It’s not just losing the great big things you dreamed about, though each one of those slipping away hurts like hell too. It’s the minutia … driving, typing, showering, reading the backs of cereal boxes … that were transformed into this magical backdrop to your suddenly-awakened imagination. The transformation back to ‘just the monotony of my life’ from ‘lovey-dovey sugar-coated imagination land’ sucks and it sucks hard.
It’s the thousand little realizations that stun you one-by-one. I’m not talking about the hundred million things that cruelly trigger memories. I’m talking about the sudden, heart-dropping moments when your heart sinks as it instantly dawns on you that you can’t do ‘x’ anymore. Or that ‘y’ will never happen like you always imagined. That ‘z’ is just a memory now and you might be the only one holding onto it.
And those damn memory-triggers. They’re everywhere if you let yourself look for them, and god knows you will. This is a pity-party like the world’s never seen and even the thoughtful words your friends comfortingly offer don’t do anything to persuade you not to endow the most minor objects with the gravest significance. Pancakes. A black Chevy. That poster at work that you used to look at and grin like an idiot because it reminded you of that one inside joke. Even certain smells (his cologne) and sounds (those songs) must be avoided for fear of triggering elusive longings.
It’s the ups and downs…
And the ups are so feeble.
It’s the dates you go on and the sinking feeling you get that this person just doesn’t compare –that maybe NO ONE does. It doesn’t matter how many fish are in the sea when you know which damn fish you want.
It’s crying after sex.
It’s the first time you see them with someone else. It’s your role and some understudy’s taken center stage. Exchanging lines with your leading man.
It’s the agony of envying your past self and the futility of desperately wishing to travel back in time.
It’s waking up as your smile fades and realizing it was just a dream.