Or more than half, I guess. This year, I mean. My mom unfriended me on Facebook, because I “told her to,” supposedly. My beans have stopped growing, and my peppers never started, but my peas are okay again – only now that I’ve pulled most of the vines, leaving just three, though.
Every time I sit down and write anything that feels like it might be longer than two sentences I realize I am about to talk about the same subject, and I really do not want to do that, I think –
or: I do, but I am not sure how.
or, more specifically: I am not sure how without sounding like I am making something out of nothing, or like I am being melodramatic, or like
In Bowling Green, I went to the bar most Thursdays, because everyone went to the bar most Thursdays, and because it was a nice way to get away from drinking alone in my apartment like I did every night. Most Thursdays a friend and I alienated everyone by drinking too much too quickly and hollering about “strange” music and rural leftist politics and, I don’t know, mountains, until another friend intervened and made us seem more personable, but sometimes there was someone else, and I found myself with him instead, cornered, but when I say cornered I mean I let him corner me when he tried to, which was most nights he showed up, which, it turned out – and I didn’t find this out until too late – was mostly only the nights I showed up.
I don’t respond to texts much anymore, or participate in the remnants of whatever social life I’d scraped together when I moved back home, but I forgot to mute my phone last Friday. Around midnight I got a text – just an emoji – and I picked my phone up from the floor, and I laughed at the combination of that and the name it came from, and I put it back down, and at 10am I responded (telling myself as I typed, bleary-eyed, that nothing good could come of it), and continued responding for the next five hours as he recounted time after time we bumped knees, and moment after moment I teased him in a way he was sure meant I thought he was awful, and for days now I’ve relived the feelings I had when I was sure I was making a mistake in convincing him to leave me alone, but I knew
I knew I didn’t deserve any positive attention, and if I was getting it, the follow-up was going to be horrifying and I didn’t want to deal with that again. Not in a town I’d avoided it in so far.
How does a person (me) deal, knowing that out of some strange and misguided sense of self-preservation, they kept themselves from what could have been – if not fulfilling – at the very least a comfortable distraction? For a year and a half (and some change)? That while they were, again and again, seeking out partners who reminded them of people who had hurt them in the past, because they knew what to expect, there was someone who was decidedly not like that so close by?
Someone who would, a year after the last time they’d seen each other (when they were alone together in a pickup truck, hemming and hawing about where they should go, and whether or not they should go there, and deciding, ultimately, to abandon each other), appear again as a text message (and another and another and another) and a memory and a massive, awful regret?
It’s not just about him, of course, or my feelings about him. It’s a lot about him and my feelings about him, but it’s also about what this has brought up – why did I deny myself any kind of happiness? Why have I always? Why do I still? Why did I actively seek out unhappiness?
Anyway: It’s July. I’m still in therapy.