This morning, my ex-husband came to pick up the kids. Ever the hospitable host, I mentioned I had one croissant left. Would he like a breakfast sandwich? Never mind that I had not eaten myself. Of course, he said yes. There I went, off to the kitchen as he sat at the dining table with the boys. And as I idly tended to the cooking and plating, I felt the strongest sadness in myself. This is who I am. This will always be who I am. It doesn't matter how shitty someone will treat you, you will never complain. Never fight. You will always care. You will always err on the side of kindness and consideration, like a chump. And I hated myself for that moment. I wished with every molecule in my body that I could be the spiteful and vindictive type, but I couldn't. I can't. I fed him. Made small talk. Hugged and kissed my kids goodbye. Felt the emptiness set in. I thought of all my exes right up to the most recent. All the men I've loved more than they ever loved me... you're fucking pathetic. You will never be enough. I buried myself under blankets and tried to hide from my own self. I didn't succeed. I went into work later that day, devoid of spirit. A fraying husk of a person. The whole evening, nothing but a handful of people. One regular, going through his own relationship woes offered commiseration. I was on autopilot. I smiled and responded with the most generic platitude I had at the ready. "Oh, you know. There's somebody for everybody. I just wasn't his somebody." I was ... blank. At some point, I realized I hadn't eaten the whole day. It was going on 9 pm. I forced myself to have a slice of pizza knowing that if I didn't, I'd get sick. The cook was rightly worried - I wasn't eating. I was always eating. Why wasn't I eating? I think I ate that one piece more to appease him than to put something in my belly. Another regular asked if I would do a shot with him. I usually don't. Drinking behind the bar isn't my gig. But I said yes. Out of spite for myself. I messaged a friend two short sentences. I am losing my defiance. I am losing my will. "You are stronger than that." I am not. "You. Are. Sure you're allowing yourself a moment of weakness, but you are." I didn't feel that to be true. But I knew arguing would lead nowhere and didn't bother to message back. Then, I once again stewed. I ran through all the times I had met adversity with my chin up. Shoulders squared. The countless instances I turned the other cheek. The ridiculous amount of pain and heartache I had suffered through thinking that in the end, it would be okay. As long as I continued to put good out into the world, I would be okay. What a fucking crock of bullshit. I felt the war within myself. The battle against becoming who I once was, who I strived to never be again. Cold, cruel, indifferent, unfeeling. Stone. By this point, everyone had left. It was just me and Johnny. Not everyone cares for him. He's a talker. In the grand scheme of things, he's not an angry drunk, he's almost always polite, and despite his tendency to have an opinion about everything under the sun, he has a good heart. There are far worse customers. I am not bothered by him. He called to me as I was cleaning, said he wanted to gift me something. He pulled that something out of his wallet and from where I was standing, it was square and shiny. For a second, I thought, There is no way this dude is trying to give me a f**king condom. Still, I was curious and walked over. It was a flattened chocolate wrapper. It had obviously been sitting in his wallet for quite some time. "Now," he started, still holding it gently in front of me. "it's not what it is, it's what's written on it. I'm going to show it to you and I'll leave it up to you if you want to take it. You can tell me 'No thanks, keep it' or you can have it. No pressure." He laid it down on the bar, some cheesy inspirational quote. On a tiny piece of foil that he had been carrying with him for who knows how long. And in that moment, I felt my eyes welling. I swallowed to clear the lump from my throat. Quietly, "I needed this. Thank you." He gave me a hug. Through a muffled sob, I managed to mumble, "It's been one hell of a week." There it was. The good grace of the Universe reminding me that kindness is necessary. Compassion is key. I remain soft. With no intent on changing.
