Today I read an article so beautifully phrased that I couldn’t help but feel the growing, anxious urge to get on this page and write. The article brilliantly describes the procedure of brain surgery while patients are awake. Somehow it managed to get me in a very philosophical mood. We all intuitively take a few minutes every once in a while to remember that all of human reality is formed out of varying weights of flesh and blood, with chemicals swimming to different destinations out of electrical impulses.
I had someone I hurt write me a love letter once. He wrote me two, actually. I need to come clean.
February 1st- The first one was a poem I made my friend read before I did because I put on this semi-true, semi-false act that I’m some sort of bad ass, cold bitch from hell. When I look back at this memory I remember the dirt stained snow and Canadian geese that walked in the cool air of a Virginian winter, the faint rushing of cars on the nearby freeway, the rustic and wooden houses with small, red bobsleds outside. I imagined how children must slide on the snow before going back inside their warm, orange homes that in my imagination, must smell like maple syrup and cinnamon, how I could have done that as a child myself. This was the first time I saw snow, which must be why I romanticize it.
He was a writer himself. I was on my way to Bulgaria for a speech competition. Mid flight, the plane emergency landed in Virginia. Why not? I mean Virginia is only the place where the object of my ex-pseudo-long-distance-something lives. We had a short lived and secret infatuation over computer and cellphone screens. Eventually, I got scared of the term “relationship” and started ignoring calls, questions, pleas. He visited my country in December, and I lied about being grounded.
Upon reading my Facebook status of emergency landing in his city, he paid a friend for a ride to my hotel. I tried to be chill. We ate french fries with the plane coupons the airline provided as a “sorry we toxic-fumed your asses on our plane” gift, and just as he was about to leave back into the ice- howling air through the automatic hotel door, he slipped me a yellow envelope with a bucketlist we both wrote over Skype and a poem about his love for me.
In a rom-com I would have smiled, walked outside into the snowy hotel parking lot, both in our winter coats and scarves, and kissed him. Can’t you picture the scene perfectly?
But I didn’t. But I wasn’t in love with him anymore. But I’m not sure I ever was. But life is not a rom-com.
February 2nd- I spent the plane ride from Virginia to London avoiding thinking about him. I ordered green tea at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and I thought about wanderlust (a term he introduced me to). I heard a woman behind the huge window panes Skyping in French.”Je m’entends”.
February 3rd- In Croatia, I remembered a Slovenian boy who claimed I stole his heart for about a week.
February 4th- I met the next person who little did I know, would be my next ex-long-distance-something. He was the color of falling trees in France. He was the unexpected sweetness of a green honeydew melon. He was immature and dumb and he broke me. I slowly watched his most every move, and learnt to like so many things I had never noticed on anyone: His hands, the way his eyes would shrink when he smiled, how his tone of voice sweetened when he said my name. My name felt so right in his mouth, his warmth was the perfect temperature, his sweetness was never bitter.
On the last day we ate at a fancy restaurant. Outside, fairy lights twinkled with falling snowflakes. In celebration of our victory at the speech tournament, my team and I treated ourselves to two shots of the local booze. We ordered a glass of white wine, toasted, and tipsily hugged goodbye.
My memories of February have frosted borders.
For the next months we texted nonstop. One day, while I was leaning on a whiteboard marker, he wrote about how he “loved the nerdiness, loved how I always discussed Kant or Rawls or Nozick, loved our conversations”. I have never felt so warm in my life.
And then, one April afternoon, as I studied my material on the balance of payments, he texted me about how he was dating someone else. The first second, it felt as if my insides were made of glass. The next second, the glass shattered into microscopic daggers, cutting and bruising every organ. The third second was red and dripping, it stung like rubbing alcohol on a fresh wound, hot, extremely hot. The fourth second, my subconscious kicked in, and I felt nothing. I thought nothing but “at least now it’s officially over”. I didn’t cry. If you have Tylenol swimming in your blood and a headache, you can feel the dull and distant, drowsy stabs, but you ignore them. This was me. The tears didn’t come until May.
Words are my cigarettes. I needed to write this, to come clean, to have a permanent record of how I felt. It has been nearly a year since all of this happened, and I finally feel ready to share this to myself, and a bunch of anonymous and kind hearted strangers who have read this post. Recently I wrote a letter to both of these men, and I believe it was the stimulus to writing this and finally being able to say,
I am over them.
For you and I, medicine comes with a bookmark. Since we share the same affliction, talk to me in the comments.