Her Beginning, My Past: “Single and happy about it.”

Have you ever temporarily lost your sense of sanity? I’m asking because I feel like I have. The “temporary loss” is stretching and extending uncomfortably into the long-term, and I want to know that someone else has experienced something like this before and emerged from it — peace and sanity fully restored. Striking a balance and bouncing from one high point to the next used to be so easy and feel so natural.. it was like a default setting. But things look and feel very different now; I walk underneath long lines of shadows that are seldom interrupted by the tiniest, splotchiest patches of sunlight.

And I’ve speculated, for the past eleven months, that this “break” in sanity resulted from me losing touch with myself somewhere along the way.. but while driving to Golden Temple this morning, I realized that I’m in the process of developing a similar but different theory: I think that I lost my sanity because I brushed hands with myself too closely, entering into a cageless proximity with my soul that television and phone screens, billboards and restaurants, 900-page textbooks and looping 9-5’s usually protect us from; like I tapped into myself too deeply, and on accident, without being properly outfitted or braced, mentally or emotionally – and that that contact LITERALLY shocked me out of my own body.

 

Every single time I sit down to write, I promise myself — this is it; this is the last sad, whiny post you’ll draft. After processing through this new shit, you’re going to finally be okay. Then, you can really focus on your art; you can delve into creating within a new music genre and dabble in some fiction writing. But I can’t seem to pull myself out of this ditch; while ceaselessly trying to dig myself out of it, I’m continuously running into old relics, being presented with new puzzles, and tripping over thick, stubborn roots, and with all of this mayhem, I wind up wading around.. seemingly squandering time as I sift and work through things.. and when I DO pause to glance up and gauge my progress, the entrance – or exit – seems further away than ever. So I continue digging deeper.

 

Last night’s experience really threw me for a loop.

 

It was one of my old best friend’s birthdays (you’re likely wondering whose, so – for the sake of context – not Chris’s, and not Melissa’s; someone else’s, who I’ll leave unnamed). We ran into each other while I was at work last month, and when we did, she asked: “Soooooo.. my birthday is in a few weeks.. you wanna come over?”

 

“Sure,” I answered distractedly, beginning to walk away so that I could tend to a new hire, “but only if you send me a VERY fancy and formal invite. Then, I’ll consider it.”

 

And a week later, she did, via text message. I laughed my way through the invite.

 

I cordially and happily accepted, but when I woke up yesterday morning, feeling depressed, fat, ugly, and antisocial, I groaned; today’s the day, isn’t it?

 

I sat up in bed without getting up and stared out the window, running through my list of usual excuses. None of them really suited the occasion.. as in, none of them were legitimate enough to excuse missing out on a good friend’s 25th birthday. I temporarily tabled the idea of bailing from the party, pretending I’d find a decent way to do so later on in the morning, and proceeded with the day. Around 2:00 that afternoon, I got a text from her.

 

“What time are you heading over tonight, love?”

 

Well fuck. Now I definitely can’t cancel. I SHOULD have just done it earlier:

  • got my period yesterday, too miserable to be around people today 😦
  • the puppy and I are still bonding — gotta be here
  • I have to do five loads of laundry.. #adultingsry

 

But after deliberating for 15 sorry minutes, I decided to be decent.

 

“If you were anyone else,” I messaged her, “I SWEAR I would cancel.. but because I love you DEARLY, I’ll see you at seven and I’ll try to stay until 8ish.”

 

And I did as I said I would.

 

I turned on my GPS and drove out to her new place in Alabaster; she and her long-time boyfriend, who I like, had just moved in the previous evening. She spotted me in the parking lot; she was wearing a tie-dye t-shirt with light blue denim jeans and a pair of old, black and white Vans. I was wearing loose gray joggers, a sleeveless black shirt and, over it, my favorite blue sweater (which boasts solid black elbow patches). We hugged in the parking lot and then took the stairs together.

