone, “no”. Maybe I felt comfortable with the certainty of it. Or maybe I wanted to feel brave by choosing to look it in the eye anyway…

Does it really require any bravery if disappointment is certain? Guaranteed? Or am I a nihilistic pleasure-seeker?

Maybe I just wanted to tell myself a story about myself. Maybe I’m the type of person who needs to move more than I can sit still. Who feels better off stranded in the airport than safe and warm in their bed alone?

What I do know – what lies beyond the maybes:

Your words were like wings that lifted me into the air, soaring, flying; this metal, stationary bird hurling me hundreds of miles per hour from the place that I had started, suspending me in a place that is no place, and always setting me down so gently, so remorsefully, as softly as you could onto the ground. Solid ground that was never my intended destination. Was never you.

I resisted at first. When I found out I couldn’t go back to where I came from. That this was a one-way ticket. I rebelled. I protested. I made noise like a fucking child. I tantrumed. I raged. Time and time again. Until I was so exhausted that I opened my swollen eyes and looked around. I saw where I was, where I didn’t mean to be, and learned what it felt like to be there. I gave it names and called it by them. I learned what felt good in it, and what didn’t. This place that was just for me; you were only the vehicle that had taken me to it. Of all the things, the feelings we shared, this was not one.

एक तरफ़ा प्यार की ताक़त ही कुछ और होती है।औरों के रिश्तों की तरह यह दो लोगों में नहीं बांटती।सिर्फ मेरा हक़ है इसपे। 

It is no longer such a strenuous journey to this place. This sadness. This missing you. It has been a daily commute for longer than you can imagine. I no longer feel the need to keep count. Even when I am dragged back there at the most inconvenient of times, I sit with it. Quietly, without fuss, at peace.

Maybe the truth is I like this person. This version of me. This sad, lonely me who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to say it, or to want it, knowing it doesn’t want her back, and never did, and never will.

I know what books she likes best, and we pass the time watching the light fade on my balcony, sharing cigarettes and wine. It is my communion, although I no longer go to church. Nonetheless, I can recall the dread that prefaced each confession, that first being the most difficult. Now I unabashedly proclaim my sins to a professional who tries to convince me I’ve done nothing wrong.

“I did”, I tell her without shame. “Truth is I’d do it again.” TC mark


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