Tuesday, June 08, 2004

JUNE 8, 2004 (TUESDAY)

Backsliding

You know that you are backsliding when even the cracks on the sidewalk reminds you of him. When you start wondering if he has finished writing his papers already. When you start singing "Weekend in New England" (the Jennifer Hudson version) inside your head. When everything takes on a lackluster quality, as if the world has been washed over with a damp brush and the colors are muted, silenced.

You try and pull yourself together, tell yourself that there's nothing more to be done, and that he will not appreciate any sort of contact as of the moment. You try and shut out his voice in your mind, the sensation of skin on skin under the blankets, of the computer light illuminating the angles of his face. You try and tell yourself that there is the future to look forward to, that your friends are always there to catch you if you fall, that you are hanging on to life by your fingernails - but still hanging on.

You try to stop wishing for a time machine that can make you go back to when you were still all right. You try not to think about how you hurt him, and how he now hurt you back. You know you've forgiven him for that emotional sucker punch that left you gasping for air in the middle of the FC parking lot, never mind the dramatics of the rain and Dell running after you with your lavender umbrella when you stalk off. But the memory is still painful, and you try to put things in perspective by telling yourself that you will wake up one morning and everything will be okay.

You try to stop wishing that you could jump on a plane going to Timbuktu to escape all the reminders of him. You try and remember those John Mayer songs that you've been listening to - not the ones from his first studio album, of course, because if you hear "Your Body is a Wonderland" you might break down. You try and look at the Wheel of Fortune card from your tarot pack and remember that everything that goes down must, ultimately, come up again. You try and remember that God has sent a sign already.

You dig your nails into your palms in an attempt not to cry. Your eyes are already sore from crying. You try and laugh along with your friends at school, and look forward to writing again. You try and start planning for your thesis. Your brain starts hurting from all these thoughts and you think that perhaps he's right, you do think too much. But, you wanted to tell him, I have to think too much - that's what my craft requires of me. I cannot apologize for something that's inherent.

You try to stop thinking of him as The One. Perhaps there will be others in the future. You do not want to end up sad and bitter and scarred for the rest of your life. You hope for forgiveness, but you do not expect it anymore. You try and keep your life open in case he might want to talk again, but for the moment, you just try and give yourself time to heal.

You stop asking God if you've done anything wrong to deserve this. You stop jumping up in surprise when your phone buzzes with an SMS message - you know it's not him. You pray to God to take care of him, even from a distance, and to give him perseverance, strength, and hope. You start trying to pull all the strands of your life back together. You start trying to stop associating things and places with them. (And then you remember that you want to tell him that the flowers he's been giving you, it's called star lilies.)

You try and take a deep breath.

You try and un-remember, unravel, understand.

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