"If you have no wounds how can you know if you're alive? If you have no scar, how do you know who you are?"--Edward Albee, The Play About the Baby
10 months this past Wednesday.
I’ve been feeling great—really positive and clearheaded and focused on the future. For me, it’s a huge accomplishment that I’ve allowed myself to feel content in my life. I’m not fooling myself by thinking that I’d be happier if only I had a boyfriend or I lived in San Francisco or I had more money. Things are good the way they are.
Last night I went for a run by the river. The sky was overcast as the sun crawled below the horizon. Even the water was quiet, with only a few singles and eights going by. It was a good run but when I got home, I saw Scully snoozing on my bed and I realized that I missed Glenn terribly.
The missing him comes randomly now, out of the blue and for no particular reason. Suddenly I’ll just feel the emptiness of the house when I come home, or I'll realize that Scully is now being raised by a single cat parent and I'll want our little family back.
The grief strikes fast and the tears come, hot and quick, and then it’s gone. Standing in my room, I felt the tears build and I just let them fall. It’s so easy to judge myself for still feeling the grief, even after 10 months, because at some level it feels like a waste of energy, time and emotional elasticity. He doesn’t deserve my tears, and how much of a loser am I for grieving the loss of someone who probably never felt the depth of love that I felt for him? I want to be the strong and resilient, like the lead characters in those terrible chick-lit books, the ones who always manage to bounce back and find the right guy all while holding a martini and wearing kickass shoes. But I’m not. I’m just me and I’m not a Wonder Woman with a heart of steel (although a set of those wrist cuffs would be nice).
These flashes of sadness are specific and they cut to the bone. I don’t miss having a live-in boyfriend, I miss Glenn. I’ll be sitting on the couch, reading the New Yorker and suddenly I’ll see one of his silly facial expressions in my head. Or then I’ll miss the way he used to run out of the bedroom and do a quick little dance just to make me laugh. Or how we used to spend lazy Sundays lying around the house or reading up at Tigertail. I miss the sound of his voice, the smell of his clothes, the way he’d get cycling grease on his hands when he worked on his bikes. I miss the way we had found the perfect couch cuddling position, and how I used to prop my left leg on his hip when we were falling asleep. He’d put his hand on the inside of my thigh and we were two peas in a pod.
These random moments, like the dreams, feel like the last stage of processing the relationship and its end. Hitting the double digits is an accomplishment—just surviving last summer was a feat in itself—but it’s a landmark that comes with baggage. I’m amazed at how far I’ve come, but I’m still shocked at how completely my world has changed in less than a year. In some ways I still feel like Alice down the rabbit hole. As the year mark approaches, I feel a degree of pressure to get over it completely. As if I want to be holding on any longer than I have to. Is there a statute of limitations on this kind of thing?
I am fine on my own. My world is rich and full. I know I have to have faith that at some point I’ll find another great partner, but it’s hard to see. I just can’t see—why isn’t my brain a cerebral crystal ball? Glenn was far from perfect, especially at the end, but when you’ve had that pure deep connection with someone, even if it didn’t work out, it’s impossible to settle for something less. I wonder if I’ll find that again, or if I’ll be able to DO that again.