It wasn’t just that I was sorry to see them go, though of course I was. Melina, my oldest friend, and her daughter Luci, my youngest goddaughter, had been visiting since Thursday–long enough that we’d normally experience the luxury of getting on each other’s nerves, especially since my railroad apartment is ideally occupied by one person at a time.
But I never minded their presence this time. I didn’t mind because I love them, and because, for the first time since my 30s, I’d grown accustomed to sharing space and time with a person I loved.
The truth is that, for all the ways the Legend could not or would not reciprocate my love, for all the ways he was generally inconsiderate, I loved sharing my hearth with him. He lived nearby, and by the end of our relationship the only time we really spent together was local. We’d go to the gym or explore our neighborhood, or he’d show up at the end of a too-quiet day for a movie and, well, bed. Crumbs, I guess (I know), but my favorite way to spend time with someone is to take a long meandering walk, to have a long meandering talk, to snuggle beneath the covers and listen to music or watch a movie–to watch the world meander by.
The Legend and I had D. all of the above. We laughed a lot and fucked a lot; we came from the same place and shared the same sensibilities and ideologies, and he always, always smelled and tasted and felt right. I have rarely if ever experienced that level of chemistry.
And now he’s gone, because I had to commit to myself even if he wouldn’t commit to me. I had to get ruthless here in my commentary in order to move us of out the half-ass stasis in which we’d been malingering since the summer. It worked, as I knew nothing else would. The Legend is first and foremost a performer; the only thing he loathes more than himself is a bad review.
I’m not worried about him reading this because he’s finally stopped campaigning for Lisa access on his terms. As I suspected would be the case, he unplugged when he didn’t like when he saw in the mirror I held up here. He unplugged when access to me would entail self-reckoning.
I take no satisfaction in being right. Knowing he never invested in our relationship doesn’t make me feel better. Nor does writing about it, but I’ve been blocked for weeks and it’s time I moved through this pain even if these disclosures are unbecoming.
Because now that I know he’s really gone, I’m ugly with grief.
Part of why I had to end it–the most urgent reason–is that the relationship was putting me in the poorhouse. The resources of the universe–namely, love–are infinite but as long we’re on this plane, we’re subject to all kinds of finities: financial, chronological, physical.
So when I stayed after assaying he’d back away from every bump in the road, I started losing money. Because by then I was was tossing good energy into a black hole, and when you’re a witch, metaphors get awfully literal awfully fast. I lost work. I lost cash. I lost hope.
As I write this, I am the brokest I’ve been in decades and terrified and desperately blue. I feel lonelier than before we got together, because being with him ushered me back into my body, where our truest feelings live. I have very little work on the horizon, and am sad enough to find my usual hustle almost impossible. I’m scared and drained and feel like I’m writing into the abyss.
It’s the thing that happens when you show your whole heart to someone and they don’t care. It’s the thing that happens when people you love give up on you. It’s the thing that happens when your pain makes it impossible to maintain a social façade.
Which is to say I’ve been crying in Whole Foods a whole lot lately.
Yesterday was yet another bad day, and when I finally pulled off the covers, the sun was already going down. I’ve been avoiding walking around my neighborhood because I haven’t wanted to encounter the glibness of the Legend in person. I know exactly what he’ll do–act cheerful and impersonal–and I know exactly how much it’ll kill me. So I’ve been doing all my local errands before his normal rising time, only going out to places where I’ll never run into him.
But I needed groceries and was too broke for more takeout and so found myself walking down Metropolitan Ave right when I could very well run into him. Part of me really wanted to see him–I miss his bright eyes, his husky voice, his generous embrace–and part of me felt cold fear about the prospect.
I hurried through my errand, and it was only as I was back on my block that the tears rose behind my eyes, o god i missed my friend so much. The last person I’d really held, the last person I’d really wanted to hold. The person I still want.
Just then a text came through–a Happy Hanukkah gif from him–and I sat on the curb and wept. Unconsciously at least, he’d felt my call, maybe even my pain, and that blip of modern technology was the most he could manage.
I keep reminding myself that only love is real and all that ever changes is form and frequency. But right now I just want the form we had, his feet finding mine in the middle of the night, his voice filling my ear, our hands holding each other as no one ever had.
Tonight is the fourth night of Hanukkah and the miracle of light in the darkness has never meant so much.