Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why a year is a long time, and not very long at all

If I could borrow a line from one of my favorite blogs and twist it to my own uses: "Mid-April has so many anniversaries. Columbine. Waco. Oklahoma City. Virginia Tech." And, one year ago today, James and I broke up. "Break up" really is the best way to describe it; it's like a compound fracture. And after the initial nauseating, breath-taking agony, then the bone has to be set, and you go through it all over again. You immobilize the limb, try not to bump it or jostle it too much; you are cautious of it, you protect it, and keep your distance from anyone who might inadvertantly knock against it. Then the cast comes off, and you look in horror at the white, withered limb, atrophied from disuse. But eventually you start using it again, you sit outside in the sun, and to anyone else, it looks normal. And for the most part it is, although it still aches every once in a while, and every time it rains. 

It's funny, the anniversaries you remember, keep track of, and those you don't. When we were together, we never celebrated our anniversary. We didn't even know what our anniversary was, what it would be. When you're not married, what do you consider the most important first? The first date? The first kiss? The first time you sleep together? The first I love you?

Our first date was on some forgotten day in mid-May. Our first kiss a couple weeks later. He asked me if he could call me his girlfriend on his roommate's birthday. He told me he loved me on his birthday. And then, three years later, our last kiss. A night like any other night. It was brief, business-like, the kiss. I was upset, and so I gave him a quick, dry-lipped peck, and he left. His roommate was waiting in the car, there was no time to make up, anyway. But I didn't know it would be the last kiss. I didn't know yet. It was a night of lasts, wholly unavoidable and unchangeable, and I didn't even know it yet. Then, the last phone call. Then, the last e-mail. 

And then all of a sudden it was firsts again. First minute without him, first hour, first day. First year. And it's ok, I'm ok, but it still aches, every once in a while. Please excuse me. Allow me just a bit of sentimentality today. 

The little cracks they escalated...Before we knew it was too late.

Lies, by Glen Hansard, from the movie Once


  1. You've been tagged.....xoxoxoxo

  2. Can I just congratulate you on learning more about the completely awesome person who is YOU? Through an admittedly sucky process. The broken bone analogy is a good one; we never know what our bodies or hearts are capable of until we give them a real challenge to mend. And that piece that had to heal, through time and trying, and crying, is something new that you did deliberately - and it's the strongest part.

  3. Erin, you are awesome, and you are going to be a therapist extraordinaire. One day soon I'll be paying you a hundred dollars an hour for these same words of encouragement and pithy wisdom. (So I better take advantage while it's still free!)

    Thanks, babe.