 

“Oh boy.. THAT’S embarrassing,” she apologized, pausing half-way up the staircase and reaching down toward one of its steps. I watched her snatch up a colorful, medium-sized rug.

 

“Ha! You must have dropped that while moving in last night, huh?” I guessed.

 

“Yeah. It smells like cat pee.”

 

“Uhhhhh gross. You should toss it; you bring that thing in the house and the cat will think it’s okay to pee on it, wherever it is.”

 

“True.”

 

She dropped the rug onto the concrete landing just outside of her front door and let us both in. The place was a wreck, like most places are when you’ve just moved into them the night before, and she apologized immediately.

 

“Dude! Don’t worry about it,” I reassured her immediately, coolly concealing my positively outraged OCD. I looked over at her; carrying a shopping bag (containing special birthday outfit clothes) in one hand and her purse in the other. When we’d been climbing the stairs, I’d discovered that a large group of people were coming over to celebrate the two big events of the week — her birthday, and the new place — and that her boyfriend had to unexpectedly work late. “He was supposed to be bringing pizzas,” she shared, sounding stressed. “Do you think people will be expecting food and drinks and stuff?”

 

I tried to be optimistic. “I mean, it’s late; they should have already eaten dinner.. they should honestly be in bed by the time this party is starting, so they’ll likely just be looking for beverages.. water, juice..”

 

“Yeah.” She looked unconvinced.

 

Now,  standing awkwardly in the living room and surveying tall, lop-sided piles of things, I gave instructions.

 

“Look; YOU go get dressed and do your hair and I’ll clear the area out a little.”

 

“Jace. I love you.”

 

“I know.”

 

Within seconds, I heard sounds coming from the bathroom — a shower turning on, clothes hitting the floor, doorknobs turning, and incoherent grumbling. Meanwhile, I stacked boxes of trash on top of each other, stuffed cups into a cupboard in the kitchen, threw bags of cat and dog food into a utility closet and snatched a random, black sock up from off of the living room floor and tossed it into the bedroom. Soon, things made sense.

 

Wearing a towel on her head, my friend stepped back into the living room. “Oh my god. It looks like a completely different place.” I ushered a final box into the bedroom and noticed, while doing so, that the closet led directly into the bathroom. “Oh wow,” I remarked, “GREAT set up! Bedroom to closet to bathroom. So convenient. That’s how Chris and I’s apartment was.”

 

I paused; why did I bring that up? Suddenly, I felt small and sad. I tried to shake it off.

 

“Oh yeah.. I love it,” her voice trailed along in the background. “Will you come in here with me while I finish getting dressed?”

 

“Sure.”

 

I followed her into the bathroom and leaned up against a wall, making chit chat. I had been looking onward, at her, absentmindedly, but when I noticed her beginning to take her shirt off, I looked away. I could feel her pause. “Is this making you uncomfortable?” she asked.

 

“Huh? Oh no! I’m just, trying not to look.”

 

She laughed. “We have the same stuff; I don’t care.” Still; I tried to keep my eyes averted, listening to her and then talking back at her with my eyes super glued to the Mary Kay makeup bag hanging from a hook on the door.

 

“Rose,” she began at one point, and then caught herself slip. “Gahhhhhhh.. JACE. I’m sorry –”

 

“Nooooo, you’re totally fine!” I reassured her. “My identity crisis is over now. You can call me either.”

 

This felt like an in. “You know.. I was going to ask,” she drew the words out slowly as she yanked a necklace from its cardboard setting and began clasping it around her neck. “I know that, when you first came out, it was as bisexual, and that, from there, we moved from bisexual to gay, and THEN you transitioned to transgendered, and then..” she paused, waiting for direction. “Are we back at bisexual?”

 

“No,” I shook my head, still leaning against the wall and tipping my head back so I could stare up at the ceiling. “Just gay.”

I paused. “Well, possibly bisexual.. but I think just gay. Who knows. Stay tuned.” She laughed.

 

We heard the front door open and close.

