Hurts. Hurts enough that I don’t want to rehash it. But a lot has happened since I last wrote, so I’ll just start and see where it goes. As Hemingway said, “I write the first thing that is true.”
Hannah and I broke up, and I am in pain. That is true. I didn’t see the parallel when it happened, but I see it now: she was here, sitting in the chair that is to my left now. I was a bit distracted as we talked, since I was doing yoga on that rubbery green mat that I can’t see but I know is behind me on the floor at this moment.
A thought popped into my head, I don’t remember what it was nor is it important. “Lisa!” I exclaimed. Before the word was finished we were both bewildered. Why had I said it like that, we both wondered at each other in a glance. I had said it with the exact inflection with which I would call Hannah by her name to get her attention when I had something somewhat, though not too, important to tell her.
We went about our night and, like I said, I had no idea why I had used Lisa’s name instead of Hannah’s after all these years. But now I know. After a blanket of pain settled upon me yesterday, now I see the parallels. Because this is a pain I last experienced so many years ago – it’s been seven now – after Lisa left my life. The manner, and the attached pain, are disgustingly similar.
The feeling of not being wanted, that is my pain. That she would rather spend her time with people who are not me, that is what hurts. That I have been here alone, longing for company, consoled only by whatever sad distractions I can find. And she, out there, connecting, exploring and having not only choice but support and distraction outside of herself. That is what hurts.
There. I’ve gone too deep into it already. Now it is a fresh wound again because although I forget easily, it has been ripped upon anew. A subtle but familiar twinge of anger flashes through me as the deep red blood of despair trickles down.
The entry is overdue because this breakup has long been impending. I new it in my heart, if not in my head. Hindsight shows me that my actions over the past year are far more congruent with a man making an alternate plan than a man courting a lady. She’d have been a great one to court, and outwardly I was doing just that, but never wholeheartedly.
I watched keenly for colorful fish to swim by. I always needed a backup. “I can’t put my career on hold for girl,” I remember telling myself. But clearly I could have, and I think I would have if it had been right. I believe my grandfather, 84 now, would have supported that move, though I was quite surprised to hear him say as much last month,
So why wasn’t it right? Hannah was wary, if only the slightest bit. But she never forgot about that sliver of doubt. She just watched it patiently. And after two years, she decided she’d seen enough. It didn’t get worse, that doubt didn’t lead her to any great discovery about why I wouldn’t be right for her, but it didn’t get any better.
I watched this. I watched how she held back. It showed with Hannah because her natural energy output is already pretty low, and when she holds back it is glaring. For months I drove to visit her after she moved here. Before that, I would fly to see her. I even drove across the country to take a 2 month road trip with her. She gave back, it certainly wasn’t all me, but she would get to a point and she would decide to stop. Where I would fly to visit her once a month, for her it was six weeks. Where I would take off work spend time with her, she would not.
She will tell you that I had the better means to do this. I will tell you that that is communism. The fact is, it was a cycle. When I saw her holding back, I envisioned an endless race, the two of us always running parallel but never together. This was not what I want. I am keenly aware of this now. I am, I suppose, looking for commitment.