Not necessarily a true story. Just some fact and fiction woven together. But then again the written word often is…(read part one here) Do you know that feeling when you start to move on? Part of you is happy to be free of a pain that locked you up like a prison. But there’s this other small and dull but ever present throbbing inside of you that begs to be brought back to those nights full of tears when the only thought in your heart and mind were ways of how to get him back. So you close your eyes and try to force yourself to remember his face or the funny way he danced but only around you to make you laugh – your secret dancer. So you beg and plead, bargain with yourself to hold onto those broken parts of you that have somehow slowly healed – when you weren’t looking, when you were just going about your life like any of us do. Because those parts are him as much as they are parts of you.
You grasp at memories and feelings – not the ones you had with him that you recalled when you sat there crying blowing smoke out the kitchen window as the sun parts ways with the day, but those memories and feelings of what is was to be torn up inside, with a heart so heavy – a weight that you barely carry with you now because it’s become so light. You smile and regret it, cursing yourself for your newfound sense of happiness because this newfound feeling is a feeling which has nothing to do with him. Goddamn that soul for healing itself.
So I try to hold onto some of that pain. Close my eyes while I’m still awake at night and try to force my thoughts to back to all those many moments I’ve made more beautiful in my mind. Made up memories which stand in for actual events, a selfcreated version of some idealized situation which swapped out cold shoulders and angry words for embraces and acts of kindness. Or to take all those broken times with him, rough and jagged at the edges – fights and ugly words thrown around like old toys – and turn these sour moments into some ridiculously stupidly tragically romantic love sick moment that would likely be played by Rachel McAdams in a film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel where someone dies of cancer at the end. But he isn’t the last thing I think about at night if I have to force myself to think about him. And he’s not the one that got away if my heart and mind is slowly letting him go.
It’s funny how you don’t just break up once – but twice. First with a person, and then with what you had built up in your mind in the wake of his absence as the mind slowly releases its ideas of the idealized person you created in your head. A complete stranger made up of the person you wished him to be during those months you could not do anything to forget him. And now even those built up dreams and longings, fantasies made up of an imagined future, feel so distant and unimportant.
They always say you forget the voice first. But I have begun to forget the crinkles around his eyes when he laughed or the way I still loved him even when we fought. How he took his tea and the way he looked when reading the morning paper. But I guess it’s how most things go. Not slowly and then suddenly all at once, but gradually until he becomes just a whisper. Just a hot wick right after you’ve blown the candle out. The embers still glowing orange as the fight to say lit. But it’s a glow on its way out, and although the smoke trails from its tip, tomorrow morning you’ll find it’s not lit.
Photography: Sandro Mosco