– 1 –

It would be easier to be angry
but I’m not
It would also be easier to eat
but I’m not
so I’m
sick
hungry
cold.
And this is the cycle
at least for awhile

– 2 –

You know what your problem is?
I said
laughing
so I wouldn’t cry
He looked at me
a pained look on his face.
You’re too good
I said.
I barely got a smile
before he threw it back at me
You’re the better one
he said.
So we sat there
complimenting each other
in the middle
of our breakup

– 3 –

In mind over matter
is matter heart?
Because I think matter
Brainmatter
Grey.
There is the mind
and Things That Matter
and Heart
where is Heart?

– 4 –

The person I would vent to
The person I would laugh with
I would send that funny link to
I would explain my thoughts to

We will heal
but for now
I’ve lost
my best friend

Due to things
we could probably fix
if circumstances were
different.

– 5 –

My friend said
To put the wallowing on steroids
And heal before my hike

Well.

I’m writing bad poetry

So.

But also
I got compliments on my prose
regarding the breakup –
Prose –
Not Poetry.
Bad, Poetry.
Down.

 

[Edit: Last night can now probably be known as “sobbing night”]. In honor:

I jump
each time there’s a new text
anytime my inbox count
adds a number
Hoping it will be you
And cringing if it is
Because I am not ready
Except, I am:
This is always the worst part
We shouldn’t talk
but I want to
I want to

I want to tell you about my day
I want to send you silly pictures
I want to throw my arms around you
and never let go.

But I can’t.

Tonight I realized who he was. In this book I’m reading, I’m over halfway done with, and it clicked.

I know who he is, which character. I read the sentences, and slammed the book shut.

It is him. It is him and I feel as I did soon after he left me: used.

I was nothing. I was a curiosity.

Then I became part of the routine, the one it took him two years to break. Maybe he realized he was bored. And so he left. And thank God.

He was not unfaithful, but nor was he supportive.

I can’t believe it took me this long. I read this book the first time relatively early in our relationship. I couldn’t put two and two together. It is him. Is that the fate of an English major? I recall a Venn diagram I saw once, with “The curtains were blue” at the top. The left circle was titled “What your teacher thinks it means” and had inside: The blue represented his despair… The right circle was titled “What the author meant” and had inside: The curtains were fucking blue.

I read into things too much because I was taught to. But then I get lost in books, can’t relate them to real life. They are separate.

Until revelations like this.

I was nothing. I was a curiosity.

Needless to say, this evening has taken a downward turn. But tomorrow is another day.

But damn.

Unsmiling faceI’ve basically moved past the stupid reasons he gave, the not wanting to bother attitude, the screw-your-dreams. What gets me the most is what he left me with: a lessened capacity for emotion. I’m not as good at feeling, even at kindness, as I was when I met him. And it’s hard not to get frustrated with myself for letting that happen. For not seeing so clearly how that could not work, not for me. For thinking, sure, I could get used to this, this never hearing I love you. Or much of anything, really. Besides hmmm and okay. But I got used to it for long enough that I started feeling more apathy than empathy. I’m not that person. That’s what gets me. That because of him, I’m less. I have to relearn how to love, to laugh, to take a moment to digest something before rattling off some too-logical answer. Too unfeeling.

I’m not that. I’m not. So where does that leave me? The one part of him I could never justify has attached itself to me. Me. How did this all get so twisted? I’ve become the worst part of him. And I hate it.

Sometimes I selfishly want him to come around, to want to talk, to say oops, I made a mistake. Just to tell him he is never ever getting me back. That there are things you can’t come back from. To hear him be surprised and mad I won’t talk to him. Because he made it so very clear he wanted nothing to do with me when he left. To explicitly not tell him about my AT plans for next year. There’s also this devilish part of me that hopes he’s taking a class of students camping the night I walk up to a shelter with my thru-hike pack on, and I get to tell them about my experiences, my big adventure, what it’s like, and not acknowledge we ever had anything together. To have that knowing look in my eyes as I walk past: no, I never told you, and yes, yes, yes, I can still do amazing things, without you. You would have told me how to do all of this, but this is me, without a WFR or a Master’s in Outdoor Ed, and I am doing it. And leave early the next morning, on my way. I am on my way.

