the fall

Carry me home, got my blue nail polish on
It’s my favorite color and my favorite tone of song
I don’t really wanna break up, we got it going on
It’s what you gathered from my talk, but you were wrong

Switching out my blue and red nails for rose gold, a few more days at home with old friends who feel like honey before recruitment and work and classes start back up and I’m anxious again because I don’t know how it’s going to be. Seeing him, at tailgates and parties and with other girls, watching him play it cool and pretend nothing happened, like he never cared about me at all. I don’t know why it matters; it doesn’t and yet, it does. All I know is that I’m likely to break down again because part of me always figured there would be a rendezvous, even as I was moving on, and I’m starting to think maybe I was wrong. Always the fool. The worst part is knowing I’m better off, yet still wanting to be wanted. To have him acknowledge how shitty he was, to get a real apology. It’s a waste of time wanting things you’ll never get.

“How does it feel to know I love this dog more than you?”

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fragments

cerulean skies, palm trees swaying in the wind, all leafy green and spindly, warm sand that never gets too hot and saltwater that sticks to your skin as the sunscreen melts off and swirls in the ebb and flow of the waves. grenadine and sunshine and stretching my body toward the horizon at eight a.m., the sea breeze tickling pastel verandas as lazy days spent lying on a canopy bed drift past, wooden slats making the sun and shadows dance across me to a song only they know. reading Jack Kerouac and listening to LANY and wondering where it’s all going, all these bits and fragments that make up my life, that never seem to make sense until i turn around and look back and aha, there it is. hindsight is 20/20 but you can’t blame yourself for knowing things now that you didn’t then. so i run mad but never faint, feeling my core tighten while trying not to pinch myself in the wrong places. sometimes i want a cigarette even when i don’t need one – you never need one – and i don’t yet know the difference between learning from the past and carrying baggage i should’ve left behind. how do i protect myself without hurting someone else? i think a lot now about being alone but sometimes it’s lonely and i worry i’ll cave in the end; old habits die hard. how can it matter though, when there’s a great big world out there filled with adventures and experiences and growth, when i’m twenty and still have so much more living to do. i’ve taken eighteen flights this summer and i’m already dreaming of my next one, images of a green and blue landscape, white surf and wildlife floating through my mind. there are so many places to go, so many people i haven’t met yet. don’t you know only fools are satisfied?

somebody else

Turkish coffee over a wooden table, steaming with sugar. Silly nicknames and a dark mane full of curls tied up in a knot. Green eyes like you’ve never seen before and pale skin, paler than you’d expect from someone with such strong Mediterranean heritage. Feet stepping in sync on the way to buy drinks; a two liter beer split between us and then some. Snickers in the back of the car as we act like we’re twelve years old, pear schnapps and a kids meal shared between us as we laugh and talk for hours in a dimly lit room. A blunt invitation, promptly accepted, and cigarettes passed back and forth as I tell him about home and he points out constellations in the starry sky. It was a whirlwind in the best kind of way.

Back at his place, all creaky stairs and a slanted roof framing a cozy cabin-like room lit up by an orange quilt and white lace curtains that seem wholly out of place. They do little to hide our bare skin from the world beyond, but that just adds to the thrill of it. Hours go by in the pale moonlight. How consumed we become with our flesh; like wolves hunting in the dead of winter, paying no heed to the howls we leave in our wake.

A half-hearted sleep in a tiny bed, very civil given the circumstances. It wasn’t that kind of fling, the touchy, cutesy, maybe-we’re-in-love kind that grew old for me after last summer – I know better now. No, this was passionate, carnal; we were connected but less feeling. After all, I’ve built a fortress around myself and have no intention of lowering the drawbridge for anyone so soon.

Twice more, his hand on my foot, my calf, then all over me, touching parts of me I didn’t know I had. More coffee, salted cashews, a steaming shower. Then me, backpack hoisted over my shoulders, sauntering off to catch my bus. Legs shaking, but not from the weight. Better than anything I could have dreamt up, and well worth the wait. And to think that I would have missed out on it all had a small-minded boy back home simply realized I was enough.

Life is funny sometimes, but in this, I had the last laugh.

a month

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

it took three weeks to be okay. three raging, sorrowful, desperate weeks. three weeks of not recognizing who i was, and of that terrifying me. and then it was like a switch flipped and suddenly i was myself again. i don’t think about it much anymore; i’m surprised by how little he crosses my mind. it’s incredible how the heart feels like it will never heal and yet, it does. we’re more resilient than we think, aren’t we? 

i can’t even begin to describe how refreshing it is to be me again. it was like waking up from a dream, or emerging from a warm bath after holding my head underwater. i feel so much lighter, more free – like my future is wide open with possibilities again. i’d nearly forgotten what that felt like.

it’s easy now to remember how big and magnificent the world is, and how many amazing people there are to meet. to not be sad that he isn’t mine anymore, especially when who he’s become in the last month is a stranger to me. and to relish in the happiness that independence can bring. i’m not looking for anything, wasn’t looking when he stumbled into my life, but i know i’ll love and be loved again. it was a beautiful thing while it lasted and i learned so much about myself and what i want (or don’t want) in a partner someday. i wouldn’t go back and erase it, despite how badly it ended and how much i hurt. 

you can tell me when it’s over if the high was worth the pain

i just hope this newfound peace lasts.

a week

from yesterday

what a difference a week makes.

it’s so nice to finally feel like i can write again. i know it’s only been a week, but that week seemed to drag on for an eternity and there were some low points when i wondered whether i would ever be able to write about what’s happened, or move on from it. i say move on because i’m not sure anyone really gets over something like this. i’d like to forgive him, someday, and i know i’m far from ready to do that right now but i don’t want to hold onto this or hold it against him forever, regardless of whether our lifelines cross again. keeping that goal in mind helps to dull the anger when it arises, knowing that i’m allowed to feel it right now but that i won’t always. 

i haven’t slept all week and this morning when i needed to pack, the exhaustion hit me like a truck. still, i managed to fill my 60 liter backpack to about the 45 liter mark, leaving plenty of room for anything i buy along the way or to keep it as a carry on. i bought a sweatshirt in the toronto airport and it’s soft and red and fuzzy – at least i’ll be cozy in the hours ahead. already, i feel like this trip is making a world of difference in my mood and mindset. travel opens your mind and reminds you how big the world is, how many people and possibilities and paths there are out there for you to meet and take. it makes me hopeful. 

i’ve been drawn to color lately. maybe it’s the sunshine, or maybe it’s because my moods are so dark. either way, i packed a surprising amount of color for this trip, especially compared to my usual travel wardrobe. there’s a lot of gray in there too but hey, that’s life isn’t it? 

my psychologist asked me yesterday what my experience with loss and grief is. looking back on my life so far, i’m really lucky not to have lost many loved ones – my dog is still alive, the two significant deaths I’ve dealt with were due to terminal illnesses and thus not surprising (though still sad), and the third was when i was too young to really understand or appreciate loss. i’ve had frustrations romantically, but only one that i considered heartbreak at the time and it was very different from this one. i was infatuated, i was devastated that it literally couldn’t work out, that we couldn’t give it a chance because of real logistical reasons. losing someone i actually love, because he suddenly decided he didn’t want to be with me, has been another level of devastation. i didn’t just lose the potential of something good, i actually lost something. someone. 

how did he talk himself out of love?

– tell me so i can do the same.