It's funny, the things we wish for. I've been waiting for this for a while. Thinking that it would bring about some level of closure. Like a permission slip to move on, an ending that would weigh down my baggage enough for me to break free and float up to the surface. To break through and breathe again.
And yet, just the sight of your handwriting is enough to bring me to my knees. Just the reminder that there is a living, breathing, writing human being out there who I used to love with every cell of my being.
I tear open the triangular seal and see typed writing through the backside of a folded letter. You wrote. You said something real. Maybe it's an invitation. An honest disclosure of feeling. One soul reaching out to another. Or maybe it's a goodbye, a release. That thing I've been waiting for. All those articles I've been reading about how to let go of the past finally leading to something real.
But no, how silly of me. It's the same cold, emotionless communication you've been giving me all along. A contract. An explanation of details. A photocopied severing of the heart.
And a check. Logical, feeling-less numbers. The details, the formalities. The end. Real. Not a nightmare, not my imaginings. But real, cruel life.
And with that, it's over. All the formalities, all the details, all the
back and forth e-mails come down to this. Ten years of a love story I
thought would last forever, ended in a check, enclosed in envelope, and
sealed with the tongue you used to kiss me with so fiercely it made my
heart beat out of my chest.
The tears come. I have nothing to stop them with. My body slumps against the wooden doors of my cabinets as I sink down to the hardwood floor of the kitchen. My body is wracked with the sobs and I don't even try to fight them. I am carried, like sea foam on a wave. I am the pain body. I am heartbreak incarnate. And no, I don't care how melodramatic I'm being at the moment. This is real. This is the end I've been fearing for so long.
I wonder in this moment, if the pain I experienced while we were together is actually worse than this. If I chose this over that because it really was worse. And the answer, of course, is no. This pain is much worse than anything I could have imagined in fantasy, nightmare or daydream. Because it's not just in my head. Because it's actually happening. Breathe- this is real. You can't wake up from it.
And they all say the same thing: it's good. The fact that I'm capable of experiencing this, of being mindful to this, of really living in this. The fact that I'm not closed off to this pain. The fact that I can inhabit it, the same way as I inhabited love. This is the gift. This is life.
So I cry. And I scream. And I let my face contort in ways that hurt my face. And I allow myself the moments of pure, unadulterated pain. I surrender. I surrender.
And tomorrow, life will go on. And the reassurances that I've done the right thing, the only thing, will repeat themselves in my mind. And I will be fearless and fierce and brave. I will live.
But for now, in the quiet of my kitchen and the still of this late March evening, I will hold the check and allow myself the space to die... in the hopes that by letting you go, I will finally live.