I only ever miss you when I’m lonely. Late at night and in the morning, when I wish your body was close to mine.
The day after we broke up, I woke up crying, and thought, “Oh, shit. This can’t be good.” For the few days I really mourned us, when *missing you* rained—for lack of a fresher formulation—it fucking poured.
That same day, though—the day my eyes saw tears before they saw sunlight—I went to be with a friend. And immediately, in the company of somebody who loves me, I remembered I love me—without you—too.
“Back when we were so in love we didn’t know what it was.” Denis Johnson wrote that, and when I read it, my heart split open. I paled, thinking, “What if… what if… what if I never know love like that again?” You left me so cold, so shaken, scared stiff.
But I’ve realized since, love, that when the end finally arrived, the You I fell so bravely, so consciously in love with no longer existed. You lost me, because you don’t know where You are. And now, I don’t miss you, for most of the day, because, though we broke up barely two weeks ago, I haven’t been with You for ages. That’s the good news.
Still, late at night and in the morning, I wish your body was close to mine. But only then. Only then, because a warm body is nice to have close when I go to sleep, and when I wake up. Your warm body was nice to have close. And the stuff inside it was even nicer. Some time ago.
The days have passed quickly since we said our ugly goodbyes. I didn’t think they would. I thought each day would crawl by, wearing me out with its critical lack of you in it. But while I think and write about you often, your absence has far from consumed me.
You are the first boy I ever loved, by a long shot. And I’m sure I’ll hold every man who comes after you to the impossibly high standard of how much I loved you when we were at our best. But *missing you* does not own me. Not like I thought it would. That’s the even better news.
Buried inside me is the half-baked hope that, one day, you’ll be back in my life. I’ve been told that’s a normal thing to half-hope for, in the wake of breakup like ours. But I’m not designing my life with you as a pending desire.
I don’t feel sad when you come up in conversation. Or when I see a happy couple that reminds me of us. I don’t feel sad without you. I feel like me.
That is, until I go to bed and think, “Wouldn’t it be nice if he were here.”