This morning I woke up happy, with an oddly festive feeling like it was a holiday. I’ve been doing restorative yoga and sometimes it brings little mood-treats like that. But with that happy feeling came the thought: Why can’t this be it? Why can’t we be us together again?
I miss her so much, even though we’re here together for at least another month. I miss the hugging, the kissing, the snooze-alarm snuggling, the sex, the pretty pink ropes, the knowing we belonged to each other. Each day, we practice belonging to each other a little less. We clean, we sort, we pack, we take a break and go to the movies, we treat each other as kindly as we can, but it’s an in-between time that feels excruciating. I want to go backward or be on the other side of it, knowing we’ll both be okay.
I left the house for a job interview this morning feeling prepared, expansive, and optimistic. I was even feeling proud of myself for filling the car up with gas, since that’s a chore that usually falls to Sweetie. (Except in New Jersey, a more femme-friendly state where there’s no such thing as self-serve.) I mostly ignored the GPS and navigated myself to an opposite corner of the city. And then I made a left turn and somehow missed the big silver pickup in my blind spot. I scraped his bumper and smashed the shit out of my driver’s side door.
I wasn’t hurt and the other driver was kind enough to take my info and let me go on my way.
“Calm your nerves,” he said, and I did.
I had to climb into the passenger’s side because the door was stuck shut. I took deep breaths. I pressed the destination again on the GPS. I still got to the interview fifteen minutes early, and I did fine, certainly as well as I’d done in interviews where I WASN’T in a car wreck on the way over. Afterward, I hoped no one noticed that I got into the passenger’s side.
When I got home, I fell apart. This felt like evidence of my failure to take care of us, to move us forward. I felt so stupid and scared for risking my life and our livelihood like that, for the fact that I was going to drain off more of our already-dwindling seed money. Everything else on the horizon seemed darker and more difficult, one potential failure after another. I know this is just one of the languages of grief. The hopefulness I’d been cultivating for the past few weeks dissolved and was replaced by a wrenching pain in my gut—the heartbreak always finds a way to make time for itself. I’d give it time on the calendar if it were in any way predictable.
I sobbed sorries into the phone to Sweetie, and of course she wasn’t mad about the car, she was just glad I was okay. It’s just another thing we’ll have to sort through, the way we sorted through the Christmas stuff and the CD collection. We’ve been a team for twelve years, and we’ve gotten through so much. We still love and value each other enough that we can see ourselves through this last stuff, as long as it takes, even if it is lonely and frustrating and claustrophobic. There’s just no way but through it.
I guess I realize that as much as I want to push myself through, to try to be brave and learn and self-improve myself to the other side, sometimes it’s important to just take some time and be NOT OKAY. I need to always be ready to put aside time to fell apart, to hug the duvet and cry, to sob sorries into the phone. I loved her so much and we are over, or at least a big part of us is. And there were other losses and breakups too. That’s too much to just go on pretending I’m okay. Sometimes, I’m just not.
On the upside, I have a pass for unlimited yoga sessions for the next two weeks, so whatever I don’t sob out or get spanked out, maybe I can just breathe out.