 

“Anna?” my friend’s voice called out. “Is that you?” More quietly, to me, she whispered: “I hope that’s her.”

 

“Yeahhhhhh,” Anna’s voice answered. “I’m here now.”

 

My friend opened the bathroom door and greeted this other friend. “Wanna come in here while I get ready?” she offered.

How many people is she trying to fit into this bathroom? I wondered.

 

“No.. I’m going to pet the kitty for a little bit,” I heard Anna’s deep (yet effeminate) voice respond.

 

“K,” my friend smiled and closed the door. “Alright,” she turned to me seriously. “Now, I need to do my makeup.”

 

“Oooooooh, exciting!” I exclaimed, disconnecting from the wall and stepping closer to the sink. “Then I’m going to observe the whole process,” I warned her.

 

“Please do,” she answered, reaching for a bag that I guess you’d call a makeup bag. 

 

“FIRST,” she announced dramatically, “you apply THIS stuff.” She held up a round, compact little container.

 

“Is it powder?” I guessed, leaning my elbows down onto the counter and peering over at it.

 

“No,” she made a face while she opened it, “it’s cream.

 

“Cream?” I repeated, puzzled. “Huh. Never heard of cream in the makeup world.”

 

“Well I don’t think that’s what it’s ACTUALLY called,” she explained. “I think most people call it foundation.

 

“YES! I’ve heard of that. I know foundation.”

 

“Right,” she continued, “but I call it cream.”

 

Just before she began applying it, I asked: “Are you wearing any makeup right now?”

 

“Nope.”

 

“Well you look beautiful without it.”

 

“Thankssssss,” she answered lazily. “But I look better with it.”

 

I raised my eyebrows at her. “Fair enough.”

I stared ahead, into the mirror, and watched her reflection apply the cream. “This is going to cover up allllllll of those blemishes and alllllll of that acne,” she advertised in a sensuous tone. I laughed. I felt like I was watching an actress prep herself for the camera. After applying the cream to every inch of face-space, she paused, eyeing the mirror critically, and then seemed satisfied.

 

“Now; you see how that cream made me look pale as FUCK?”

 

I nodded “yes.”

 

“Yeah. Well we’re going to fix that with something called bronzer.

 

On went the bronzer; cheeks, chin, forehead..

 

“Are you going to put it on your nose, too?” I wondered out loud.

 

“Oh.. honey.” She stepped back from the mirror and turned to face me. “You don’t even KNOW. Look at this nose right now; you see it?” She pointed straight at her nose and locked eyes with me. “Now behold the transformation.”

 

She returned to her post, facing the mirror, and I watched as the bronzer transformed her nose.

 

“I can see the difference,” I admitted. Hearing this seemed to please her.

 

Then, we applied eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara. During the mascara process, my friend’s phone rang.
“Oh.. this is boyfriend,” she cooed delicately, setting her magic wand down. “Pause,” she stated, and then placed the phone beside her ear.

 

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”

 

I smiled while I listened along, and I was excited for her when I heard his voice state that he was on his way home. The call ended, and my friend whipped her head around at me. “Annnnnd PLAY.”

I laughed again. “You’re one of a kind, you know,” I told her. “One of a single kind.

“And you’ve missed me. Haven’t you?”

“You bet.”

 

The transformation was complete after a generous swipe of chap stick followed by a thick coat of dark red lipstick. As she moved the stick back and forth, from left to right and left again, I noticed the lipstick smudge a little on the corner of her lips; she saw it, too, and wiped at it with her finger.

 

“Won’t it be difficult for you to eat if you’re wearing lipstick?” I asked.

 

“Yeah.. but that’s why you do THIS.” With that, she disappeared into the other part of the bathroom, returning with a small wad of toilet paper. I grimaced as she parted her lips, slipped the thin layer of toilet paper between them, and then pressed down. When she pulled the toilet paper away from her lips, it was caked in red. “Vwahla!”

