Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Backtrack, A Cliff, and a Buffy Sing-along

After the last post, all full of accomplishment and yoga-y goodwill, I was inspired to send a sorry-I-was-a-jerk note to Scrabble Boy—I’d been thinking of him because our dalliance was an April thing and because our friendship ended, as so many of mine have, with me getting superpissed. Since the divorce, I’ve been working my way through the list of people at whom I’ve misdirected anger.

He accepted my friend request right away, as if he’d been waiting for it, and was equally apologetic and forgiving. We planned to do a call after I got back from Easter. (Hey everybody! I drove up to my sister’s and back without having a breakdown for the first time post-Sweetie! Credit to my cute little red car, I think. And time.) A funny thing happened when I hit the road though—all kinds of daydreams started to unspool about him—holding hands under the flowering trees, throwing him into my pretty princess bed and finally having my way with him, running away to join his life in Ann Arbor. (Cue Get Up Kids song…)

Though I loved the idea of reuniting with my poet self through him and seeing the last three years’ adventures through his eyes, the adventures seemed to pale in comparison with him. He was, at least in those daydreams, still the best one for me, the guy I’d choose out of all of them if I were given a chance. I hadn’t so much gotten over him as put a bookmark in that day we spent together, and as soon as we were on good terms, love started bursting out like so many tree-petals.

Easter was SUCH a good trip. I played Mario Party with the kids and earned almost no mini-stars. I took my niece and nephews to their local comic shop and bought my niece some manga and my nephew a sonic screwdriver. After we finished lovingly perusing the old-school Star Wars figures, we all went out for cocoa. It’s finally sinking in that I can still have my family, even post-Sweetie.

When I got home, I knew I couldn’t really bear to be updated about Scrabble Boy’s life. I’ve come too far to pretend that I want to be just friends with someone I love. (Annoying) gold star for being honest with him about that, and in the process I learned that he’d found someone shortly after his divorce and was happy with her. I sent him a perfect, distant, congratulatory response and that was that, but I was completely devastated by the news. I don’t know why it hurt so badly, but it did. I sometimes feel like everyone just pairs (or whatevers) up so easily and it’s still just a mystery to me.

The more I dismantle the defensiveness and fear that came from The Bad Thing, the more I realize some of that stuff was what’s holding me up, so it’s hard to hold myself together without it. I will probably find more of these pockets of feeling that got stuck because I was ill-equipped to face them at the time—my heart might be a TARDIS ride for a little while.

With that loss added to all the others and my defenses down, I felt like Wyle E. Coyote when he realizes he’s walked off a cliff. The bottom dropped out from under everything and for a few days, I was completely lost. I felt the loss not just of Scrabble Boy, but of my school, of Sweetie, of everyone I’ve lost in the past couple years’ adventures. I was so hyperventilatingly sad that I wondered if I did need a Girl Interrupted interruption, or shock treatment like Rory Gilmore got when she was on Mad Men. I thought I would never find love the way SB did because I would be tangled in this web of grief forever.

The feeling only lasted a couple of days—with yoga, sitcom episodes, and lots of writing, the devastation passed and I was able to get back on track. The main thing I learned from the Scrabble Boy thing is that hermit time is over, that reaching out has got to become the norm again. I’ve enjoyed these months of focusing on taking care of myself, but the loneliness is deep and wide and it’s time to rejoin the world.

So I did. Last night I joined some friends-of-friends for a Buffy sing-along and ice cream birthday party. (Can you believe that was a thing?!) I felt nervous because I’ve almost completely forgotten how to be social, but singing “Walk Through the Fire” with a bunch of cute near-strangers was as transcendent an experience as I’m ever gonna have, and I have been actually set on fire.

So I will. Walk through the fire, I mean. Though it seems impossible sometimes, I’ll keep moving forward until I work someplace safe and love someone(s) kind, until vulnerability and lightness and heart can thrive. Next weekend, everybody, is the Sparkly Festival of Awesomeness, not a moment too soon.

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