Why can’t you be what I want you to be all the time? Not just 4 days a week, but 7 days a week? Why can’t you show me the love that I know you have to feel for me because I have given it to you?
You are tall, you are slim, you are southern and you are in my eyes the most gorgeous man alive. When you are high or drunk, you are absent. You are not funny. You are not kind. But I know that’s not you.
When we used to hold hands, you would rub the webbing between my thumb and my index fingers. Tiny, incalculable movements to show me you were there. When did you start to disappear?
When we used to sit together, on the sofa – the dirty, uncomfortable sofa, but the only one I could find when I moved to New York that would fit in my tiny apartment on the Upper East Side – when we would sit there, sometimes you would lean forward, pause the TV and look at me. I knew what was coming. You were about to tell me how much you love me. In a tone of voice that let me know that it shocked you almost as much as it shocked me. I never think my reaction was adequate. I think I usually said thank you, cocked my head to the side and said something like “Oh babe. I love you too.” That’s not enough. I should have known exactly what to say to speak to your heart the way you spoke to mine.
And then that all stopped. I got angry and confused – which came first, the confoundment or the pain? The drifting or the despair?
Will you ever stop invading me? Will your grip on me ever cease? Will I ever see you for what others, including you, see you as – and tell me to see you as? An addict, a failure, a low-class piece of trash? I could never convince them (or you) to see you what I see you as – a brilliant, sensitive, kind, flawed, complicated, incredible person. But maybe – definitely – in the middle, the truth lies.
I miss the good times. I miss the laughs. I miss the fun we used to have when we would get so drunk together, before I knew that it was poison for you and medicine for me. I love getting drunk with you. I miss it.
You’ll move on, won’t you? Will I? My therapist, he asks me if I can conceive of dating again. I tell him, I assume that it’s a possibility. I say “I know there’s probably someone out there that I could date at some point, but I don’t know who he is, I don’t know what he looks like, I don’t know where I’ll meet him, I don’t know what…I don’t know anything other than maybe he’s out there.” I don’t even know if I’ll ever open my heart to another.
This is supposed to be about you. But isn’t me about you? Were we co-dependent? Or were we as deeply in love and enmeshed in each other as I thought we were? You seem so pleased with your life now – it’s you, your roommates, your 40s, your pot, your self-examination, your porn, your whatever. I have the dog, I have the big apartment, I have the giant tv, but where am I in your life, and where are you in mine?
I’m filling up my time with things like tonight. When will my life stop being filler and start being life. When will I let you go?
I hate that. I hate that I’m talking about me when I’m supposed to be talking about you. This is about you, isn’t it? It always is. Tonight is no different.