 

“Yeah, but it’s still going to come off when you’re eating,” Anna’s voice interrupted. I turned to look at the blonde girl who’d just entered the bathroom, wearing a pair of dark, blue denim jeans, a flowy, taupe-colored blouse and wide-rimmed eye glasses. We’d met once before.

 

“Well that was very interesting,” I concluded, and then summarized, out loud, everything I’d witnessed.

 

“Ahhh, but she didn’t do eyebrows,” Anna interjected when I’d finished.

“Didn’t need to,” my friend said.

“What would you do to eyebrows?” I asked.

 

Her friend looked at me. “You think these are real? Girl, I draw these on every day.”

 

I took a step closer; surely, they must be real.. they LOOKED real..

 

“I mean, I have eyebrows,” the girl clarified, “they just stop here–” she pointed, “and I have to draw them out further.”

That made more sense.

 

We all moseyed into the living room where I sat down onto a recliner and finally indulged in reading the text message I’d been ignoring all day; one from Christopher. Reading it was disappointing. Nothing indicated that he missed talking with me or hanging out; his words relayed that he’s built his own world now, he’s living his own life, and that I can’t “control the degree of involvement” that I have in it (I was, of course, irritated at the implication). If chit chat is what he’s comfortable with, he continued, and it’s not enough for me, then that’s my problem.. not his.

 

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to paint a picture where he’s a mean or insensitive guy, because he isn’t. He put it all very nicely, and everything he said was reasonable. It just hurt. It’s not what I wanted to hear, or read (“I miss you; let’s grab a burrito or play music together sometime!”), so of course it hurt.

 

My heart sank. We hadn’t spoken in weeks, and I’d unfriended him on Facebook a week prior to receiving this message. I did so because I didn’t want a sneak-peek into his world anymore.. the cursory view that hundreds of others got; highlights here and there, and occasional showcases of the big, mention-worthy things. I wanted to know what he’d had for breakfast that morning.. hear what new, favorite song he’s been playing on repeat all week long.. and see what Marvel-themed t-shirt he bought at Target last weekend. Shit I don’t have a right to know anymore; shit I shouldn’t care to know about, see, or hear anymore.

 

I sighed, typed out a mega-abbreviated thank you and goodbye message to Chris, and then sank further back into the recliner. The girls had drifted outside, onto the patio.. one of them smoking a cigarette, the other grasping a vape. I turned to look at the gentleman on the couch next to me; when had he gotten here?

 

He must have been thinking the same thing.

 

“Hey; I’ve seen you play music!” he said suddenly, knitting his eyebrows together in thought. “What’s your name?”

 

Surprised, I responded: “It’s Jace — where have you seen me play at?”

 

“The Coal Yard.”

 

“Ahhh, yes.” That makes sense. “I was scheduled to play there a couple of times last week, but a family emergency, concerning the owner, has caused the venue to close until further notice.”

 

We continued talking for about five minutes; I learned that he was Anna’s boyfriend and that he’d gone to what he referred to as a redneck school, but that he was actually a very cultured fellow. “I’m well traveled,” he explained. “I was born in Sweden, moved to Alabama, and since moving here, I’ve been all across the United States.. and I’ve done so via driving,” he detailed further, like this bit of info intensified things. “I like to think of myself as being open minded; I’ll consider ideas and beliefs outside of the ones I’ve always had and held, and I’m very accepting of people.” He seemed like a very nice guy.

 

Two other dudes stepped in to the living room, and that was my out. I shook hands with both of them, introduced myself, and then made a beeline for the outdoor patio, deciding that – if I was truly intending to leave at 8 – I’d need to get some more time in with my friend before dipping.

 

“We were wondering what you were doing in there,” my friend laughed as I closed the sliding glass door behind me.

 

“Ahhh.. yeah; I was just getting to know one of the guys in there. Dude’s from Sweden!”

 

I collapsed into a chair and turned to gaze at the two girls. “It seems like we do this annually,” I mentioned suddenly, nodding my head up and down. “Sit out here.. you two smoking, me hanging out.” I pretended to hold a cigarette between two fingers on my right hand and blew an invisible cloud of smoke out of my mouth sideways. My friend laughed, saying I looked cool, which is what I was going for.

