Left behind

Gone now. An empty room I travel through, seeing what used to be there, the ghost tables and photographs, the thread chairs disappearing. What to decorate, what to add to this emptiness? But first the walking, barefoot, the reaching and touching of things that used to be here. Feeling the fade, feeling the ending, the going away as something active, present.

Drawing our names in the dust, tracing the sadness with my fingertips. Only webs and dangling threads left now, all the finished, unfinished remains.

In this room. This small room, this small house we made, this small life we lived in small moments with big, deep breaths. Empty now. Gone.

What to do with all this space? You should know I’ve found someone to fill it up, to reach into corners, open the blinds. Someone to dance me across this bare, dusty floor. But they’re not you. You should know.

He’s not you.

I once said there’s a part of me that only you-

It wasn’t only you I left behind.

 

 

What they mean by the end

I want to pick up the phone and say hey it’s me. I want to listen to you roll every syllable together in that funny, rushed way I always adored. To hear the safety of your voice down the line and not think about anything at all. To spin a story about my day where you are still the only one I want to tell.

The bitter has been sweetened by wine and time; when I heard your name just now it made me smile. I think this might be what they mean by the end. When the hurts and the pain have gone away, how it really just comes down to this:

The sudden desire to say hey it’s me – and how the phone stays in my pocket.

Little Clicks Joanne Piechota

Image by Joanne Piechota ; Repost of this little realisation by Me

“I want you to know that I have loved you all along. And even when we’re far apart …”

The possibility of you

The possibility of you sustained me over lifetimes. Through every lonely, dusty summer, and the tempest of our winter nights. Season upon season of your warmth and withholding. Such famine and feastings of the heart, endured.

The famine and feast my heart endured.

(That cracked continent under my skin, owing all its hungers to you).

You. The possibility of you. And me there with my finger held high, hoping I might read the weather. Will I need to wear my boots today? Will you open the door; will I be let in? When I fall, shivering into your arms, will it ever be both of us shaking?

Or will you always be colder than I remembered.

No matter now. All of that breath, and all of the holding. Now I’m ready to let it go. I’m ready for this slowest, saddest season. As I finally replace the possibility of you. With what you say – and what you do.

Balloon Girl, Red Heart by Banksy

The Girl with the Red Balloon – Banksy

(I love you. But I don’t want you anymore)

The scientists and the lovers too

There is absence and then there is this.

The silent, suspended presence. The way the saxophone mourns on my favourite song. The hundred little ways you stay. They said there would come an easier time, the scientists and the lovers too. But it doesn’t heal a thing, you know.

I suspect it merely drives it deeper.

inexplicable by Joanne Piechota

Image by Joanne Piechota @ Little Clicks

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied – Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

I do not miss you more on Valentine’s Day

I do not miss you more on Valentine’s Day.

In the profusion of reds and intact hearts you are no more absent than you ever were.

(I do not miss you in the language of calendars and clocks – in the birthdays and the Christmas mornings and the ten-nine-eights of New Years Eve)

I miss you when it rains. That is all, and when.

(I do not miss you more than when it rains)

Little Clicks Joanne Piechota

Image by Joanne Piechota @ Little Clicks

Move On …

“I chose, and my world was shaken – so what?

The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not

You have to move on …”

– Sondheim, Move On

You get up the next morning because you have to. Because the time has long since passed where you could lie in bed all day and turn your face to the wall. Because this is where you were always going to end up, and you cannot claim ignorance – even when the pain is fresh.

So you get up and you go to work, and you sit at your desk in the hope that the inertia of an every-working-day will help you push it down. You forget your password and answer ‘great’ to questions about your night, and all the while your fingernails dig in to your arm and leave their mark – but it keeps your voice steady, this other kind of pain, and when no-one takes a second look you are grateful for the sensation.

If you are a little white in the face and your shoulders are weighed down, it can be chalked up to that extra wine the night before. And though you cry silently in a bathroom stall through lunch, you wash away the tracks before the hour is out.

This is how it goes. The first next day, and the worst, because it’s all just sitting there on your skin, this ache. You will not listen to love songs – you know not to listen to love songs – and it’s a quiet day when you don’t have a soundtrack. Just the ticking of the clock, and if you could shift the hands forward you would, because it is okay to crawl in to bed when the sun goes down. No-one cares if you face the wall at night, in the hours assigned to the broken-hearted.

It’s the daylight you have to watch in the coming weeks. Those mornings where your skin is just a little flayed, your nerves jangling on the surface as you scrub at wine-cracked lips. Trying to remove the stains, hiding the evidence from the night before. Applying an extra layer of concealer before you go.

You are a fortress in defence of your sadness. You don’t want to lose it to the seven stages, not when it has been the only steady thing. But of course you are well on your way despite yourself. You skipped right over denial, and before long anger makes its presence known. It suddenly threatens to replace the hollow with a heat. It flares in your chest every time you revisit that last text – the one that says ‘if you need me …’ well fuck, when didn’t you need him? And there it is again, the little flame that won’t go out.

(You taste a little acid on your tongue each time you bite down on this new life of no reply).

Until one day you delete the message (and yes you are sure!), and it is neither heat nor hollow that results. Just a slight sensation of falling, and for the first time a little thrill betrays you. You stop counting the weeks on your fingers, you stop guarding your sorrow, and it lessens in everything but dreams by the time the seasons change.

The truth is, you are moving on. And in some small way you want to say sorry for this letting go. It was never your intention to be the faithless one. You fought so hard to hold on after-all. They say the average daydream lasts 14 seconds. Well this one lasted seven years. But you can’t keep telling the same story, not when time has its own ideas it likes to dangle, just within your reach.

You have to move on. Still, you know why Orpheus looked back. And though you know your past won’t survive the light, you still long for one last look at the dark. You have to move on. But first you look over your shoulder. To see clearly what trailed behind you all of this time.

And just for a moment – in this looking back – you catch a glimpse of two lovers as they actually were. Two glorious creatures turning in each other’s arms, sending off sparks. A vivid blaze across the night of your life.

You watch them spinning away from the world, in an endless, beautiful dance. And then you let them go.

“Look at all the things you’ve done for me

Opened up my eyes

Taught me how to see …”

***

Eidyia’s Note: In re-posting this piece here I see that I wrote the truth well before I realised it. That lyrical genius Sondheim really does say it best … settle for the glow, time for letting go. Move on.