My ex and I just broke up.
It happened two weeks ago, but the fog’s just lifted and hit me, as I’m hung over and having just cancelled my (probably stolen) banking cards. A friend of hers told me “there is no malice in her”, and he was right. She is pure intention incarnate – imperfect, petulant, afraid, and impulsive, immensely brave, good hearted, driven to do well and to do good. I’ve never met anyone who put so much work into being well adjusted. She’s a goddamn inspiration.
She needed a place to stay eight months ago and a two months into our relationship, only for a week or two while she found a place. She came here. a few weeks became eight months, and now she is in everything. I gave her stability and she gave me colour back. I don’t just leave the curtains closed through the day anymore, and I tend to a garden that was a patch of dirt until she came along.
My understanding of the break up is that she needed to find herself by herself, away from a lover. She’s been in relationships for a long time. I can’t hold that against her. She made the decision knowing she’d have to couch surf, knowing that money would become a lot tighter without me as a safety net. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but that was less important than doing what she believed she needed to do, because that’s who she is.
We left amiably and still spoke every now and then. I wasn’t myself the next day at the office, but from there I was fine. I even joined online dating again, I was ready for the next thing. I’ve grown and can give someone myself wholly in a way I’d been shut down in for years. So after a good base to stand on, I was ready for my next and hopefully final relationship.
Last night I went on a date with a vegan who pole dances to keep fit, who plays the same computer games as me and shares my aptitude for fixing language. She was nervous, I was tipsy and chatting away. It was sweet and innocent. We ended the night making out and I came home. This morning I couldn’t find my wallet. I turned my place over, texted my date, phoned the bar we were at, drove there and asked around. Nothing. My wallet’s gone.
I came home and looked again. And looked at the cards and photos of my ex and me. They used to be on the fridge, but they’re next to it right now – on the counter. It’s not right to keep them where they were, but it feels wrong to throw them away.
They caught me off guard, and suddenly we’d just broken up. I phoned the bank, hung over and unshowered, trying (without commitment or success) not to cry. I cancelled my credit and debit cards, and then I lay there, wondering what to do with myself when I’m not interested in anything around me. And I remembered what she used to say. “You have to sit in it.” I need to actually feel it and go through it. So here I am, journalling to try and not avoid the feeling.
There are no bad times to remember. There were no serious arguments that kept us angry for more than a few hours, and even those happened fewer than five times in the whole relationship.
There are many good times to remember. Funny and sweet memories of making love. Trance festivals together. Going to a theme park and being so relieved when the stone that broke from her necklace ended up being inside of her shirt. Going horseriding between giraffes and zebra and admiring her as she galloped at full speed. Going to the cinemas and walking out of bad movies before going to the arcade only to have my ass kicked in air hockey. Going to fancy restaurants and having really good food. Going to a beltaine festival and honouring pagan gods in ritual. Going to bdsm parties together and being a little overwhelmed by the raffle tickets being handed out while people are putting on S&M shows. Helping her with her film project and watching her work so hard at it that I realised I needed to put more discipline into my board game.
It’s over now, and ‘we’ have become a collection of memories that will fade in time, but god, they were good, and god, I’m grateful for the time we shared. It hurts, and I’m glad it happened. It was the best thing to happen to me since… well, maybe ever.