 

And my friend’s friend nodded. “Yep — something just popped up on my Timehop three days ago that made me think of this. We were all out on a patio together this time last year.”

 

I smiled at the recollection. How different things were then. I’d lost my wedding ring that night. My friend and I had looked everywhere for it; inside and outside of the old apartment, inside and outside of my car.. part of me wanted to find it, desperately, while the other part – equally as strong – wished to never find it.

 

It was like she was reading my mind. “So how are you and Chris?” my friend asked in as casual a tone as possible.

 

I shook my head without saying anything.

 

“You guys talked recently?”

 

“Nah,” I dismissed the question. “We don’t talk anymore.”

 

Her friend piped up. “You don’t talk to who anymore? That guy you were married to?”

“Yeah. I miss him too much. It’s just easier to forget about him if I don’t think about or talk to him.”

 

They nodded. No one said anything. I felt oddly uncomfortable.

 

“Good for you,” my friend murmured affirmatively. “You’ve gotta do what’s best for you.”

 

Which is, in this situation, what hurts the least, I clarified to myself only. Like: Would you rather die by overdosing or getting shot in the head? 

Overdosing, I voted.

Agreed. 

 

I looked down at my phone; it was 8:27 PM, and I needed to leave.

 

“It’s past my bedtime,” I explained apologetically. I bent over to hug my friend, resting my chin on top of her head as she hugged me back from her seat. “Happy happy 25th birthday,” I whispered. I smiled at her, and she smiled back. I waved a general goodbye to everyone else, walked outside, descended the stairs, and strode across the parking lot. It was dark. I stepped into my car, shut the door, locked the door, and then cried and cried and cried.

 

People keep directly asking or hinting at the question, so I’ll just come right out and tell you.. I don’t want to be married to Christopher anymore. I don’t wish we were still married. I don’t want to be married to him or ANYONE. I’m single, and I’m clear-headed because of it. Full of drama, apparently, and plagued with depression, yes, but still.. I’m becoming increasingly clear-headed, and that’s very important to me. But there are two things that I miss about Chris and I.. the married version of us:

  • Who we were. Best friends. I knew him — who he was on a soul level and, less importantly, everything about him, in the factual sense — and he got me, too. I could liken it to knowing the general outline of a house as well as every nook and cranny inside of it; knowing it so well that, when lightning strikes and the power goes out, you can navigate, easily and expertly and fearlessly, in the dark. Don’t even need a candle. It was like that. He was not a stranger to me. He was familiar, the most familiar soul and kindred spirit I’ve ever known, and that was a comfort. Now, I exist on a foreign plane and in a separate universe from the guy. I’m sure most people would say, duh.. that’s the best you can hope for with an ex situation.. but the best is not enough for me. It never will be, so to me, he’s dead. That’s how I’m going to live my life, moving forward; my Christopher died, and Rose died with him. I’m what’s left.
  • What we had. Marriage wasn’t always fun, but mostly, it was. However shitty my days were, I knew I’d always have a partner waiting for me when I got home — someone to talk to me and hold me; someone I could listen to and comfort, too. It was a very symbiotic relationship; it created a permanent bond, and left a lasting impression, like a tattoo. Ink fades, yeah, but the general shape, the outline, never goes away. Similarly, I’ll inevitably lose touch with his soul as he changes, evolves, and grows over time, but I’ll always remember the dumb, factual shit, like his favorite brand of hot sauce, his #1 Steely Dan song, and the way he talked, gestured, smiled, laughed, and cried.

 

Single, I feel lonely.

I keep asking myself why I need someone else so badly — or why I think I do. I don’t know yet. I don’t know if it’s the emphasis that society places on coupling.. that it’s some kind of measure of success.. or if it’s just that I crave companionship, but I’m 99.9% sure that it’s the latter. And then I ask myself, why can’t I be enough? Why can’t I be my own companion right now, or even forever? Does my “ultimate” end goal HAVE to be finding “my person”? 

