The sun is too bright and the rain brings no relief. The air is stale and I feel my skin is made of dust.
Nothing is sweet as it was. I forgot how empty it is to feel so completely alone; knowing that it’s not just a matter of distance or time that is between us seeing each other again.
My fingers are shaking as I write this because I’m going through withdraws. I don’t think you ever understood why I become cold to you sometimes. If I didn’t distance myself I would have been unable to avoid depression and codependent obsession. Like an alcoholic, I don’t want just a little sip of you. My body and mind need you. When I don’t know where you are, my heart knows you’re starring in some one else’s porno or romantic comedy. Being cold is the only way I know to avoid becoming a monster.
And that potential monstrousness I fear in me makes me scared to indulge in being the one to take initiative to call, to write, to touch, to hold, to love … I constantly seem uncertain if I have permission to even ask for anything.
Every shiver is another unreasonable expectation that attempts to escape and take control of me. I go crazy just at the thought that we’re done that rises every time we’re apart.
You grew up in a stable environment, feeling safe and surrounded by those you trusted. It seems like you constantly find yourself in stable situations no matter how much you try to escape.
I grew up alone and feeling acutely the instability of not only my surroundings but the relationships I managed to develop. It seems like I constantly find myself cut loose from shore, adrift in a leaky ship over which I have no control. I find myself surrounded by instability and change no matter how hard I try to build things to which I can hold on.
The short time I lived in Olympia longer than I have ever lived anywhere. I don’t know what it is like to have a place I really can call home, and so that’s part of why I was so desperate to hold on. I was also desperate to hold on because I knew that I have not been able to hold on to many friendships after moving, and have no experience with maintaining something like what we have had together.
My relationship with you has been the longest contiguous relationship I’ve had with anything, anyone or any place. I have not lived anywhere longer than the place we shared together. I have not lived with anyone longer than we lived together, not even my own family, since my parents divorced before I entered first grade. Not since before I was old enough to be in school have I lived with anyone else as long as with you.
The next closest stable thing in my life other than you has been with my cats and my things, books and other evidence I keep to remind myself that there’s been something that connects my past to my present. Everything else has come and gone. Maybe some comes back on occasion, but I find it very hard to forgive any absences. Any absence just proves that nothing has changed how much pain there is in the way everything changes.
I desperately try to create some sense of stability. Things that disturb what little security I can create for myself deeply scare me. And, you have been both a far more reliable and stable part of my life than I ever expected; but also a source of constant disturbance with your vibrant activity and desire to not get stuck in place.
I feel constantly over stimulated by the pull away from stability you provide, but you have also helped me to learn that not all change results in loneliness and pain. I both fear you and love you for that part you’ve played in my life.
I’m 38 now. The last 5 years with you have been the most stable in my entire life. I really started, before it fell apart, to hope that stability would finally last. I didn’t, and still don’t, want to let go. I hold on to each little bit of that stability that I can. I kept seeing parts of that stability fall away, and that made me more scared and certain that what else I was holding onto would not last past my feeling of need for it all.
It seems to me that even the worst constancy is better than the best transitory, because even the worst thing lasting leaves some sense of security when fleeting joy leaves only bruises from a beating sense of loss as it retreats.
But, I can’t call you because that’s a reminder of how much less a call is than touching you. I can’t touch you because that’s a reminder of how much less a touch is than making love to you. I can’t make love to you because that’s a reminder of how much less making love is than some imaginary perfect lover could be to you than I am to you.
So, instead of making love, I try to touch you. But, instead of trying to touch you, I try to say the perfect thing to you. But, instead of trying to say the perfect thing to you, I end up doing absolutely nothing because nothing can be perfect.
Because nothing in my life has ever stayed the same, I am afraid that I can’t talk to you, touch you or make love to you even though I want to do all of those all of the time.
And, being away from you seems to only confirm the slippery slide of my worst fears about the way of the world. Every second tics away like a cruelly pounding headache.