I have a bit of a headache. This whole week feels like it has run full speed towards this day. Everyone in the world is in a wedding induced haze, commenting on the beauty of the marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton, and all I can think of is my LACK of a wedding. Today would have been Jonathan and I’s six-year anniversary. Earlier this morning, around 5:00 AM, when a bird was chirping directly outside my window, my mind was not shutting off. I desperately wanted to not think, I didn’t want to re-open wounds, I didn’t want to think about the ups and downs, plusses and minuses, I did not want to go through the perpetual pros and cons that have haunted my every thought for months and months. I knew that today would cause problems. I am self-aware to the point of being a stuck up hypocrite because even though I see disruptions in my mental and emotional states, I am too shy, too scared, too angry to make the necessary changes. Even though I am positive that our break-up was for the best, when a day such as today arrives, it is hard not to think about the years before this. It’s hard not to have memories cloud my mind and make my heart hurt, and make me cry.
When the birds woke me up this morning around 4:30 AM, the first image that came to my mind was this evening in 2008 where Jonathan and I were at my apartment. I lived in this dingy one bedroom subterranean, and the kitchen was literally this 4×2 feet dirt covered linoleum in an ocean of carpet, and Jonathan was making me dinner. I had come home from working at Scheel’s All Sports, and I had been on my feet all day, and my legs were in so much pain, along with my lower back. Jonathan has this habit, when bored, of jumping up and attempting to reach the ceiling. He is a tall guy, and so nine times out of ten, he will reach the ceiling without jumping that high. He jumped, touched the ceiling and landed gracefully. Somehow we thought it would be humorous to see me perform this same act, and so I bent me knees and geared up for a soaring leap. The only problem was that when I pushed off the ground, my ankles, knees, hips, lower back, and shoulders all cracked simultaneously so it sounded like somehow I had cracked into a billion little pieces. There was an amazing flash of pain but then I felt less stiff than I had in years. However, that moment of bone crunching caused Jonathan to start laughing uncontrollably to the point where he started reenacting it over and over and over. We ended up laughing for a good twenty-five minutes to the point where I couldn’t breathe and was in the midst of my hyena inspired bursts of laughter mixed with none other than my other relative secret laughing mannerism, the snort.
This memory always used to bring positive reinforcement. It would create a sly smile across my face and even, on occasion, an encore of the laughing fit that ensued that night. Today it just created this weight in my chest, a tightness, and it brought tears to my eyes. We needed to break-up. There is no doubt in my mind about that. It was necessary. It doesn’t mean that this is any easier. When a multitude of negative behavior is the reason for a break-up, it is common sense that the relationship would not and could not be salvaged unless the two people in it changed their ways. Nothing but negative reinforcement happens when the two people cling to the relationship as a floatation device and not learn to swim on their own. I know this. Like I mentioned earlier, pros and cons, plusses and minuses, I have used them. It was the right decision. But here I am, thinking about that night and the hyena laughter, and I cannot find the same humor in it. And I am wondering what would go through his mind if that same incident graced his memory. Would there be fondness? Or a metaphorical sigh of relief (“Phew, I escaped that before it was too late.”)? And the worst of it is this: how come I still have that mentality? How come I am still wondering what HE is thinking? That was one of the many things that caused the demise of this relationship. Why am I so focused on HIM and how HE affects my life when I was not a determining factor when HE made decisions for HIMSELF. If I was ever a factor in his decisions, it was never whether the decision was good for me, but if it was good for me in regards to him. Would I be willing to relocate 2,000+ miles away from my family and friends to support him and his dream? His advancement in education would affect future job placement, and therefore us as a couple, that is true, but what about those unquantifiable factors, like whether or not I would be happy, whether or not my depression would increase exponentially, and how would that affect how I relate to people, my ability to make friends, or even find a job?
And here I am again, going through the many factors that added to the demise of my relationship with him. Disappointment and anger cloud the happy moments, and sheer sadness rains down. I sit here thinking these things, writing them out trying to understand, and I cannot help but wonder what the fucking purpose is. The past cannot be changed, what happens in the future is under my control only so much as I am willing to control it. Do I want to try to reconcile with him? Do I want to go back to the familiar? Would I be going back because of it being familiar, or because I genuinely see the great potential in us and OUR future? I talked to him a couple of weeks after we broke up and said that I didn’t want us to close the door completely, that we should never say never. He responded in kind, and then days later, he said never. He said he didn’t want me. He didn’t want us. It was after he began talking with a certain person, again. I am not sure there is a large correlation, but I am sure it had something to do with it. If he can receive attention, fawning admiration from his friends, and if he is in the presence of two great things, then I can see where I would pale in comparison. I went out to California to get more of my belongings and my car. While there he hugged me, walked around with his arms around me, following me like a shadow, he even kissed me. And his reasoning was that it was all in the name of “goodbye.” After hearing him tell me he didn’t want me, all of his actions hurt more than any other thing he had done in the past year. No longer was it that he genuinely loved me or was sad to see me go, his actions boiled down to he was horny and needed to press his crotch against something, might as well be me. And once again I allowed this to happen. But who am I to speak, right? We each used and abused each other in ways far beyond our comprehension. Twenty-four and engaged; I am not sure either one of us was mature enough.
I have been back in the midwest for a little over a month now, and that is one thing that seems sublimely perfect to and for me. This is where I belong. I fit. Through many discussions on here and with my friends, I have said I did not feel at home in California. I feel like I stuck out. I could not get excited about the scientific aspects of the town we lived in. One of the only things I loved about Davis was Armadillo Music, a petite record store that felt like the kid brother of Amoeba music. I loved San Francisco, but without the money it would be impossible to merge it into our life. California was never home to me. My belongings, the books I surrounded myself with, pictures and art, were the things I missed when we traveled (and I missed Jonathan when I went somewhere without him). I never looked forward to being back in Davis, I looked forward to smelling our home and hugging him. I still feel somewhat displaced, but unlike when in California, this displacement deals with the material things. In California, it was internal. It felt hopeless.
I’ll leave you with some lyrics from Peter Bradley Adams (from his song “The Longer I Run“):
“When my blood runs warm with the old red wine, I miss the life that I left behind. But when I hear the sound of the blackbird’s cry, I know I left in the nick of time.”