Its 5 am
And I am up.
I wake up almost every day at 5 and I force myself back to sleep. Today I cannot. Too many thoughts. Too much to do.
We used to text each other in the wee hours. Both up around 5:30. I was writing before work, he was hitting the gym before school.
Sometimes, twice if I am being honest, I can feel him peeking at me in the morning dark. Once in a dream and once awake. I saw him looking at me.
I am not sure if I can articulate the elation I feel when I see an email notification or hear the bing of a text. Nor can I summarize my disappointment when it’s just another garbage email, or roomie asking me where something is.
It’s been 14 days since he left. Abruptly.
I was given permission to go crazy for the first 72 hours, and I did. I thought about trying to find him, driving 5 hours in the middle of the night, getting up with the sun to try to find the orange house with the red door in a town I haven’t been in since I was 8 years old. I recalled, with great clarity that he was 5 minutes from here, 25 minutes from there and I triangulated which streets I had to drive along to find him. I found a motel near him called the Time Travelers Inn or something like that, took it as a sign from god.
I took everything as a sign from god. Lyrics here, billboards there, old memes I had left myself in my memories on Facebook. Even the story of how I came to be. My parents met, my dad went to war, my mom waited. My dad came back, went a little crazy and ran off to California. My mom waited some more then drove across the country to bring him home. This is my legacy and reason for being.
I have no knowledge of any conversations that transpired between my parents after my dad returned stateside. Maybe I am just not as tenacious at 43 as my mother was at 23.
I am the sum of my wounds that won’t heal. I am used to being abandoned.
I wrote an article about what happened, I sent it to him, I regretted it.
Unfinished Symphonies. That is what this feels like to me…like we hadn’t even gotten to the good part yet and then it was gone. Looking like a limb torn off*.
I cried in an Ikea.
And I cried some more.
After the 3 days had passed I sent another email. It went unanswered.
None of this is fair, and yet it’s happening.
I don’t know why. Except that we were new and he went dark.
He had no idea what I am capable of handling and he chose to leave. Before I got to show him my favorite things, poems, pictures, songs…all the things that reminded me of him before we even met. I realized, before he left that I had been looking for him for a really long time.
I never told him that
Had this happened a month from now I could’ve known what to do. We could’ve had a plan. Or, I suppose if we are making wishes, I could’ve freed myself earlier and saved him some hurt as well. He’d been scratching at my door for almost a year before I let him in. I regret that too. I didn’t know.
I know this has happened before. This is my wheelhouse. I loved a man who was incurably sad and angry. I still do, he is numbered among my best friends. He lets me be me and supports me without question or agenda. I used to reach out very gently and tentatively. Checking on him once a week or so. Sometimes I would drive an hour to see him, shaking the whole way. Bring him candy, I called it reverse trick or treating. One time there was a mudslide and the 60 minute drive took 4 hours and I had to pee in a coffee cup with the car in park on the off ramp. But I made it, he laughed at my stubbornness and we had wings.
I’m speaking of the Hulk. I called him that with reason. He would rage and turn green, then shrink back to giant sized and have a world of regret on his shoulders. I couldn’t carry it for long, he wouldn’t let me. But I tried.
Everything about him belonged out west and not with me.
I accept this.
It helped that he didn’t shut me out. Sometimes I would drive the hour and he couldn’t muster anything but a hug. And I would hand him his candy and drive an hour back.
I ran to him for answers when this one left. Did he think me strange, crazy, pushy or rude?
He laughed and said no, I made him feel loved.
I would drive an hour or 5 to give someone that feeling, even if it just meant standing on the doorstep for 5 minutes and driving home. It’s who I am.
This new one made me feel cherished, protected, cared for and home.
I wish I could have given that back to him.
I just want to be let back in the house.
(Band of Horses*)