PS. It occurs to me that with an uptick in traffic for my AT adventure, some followers/fans may want less personal and more AT/hiking/planning. So I’ve created a new and spiffy blog here which I will slowly work to update with my AT posts here and continue AT stuff there. thruhikeat2014.wordpress.comĀ .

Does anyone else ever think about what it would be like if they were all in the same room? Or all found you at the same time? It’s a nightmare of mine. Boyfriends. Just-friends who wanted more. Certain crushes. That they all met, that they all started asking questions. You must be. She never told me about. Oh, I heard of you. That guy. And the memories are so close, too close, and you can imagine the conversation. Their voices, the way their body leans against the wall. I daydream. Can you daydream too much? And they find me. And it’s terrifying. Because you never wanted this. But look – there they all are. The has-beens, the what-ifs, the screw-yous. Acting like they know all about me, I can see it. I watch. But they don’t. They know pieces of me, pieces I gave to them.

Sometimes I have what I call day-mares. This isn’t quite one, though it comes close. It took me a long time to figure out what all the dark daymares meant – possibly a story for another time. I won’t figure these out, fully, for awhile.

swirlingThey find me. Because I was worried he would find me. So they all do. It’s why I changed my room code, senior year of college. Three years, nearly, of trusting him with it. It wasn’t the breakup that did it. It was the Tuesday at 8am, when he was outside my door. He didn’t go to my school. He had a lot of friends there. He should have been at his school. He should have been home. I only saw him because I jumped out that morning to sign up for studio space, before anyone else could. I threw on enough clothes to cover with a long winter jacket, and came back to the dorm to properly get ready before meeting a friend for breakfast. He never entered, nothing. But it was a Tuesday. At 8am. And I got scared. He was a nice guy, a good guy. But it was the line. A week or two later I asked my parents if it was okay to charge the extra $100 to have my room code changed. Very few people know that. Know why. He doesn’t even know the truth. When he did find out I’d changed it – that some part of me didn’t trust him – he was pretty angry.

I was glad I had it changed.

Maybe that’s why. Why they all wind up finding me, in these daydreams. Or maybe it’s normal. I don’t know. I’ve only ever been in two relationships. But after each one, after the initial fall-apart, there’s this amazing feeling of freedom. Gradually, I learn to smile with a new memory and not an old. I randomly fall for someone new, or many someones new. And I’m transported to high school, remembering how fun it can be. Eye-candy, crushes, all of it. More daydreams. There’s a certain power in that. All of it, mine. To do with as I please. People can surprise you. More fun is when you surprise yourself.

The strongest friendships prove themselves during this time, right now.

I tend to be the “group photographer.” If you’re one, you know. Always playing catch-up, pausing an extra few moments to get the shot just right. Running to meet them halfway up the block. Zipping into and out of conversations. Most of you is there, but a part of you isn’t. There’s this part of you that’s soaking all of this in, not involved in discussions, just being. Just all of you, being. And so you hang behind, because this is them. These people, they’re yours. So you wait for the right moment. Catch a city shot or a scenic shot while you wait, eyeing their backs, arms slung around each other. And when it’s right, you call out: Guys! Turn around! Aw, come on! And they do, and roll their eyes (you do this a lot, in addition to playing catch-up). And smile. And it’s beautiful. This, right here, is the happiest moment. Years later, it still will be. You don’t even need to be in the picture, because you already know. Those people, in the picture, they’re smiling at you. They are happy, you are happy. Together. Whether you’re physically shown with them or not, you’re there. And those are the best pictures. Those are beautiful.