Submitted by megan on Sat, 11/01/2008 - 22:56
It was a year ago this weekend that Eric and I had the conversation marking the beginning of our end.
I still remember the details vividly: my opening salvo in the dark; the solid clack clack as I turned the beside lamp to its brightest setting; our squinting eyes; his pale, narrow frame leaned up against the wall, shoulders curled forward, the sheets up high and tight across his chest; the warmth of his arm across my back before I asked him to stop touching me. His reluctance to break the connection.
10, 9, 8 months ago, I wasn't sure I was going to survive how much that break up hurt. It wasn't a wail of "I'll never be happy again!" It was wondering whether that much pain might physically stop my heart.
Not that it was any special kind of pain. It was a normal kind of break up pain, the kind that most of us have lived through before. I wasn't clinically depressed, I could tell that even through the aching haze. Just sadder than I'd ever been before.
At least I thought. But I also wondered if my memory were askew, if it were just because it was my most recent heartache.
But chatting with Shelley over dinner at Domus a week or so ago, the Shelley who's known me for 8 years and nursed me through some doozies, I had my suspicions confirmed.
Our wine came, we raised our glasses.
"Here's to a good winter," she said.
"Indeed!" we clinked, sipped. I finished my thought: "Better than last, that's for damn sure."
And that's when she said it.
"I have never seen you as sad as you were last winter."
Mostly, I think, because there was nothing to cut the grief. In my other break ups that have hurt that much, the sad has contained another thick vein, comprised of relief, of righteous anger, of earned bitterness. A vein that could be easily condensed into: Thank God, No More Bullshit.
The day after Eric and I broke up, my first blurry morning thought was the same first blurry morning thought I'd been having for the past 8 or 10 weeks. "Eric. love. me?"
That morning, I knew the answer. I enjoyed about 5 seconds of experiencing that knowledge as relief before I realized its repercussions. And started crying.
It was a few months before I really stopped. Not bad, in the grand scheme of things, a few months of tears. Not the worst thing a person could go through, certainly not the most damaging. But it did make for one long fucking winter.
Obviously, the memory of that night has been with me the past few days, made me thoughtful, somewhat melancholy. But mostly, it's made me realize that the one year breakupiversary is only six weeks away. In those first three months, when I was worried about the continued beating of my heart, a year seemed like never.
A year is not never. It is almost now.
The relief is a welcome surprise.