 

As I was driving home last night, wiping away tears and listening to melodramatic music, I felt my phone vibrate. I’ve been making a concerted effort to not text and drive, but I couldn’t help but glance down at my phone and catch the first line of my friend’s boyfriend’s text message.

 

“You HAVE to come back!!” it read. “I’m proposing tonight, and she would want–” that’s where it cut off. And my waterworks started all over again.

 

There’s no way in hell I can go back, I told myself firmly. You’re a sad, sad person right now, and this is going to be one of the happiest nights of her life. Don’t ruin it.

 

“I won’t be able to make it back out there,” I apologized, feeling heavy, “but HUGE congrats. Have a memorable evening, and give that beautiful girl a big hug for me.”

 

I parked my car, walked into the house, and my best friend, Charlie, was standing at the top of the stairs. “How are you?” we asked each other. We were both bummed out; him for his reasons, me for mine. So we ate organic gelato and gluten-free cheese puffs and watched Doctor Who on a laptop like the hipster fucks that we are.

 

And today, wearing black jeans, a grey tank top, the same prized blue sweater and my first beanie of the season, I drove to the Golden Temple downtown.

 

You all remember cafe girl, don’t you?

The one I left a 2-paged letter for a little more than a month ago? A few of you have asked if I ever heard back from the gal. The answer is yes.

 

She texted me about two weeks after I’d left the letter, introducing herself. Her texts arrived between 9 PM and 1 AM, when I was fast asleep, so I received them in the morning. I was shocked to receive them, and I relayed this to her.

 

“I never expected to hear from you!” I admitted. In response to her inquiry (what my plans were for the weekend), I responded that I’d planned on swinging by Saturn and that she could join me, or that I’d be happy to meet her elsewhere. I then threw out about seven different options, ranging from grabbing smoothies together to walking at Railroad Park. I heard back from her about seven hours later.

 

“Word. Well I’ll catch up with you over coffee sometime.”

 

I froze. Re-read the message. ‘Word’? Seriously? In response to my carefully crafted THREE paragraphs, you respond with ‘word’? 

 

I was so disappointed in my new best friend that I didn’t text her back. For two weeks.

 

Then, randomly one afternoon, I felt guilty about it. So you leave the girl a 2-paged letter, text her three paragraphs, and then just disappear? How weird must that seem to her? It might have even hurt her feelings. Maybe she needs a friend, like you do.

 

So I shot her a (briefer) text: Sorry it took me forever.. if you ARE looking for a new friend, I’d love to grab coffee with you sometime.

 

There; I’ll just leave it at that, I decided, feeling happy with my effort to make reparations.

 

“Can’t do coffee today,” she responded, “have a band practice.. we’re playing at Saturn this Friday!”

 

.

 

YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I shook my head in disbelief. Beautiful AND artistic? 

 

She told me the name of her band, and Facebook confirmed the veracity of her claim; her band was, indeed, playing at Saturn. My most favoritest venue in the world. I considered, for a half-second, heading over to Saturn that Friday night and checking the band out, but decided not to; it seemed too creepy and stalker-ish. We hadn’t even met for that coffee yet or properly introduced ourselves; I’d left her an anonymous letter and she’d texted me at one in the morning.

 

But I felt like her band news merited a response, so I sent what I intended to be the last text: “Nice! Well have a blast, dude, and take care.” I nodded to myself, complimenting the refreshing succinctness of my message and then sending it.

 

“Will do,” she responded within a minute. “Come say hey at the Golden Temple sometime! I still don’t know what you look like.”

 

I was puzzled; did she want to be friends or NOT?

 

“Don’t be shy,” (+ smiley emoticon) a second message from her read.

 

“I am very shy by nature,” I responded, “which is why I left you the letter. I don’t drop into GT often, but I’ll make it a point to do so this Saturday if you’re scheduled to work.. just let me know. I’ll be the 5 ‘ 4″ short-haired girl ordering either a peanut butter smoothie or a burrito.”

