Lying in bed and trying to sleep it off isn’t exactly the best way to get over an ex…
I woke to the distinct taste of iron in my mouth. She had been hiding behind my eyelids again, waiting to creep into my subconscious. I don’t remember what I was dreaming, but I’d bitten clear through my bottom lip. There were about a million hours left until sunrise, and the moon was making shadows dance around my room.
I wondered if I’d ever really be okay again.
To make matters worse, my stirring awakened the feminine creature who shared my bed. Despite the fact that she slept eighteen hours a day, “Doo,” my cat, was none too happy about having her slumber disturbed.
It had been months since my relationship had ended, and I was finally doing healthy, mature things. I was eating right and exercising. I’d cut back the alcohol to human levels. I was immersed in projects, creative and mundane. I was spending time with friends, even dating again. So why wasn’t I feeling any better? How was she still managing to sneak into the citadels of my mind and run roughshod with my emotions? Why couldn’t I expunge the memory of her?
I sat up in my bed, surrendering to that foul demon, Insomnia. The still of night now vibrated with the sound of Doo purring. She had sensed my disquiet and, out of empathy, curled up into a ball in my lap. Her wordless offering was entirely uncharacteristic for her species; no one ever told Doo that cats were supposed to be aloof and distant. But she wasn’t entirely altruistic; she had even less desire to be awake at this god-forsaken hour of the morning than I did.
The words of the Bard made a hollow sound as they echoed through the halls of my mind: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
I wanted to punch him right in the face.
Not that I disagreed; I simply wanted to debate the issue. With my fists. “Those were words,” I told myself, “that could only have been uttered by someone who had never truly gone through the utterly soul shredding experience of heartbreak.”
Doo yawned at my angst. I was boring her. I was boring myself.
I found myself on the fire escape, considering my Taoist training and the nature of impermanence. The shore didn’t own the waves any more than blades of grass own the morning dew. Both were grateful for the blessing bestowed on each other, however momentary. When tides ebb and the morning sun evaporated the dew, neither the shore nor the blades of grass experienced regret.
Strangers become intimates become strangers. Yin and yang, the endlessly repeating cycle.
I had watched the moon illuminate the East River as it traversed the night sky. Everything was flux; sameness and stability were the illusion. Every living thing and every inanimate object was set in an eternal pattern of motion. The happiness I thought I’d found with her had risen and set, like the moon before me. It was human arrogance, trying to lock something inherently dynamic into a static pattern that made the situation unacceptable.
I had spent months telling myself I was alone by choice; it was a lie. I was alone because the person I wanted to be with didn’t want to be with me anymore. The purpose was for me to evolve. The sword does not curse the grinding wheel for being abrasive; and Love was teaching me, honing me to a razor’s edge.
Morning dawned, and I watched the Manhattan skyline turn shades of fuchsia, and tangerine. I rejoined Doo, the sensei of snooze, and donned a blindfold. It was easier to close my eyes than to blot out the light of the sun. Reality, like the sun, was going to wake me up to my life, whether I was ready or not.
© Jackie Summers 2012