when i was younger heartbreak devastated me in the worst way i'd slip away into late night dives drinking to forget picking up strangers just to feel wanted pretending they gave a shit even though i knew they didn't never being able to stand my own reflection the morning after fortunately times have changed i don't find solace in self-destruction the way i once did i suppose i've evolved lately i like to read old love poems the ones i wrote when the future seemed certain and promising i read them to remind myself that it has happened before it can happen again just because i've always been slow to trust when the time came to lower the many bridges to my soul's heart i did and i have continued to love unconditionally truthfully loyally always kindly. while my stomach is sick with the churning chaos of another paramour removed i take the time to acknowledge the moments where it all felt real new forever even if it doesn't feel that way at the present
Always the Bridesmaid
the world is small and people talk it is the nature of the social beast the want the feeling to be a part of something that being said it came as no surprise when the idle neighborhood gossip the game of telephone reached me almost immediately it didn't take you long did it... going back to the one you wanted in the first place what can i say? nothing except that i cannot find my shocked face perhaps because there isn't one
I would once become angry so angry fits of rage manic phone calls hours upon hours of making myself clinically insane I would show up drunk on a doorstep at 4 a.m. screaming crying tiny mascara rivers painting my cheeks black snot bubbles above a snarl no sense only scorn I could feel my heart being wrung twisted and contorted burning in agony from its mangled state A particular kind of torment one never forgets or hopes to endure again and I recall the panicked and confused stares eyes darting left right making sure the neighbors weren't witness to my psychotic scene I only wanted answers Why wasn't I worth the effort? What made me Less Than? Why was I bending like the reed and there they stood, unfeeling oaks? Well. Years have come and gone ticks on a metronome keeping time for no one listening except myself I'm older Much. I no longer pitch fits dramatic displays are beneath me and more importantly take up far too much energy of which I have less and less One thing... the years have done nothing to diminish the corrosiveness of lost love's affliction The ache of my heart's suffering isn't reduced No It all still hurts the same It is only more familiar An unwelcome unavoidable guest I am forced to entertain every so often The difference now is I am much more aware of my worth despite the accompanying wretched emotional injury and no amount of tears wails impassioned pleas deranged theatrics and/or any and all will make a dent in someone else's minimal perception of my value It doesn't lead me to madness not anymore I am only burdened by sorrow for what the other person lost failed to grasp refused to see what could have been so. I mend what has been fragmented Allow myself the solitude to heal And in the quietude of another long night the metronome ticks ticks ticks
their indifference, my shame
i am always embarrassed when i miss those who don't care to even give a thought of me it's like ... excitedly babbling about a subject of interest only to find that no one is listening or even cares caught up in their own self-contained bubbles so the words, exploding glistening once rainbow bright with vivacity slowly lose their vibrancy colors sad wilted with losing life bleeding away into gray silence that is what it's like my heart hemorrhaging prismatic poetry to an audience stone-faced indifferent unmoved that is how i feel i have to remind myself if i knock on the door of a house with no lights i shouldn't be surprised when no one answers it does not lessen my shame
Untapped Potential Gone to Waste
He claimed to be "deeply in love" while continuing to ignore the concerns of the object of his supposed affection hurting her with inaction inflicting pain through purposeful neglect attempts at gaslighting when she came to close to shining the light on the darkened corners He specialized in self-delusion She knew this. She was not fooled by the facade She came from a family of people like him Yet, She chose to see the goodness So She gave chances. She offered patience and kindness. Because, as always she saw the potential in the person. She believed in evolution progress growth But She never lied to herself the way he managed to avoid self-truths day in and day out. And she knew in her heart of heart of Hearts recognizing what Could Be didn't make up for What It Wasn't. And it Wasn't Love.
Only For You
It's been an up and down not quite right everything scattered everywhere kind of a month as usual I weave my way through the chaos not altogether gracefully tripping over this and a couple times that but I had a minute and chatted with an old friend and maybe it's because we travel in the same circles or perhaps because the universe saw fit to summon you back into my consciousness we spoke of you briefly and I said I wished we had never been together because I missed your friendship that was enough of that and I went about my measured sprinting in accomplishing all the things needing to be accomplished and then the cruel joke from humorless gods a song one I hadn't heard in almost a year picked perfectly its moment to reemergeturning the still embedded knife slow in my gut a reminder that it was beautiful for a minute but also knowing with the heaviness of its truth it was not so glorious that it was worth losing a friend.
little by little
the wheels have been put into motion as the night goes long and my fingers fidget i laugh small short soft i've no ring to pawn pass on tuck away in a small box pushed to the back of a drawer to be forgotten until it is remembered during sad solitary sauvignon nights no so contemplation continues there was never a proposal the 'big rock" moment joyous tears speech impeding shock the announcement and following picture to the circle of friends oohing and aahing the phone call to parents sharing the same jubilant surprise no just an obligatory acceptance of wedding the mother of his children i would like to think he loved me i would like to believe i was more than a live-in maid nanny chef personal assistant i would like to hope that it wasn't all for naught yet i don't i can't i won't instead i will keep churning the crank operating the cold and tired machine rickety yet integral to and capable of shattering the shackles which once bound me to him
I kissed two fingers and then pressed them upon her cold surprisingly smooth forehead my boys kneeling beside me kept quiet no one told them to they seemed to gather the gravity of grief all on their own I didn't expect the tears she and I weren't close yet there I was crying the heaviness pervaded my being I knew immediately I was heartbroken for the ones she left behind friends children but mostly her sisters... just as tiny and frail just as angry just as hopeful just as loved just as stubborn in the face of lives which never came easy I sobbed. Here it was. Mortality. the blinding awareness of my warm two fingers pulsing while pressed against her cold and surprisingly smooth forehead
I felt seen by you.
Sadly, I failed to notice
Just how blind you were.