It’s happened, it can’t unhappen, you have failed. You tried to put the finishing touches on something with no foundation and now, without perfection, you are bruised after the avalanche. The muscles are stiff, the bones are raw. Your skin blisters, move on.
But you are stuck in limbo. When it comes to letting go you fight with your future, you try to convince destiny that this person needs to be present, around always. You should know better, you know all the wise words. There are billions around you, billions . . . they’re not all taken, not all spoken for . . . surely there’s someone else out there who could love you for a moment, a long enough moment.
But you’re so tired, tired of this searching, you don’t even know what you’re searching for! All you know is that forcing yourself to give up on that precious person, the one you thought might flip over the world and extinguish the cold, instead turned out to be made of stone. And you’re tired of running from your darling, of saying to yourself move on, let go, try, try.
Just one more glance! Now the letting go, the letting go, you promise yourself, or your conscience, or your friends . . . but the letting go is as exhausting as hiking up a mountain at the end of a freezing and endless day . . . my, how long the trek.
One day (weeks, months?) in that white, blank future you reach the top of the mountain and – what color were her eyes? Or you can’t remember the feeling of his touch . . . but you still remember what your darling said to you all those mornings when the future was colored and flawless. There you are at the top, and oh! you can just barely see the past down in the valley, comforting in its unreliability. Then there’s the dark blue sea on the other side, frightening, sure of itself and of its depths and that you, you up there in the wet clouds, you cannot swim. You have been told to take the dive because there are billions of fish down there and if you look hard enough, long enough, well enough, maybe if you’re good enough there will be one or two perfect fish down there that would never make you climb a mountain again.
Can you hold your breath long enough? What if you dive in and drown, what if even if you learn to swim you end up swimming alone?
So you turn around and – no, no, not back the way you came, walking back down the mountain would be quick and easy, too easy, and you’re stronger, right? You’ve been climbing mountains and falling, sinking, treading water for a little while now but, well, you’re just not a swimmer. You’ve spent some time with your bait in the water and you’ve spent time waiting for someone to come to you, but mostly you’ve been trying not to drown.
Right now you’re still in limbo, purgatory, the middle and you don’t know what to do, your heart is stretched so thin you’re afraid it can’t hold another love, another – abandonment?
It would only take a moment to lose control, to pick up the phone, to trip and scrape yourself up all over again. It took so long to let your darling go yet it takes one step to slide back down, down . . . gone.
The air is tight at the top of a mountain. The clouds envelope you, and you hold your breath.
Sliding back down wouldn’t be worth it like it was climbing up to salvation. And you know the view wasn’t half as good down there in the past, and you know the water wasn’t as warm, and you know that you, you, dear, you must learn to swim.