 

And then, I heard nothing. Which caused me to conclude that one of two things were true:

 

  1. She now knows that Jace isn’t a boy (as the name might imply) and isn’t interested in befriending/dating a non-boy. Which I wasn’t looking to date, anyways.
  2. She’s bad at responding to text messages. Many people are.

 

Returning to today, I hadn’t planned on or hoped to see her, so when I was waiting in line an hour ago, preparing to order my smoothie, and she appeared in the prep area, I was very surprised.

 

Just act cool, super nonchalant, and use a code name when you order! I instructed myself. “Like.. tell them you’re Cosmo, or Deaqualine, or Jay.. yeah, do Jay. That makes the most sense.”

 

OKAY. (Trying not to freak out.)

 

A different cafe girl took my order; in place of ordering a suspect peanut butter smoothie (which is what Two Paged Letter Jace said she would have ordered), I requested a fruit smoothie containing raspberries, blueberries, and pineapple chunks with almond milk.

 

“And what’s your name?” the girl asked.

 

See; I KNEW they’d ask! 

 

Without hesitating (and silently bragging on myself for being so prepared), I answered: “Jay.”

 

“Okay. Just a few minutes, Jay!”

 

I hurried to my seat, set my laptop down onto the dingy brown table, and then they were calling for Jay.

 

I approached the counter quietly, unintentionally swerving a little in my effort to walk normally and feeling like a girl in a lineup of possible criminals. Are they going to know it’s me? 

I made it there and looked up; my cafe girl had just pushed the purple drink across the counter. She made eye contact with me and then, obviously satisfied that the customer who had ordered a purple smoothie knew it was ready and was claiming it, turned away; I grabbed the drink, two napkins, and turned away also. Mission accomplished: secret identity preserved; true identity unknown.

 

Did I want to get caught? Be forced into introducing myself? Sort of. Of course I did. I would like to make a new friend. And observing her reaction would have been, at the very least, interesting. But I’m just not comfortable, outside of work, interacting with people right now, and I don’t think I’m in a healthy place where I can be a good friend to someone else. I can barely keep up with current social obligations and have to tie my own hands to prevent myself from texting cancellations and dipping out on people I already know. I have to remind myself daily that making a new friend, moving to another state, or wearing a different style or color jacket isn’t going to fix me. Change feels good, and it offers somewhat of a placebo effect, but it has no power to actually fix or heal anything.

 

And I’d like to promise that this will be the last sad post you’ll get from me.. but I think we both know better by now.

 

So, recap:

An old best friend is now living in a snuggly new apartment with her fiance. That’s a beautiful new beginning for them.

And I used to have a best friend like that, and an apartment like theirs. I have neither now. But I need to stop considering the lack a loss and appreciate that being married to someone I could honestly call my best friend was one of the most interesting, and wonderful, and perspective-lending experiences I’ve ever had. I can’t have him back as the best friend I adored and loved, but I can revisit him – and us – in my memory, every once in a while. Someday, when it hurts less, I will; I’ll think of him, and us, and Melissa, and us, and Bobby, and us. Someday. And in the meantime, I’ll appreciate the subtle impressions and the massive impact each of them has left and made on me.. changing me, inspiring me, and challenging me to be stronger, and smarter, and kinder, and wiser, and to continue along The Jace Journey beyond this strange new landmark: living single and being happy about it.

 

I don’t need a clean slate. I don’t need a fresh start. I don’t need another relationship. I don’t need a god, or a big move, or one more gosh darn stool from the thrift store. I just need to figure out what the point of living life is and why I’m so averse to living it alone. 

 

bham-in-oct-040
Me trying to do (2) things: 1. be happy 2. not fall

 

Still here,

Aun Aqui

 

PS: I left without leaving a letter this time.

 

One thought on “Her Beginning, My Past: “Single and happy about it.”

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