Even via text, old habits die hard. I say something shitty in the course of making a point, he says something even worse back. I delete the worst of them, knowing we’re angry, we’re deeply hurt and angry with each other, and that for every step forward we make, every cautious stretch of an arm, every moment where we can admit that yes, we fucked this shit up and it sucks, we take one back and suck each other down into a sopping dirty pit of stink and hate.
I’m so tired of it.
He’s the father of my children. I’m the mother of his children. We love them. I know, somehow, we both still love each other. And perhaps that’s why it all hurts so fucking much-because at the core of it, beyond the spiteful things we’ve done, beyond the marriage we stretched beyond all limits in an attempt to be something we weren’t for each other, we know each other in a way no one else will ever know us.
Watching the first love I ever had spiral down into nasty messages on a cell phone burns through me like napalm and stays with me. If we hated each other, it would be easier to just let it all go wouldn’t it? If I could just hate him, this would be less difficult, wouldn’t it?
I stare at the side of my bed, the empty side in the morning, and miss it. I miss the constancy of a spouse, a partner. Of course, I miss the idea of it, since for months he was never in bed with me, just two ships passing in earnest. But I miss the sense of someone being there when I get home, the shared years, the comfort of knowing exactly. I don’t much like newness-I prefer the solid and familar, and I find myself missing that most of all. The sense of belonging, the safety in arms that wait for you, which draw you in across the bedroom.
Starting over sounds romantic and fun. Until it isn’t.
I don’t like being alone. It has nothing to do with being able to do so-I am perfectly able. But I hate feeling that I’m missing a limb, that something is empty and hollow. I miss being that complete unit. I miss feeling that I had somewhere to belong.
I sit curled up on the couch with my new fella, watching a movie. He leans against me and on me, my hands in his. He pulls them to his lips, and slowly kisses each finger. Somewhere inside, I can feel something broken start to mend. It scares me so, this feeling, the idea, the possibility of loving someone, of letting someone else in. We speak of our dead parents as we lie in bed, warmed by each other. It doesn’t hurt as it once did, and I start to feel that maybe this time, I can actually let go into it, become the other half I never really was before. Become the woman I’ve hidden from.
It all makes me want to cry, this new life, the scattered pieces of the old one.