Change your ringtone. Find a new place to get loaded. Kiss a stranger and make sure there are witnesses. Focus on the details you can control; clean the gunk from the soles of your shoes. Degunk everything you can, as often as you like. Make a list of the things he kept you from doing, the haircut or the tattoo or whatever. Do the things. When you have the urge to text him, floss your teeth instead. Stop checking social media for signs that he misses you, you will not find what you’re looking for. Close every window in your apartment and at full volume play “Changed the Locks” by Lucinda Williams, over and over till you can sing it backwards. Take a walk and be grateful there’s no one there to steer you in any one direction. Get lost if you like. Learn a new language, one he doesn’t speak. Remember the bad times and how you tricked yourself into believing they were good. Hold onto that dumb, blind optimism with all ten fingers. When the new moon arrives, write his name on a piece of paper and draw an X through it. Shred the paper and keep it in an ashtray. When the full moon arrives, burn the pieces to ash and scatter them in the wind. This is one way to set an intention. Tell a girl you don’t know that you like her hair. Feel the relief of losing something you sometimes wanted to replace, anyway. Nothing’s perfect. Develop an internet crush on someone who lives so far away that they can’t hurt you. Call your long distance friends and ask after them and don’t say his name once. Place one hand on your knotted stomach or heart and use two fingers from the other hand to tap the base of your neck. Inhale and exhale. Tap and breathe and close your eyes while reminding yourself that you’re still here, even if he’s not. You still have a body and a mind and those are yours to keep. Go on a first date with someone you won’t want to see again. Drink as much wine as your stomach can hold and tell him your secrets and don’t apologize once. Vulnerability can be a weakness or a strength.
Originally published here.