The world is sharper now. Less fuzzy around the edges. Unlike the last couple days, I am clear.
My first thought waking up was, “I haven’t sung in a really long time.”
That’s unlike me. I get up slowly, like my limbs are made of lead. Partially because I feel so heavy.
Partially because no one should EVER be this hungover.
I put on some Etta James, and hum a few bars. My voice sounds distant, detached, a little shaky. For a woman who’s been constantly praised for the strength of her belting alto, this comes as a shock to even me.
I let Etta do it. She sings and my soul feels eased. I love the smoky depths of her voice. A few songs in she starts to sing the opening strains of one of my favorites.
“I want a Sunday kind of love, a love to last past Saturday night…”
I love me some Etta. And I love this song. I start thinking about the words.
Don’t we all want that Sunday kind of love?
I’ve always dreamed of having someone to lay around the house with on Sundays, cook for, watch all the games with. Someone who, when the makeup from Saturday night is washed away and all the fancy clothes are in a pile in the corner, would still want to spend time with me when I’m in my Howard sweats and a ponytail. Sunday love is the kind of love that’s not fairy tale love; its not elaborate wedding and big diamond ring love. It’s washing dishes and walking the dog love. It’s not he bought me a nice car and we live in a big house love. It’s eating greasy Chinese food and watching the Discovery channel on the couch love. It’s covering them up when they fall asleep in their favorite chair love. It’s taking the kids to their football games love. It’s doing the laundry and mowing the grass love. I’ve always wanted that. I’ve always thought I could have that.
And now I don’t.
I think that’s what hurts most about losing someone. True, you may feel like you’ve wasted your past (or maybe just 2 years of it), but all the visions you allowed yourself to imagine of your future are shattered. It’s just… nothing.
I keep thinking back to this email Wise sent me a couple weeks ago. She wrote a blog about a friend of hers whose professional success made her second guess how far she’s gotten in achieving her goals in her personal life. Something made me email her for advice. Everything she said was dead on but one thing she wrote back stuck with me and I’ve been rereading it everyday for weeks:
“I think you’re also keenly aware that PEOPLE will disappoint you over and over again. So while you feel a level of control over your long distance relationship, you still know that putting in the work may not net you the same results as doing so professionally.”
I keep reading it.
“People will disappoint you over and over again…”
“Putting in the work may not net you the same results…”
And it got me to thinking. And crying. And cleaning.
Damn that Wise. I hate that she’s so… Wise.
For awhile now, I’ve been keenly aware of the fact that the things Ive been wishing for in my relationship just might not come to be. Not because we aren’t good together, maybe even perfect for each other, not because we don’t want it, but just… because. I thought at least we could make a clean, relatively painless break, mutually graceful and mature, maintaining the love we have for each other but moving in different directions.
No such hopes of that.
So, in case you haven’t guessed it, I’m single. Again. And I want to be optimistic. I do. I really do. I just don’t have it in me. The future is just… blank.
One day I’ll tell you the story. But not today.
Part of me wants to cry. Most of me wants to cry. I want to fall apart. But I won’t. I promised myself I wouldn’t. I’m hurting right now. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so heartbroken. Or just felt so broken, period.
But I refuse to cry.
Instead, today the pictures came down, his hat came off the top of my mirror. I found another date to my cousin’s wedding this month. I got the plane ticket I bought to surprise him next month refunded. His screename got blocked, his number erased, his ringtone gone. The emails I’ve saved for the last 2 years got erased. It took me a couple hours, to do those couple deeds, and it felt like preparing for someone’s funeral. But I guess in a way I am. I’m laying us to rest.
I could fall apart. But I’ve done that whole falling apart thing after a breakup. I remember it, acutely, not only the pain of losing someone but most importantly, losing myself. I won’t do that again. I refuse.
Instead, I’ll embrace what it feels like to spend my Sundays alone. I’ll make my peace with it as best I can without the other party involved, as he obviously doesn’t really want to be, and I’ll move on.
I keep it moving.
Because that’s what I do.