(This piece is dedicated to two friends of mine, one male and one female, who just newly turned single again. Heaven bless their hearts, and I hope this helps as they undergo the healing process.)
A pub has never been the most ideal place in the world for a working class citizen to mark his lunch break in the middle of working hours, but I do that anyway. Besides, there is a reason menthol bubble gums exist to cushion the breath. The floors of my head are soaked with Ace Roots to mop off the thoughts I don’t need, while my ears are fed with tracks from Adele’s new album “25” and Coldplay’s 2014 album “Ghost Stories”. The playlist is apt, ripe for the season. Your Blackberry Message comes in; you want to find out how my day is going. Some nerve you’ve got, massaging a wound you’ve inflicted, just damn unwilling to leave the knife you lunged in!
Yes, it’s been a little over twenty-nine hours since you detached your gloves from my heart, slammed the door in my face, kicked me out in the cold, all that….for a second time! The adage about bites and shyness did not say anything about situations of being bitten twice, so I may be forgiven for not knowing out to react. Twice have I danced in these fires with you (at least I thought we waltzed together), twice have I got myself burnt. Pressing the ‘answer’ button in response to that call should have set the tone for a brighter day, but instead it sent the darkest of clouds over the atmosphere, such that I could not tell the difference between 10am and 8pm.
I should have known better than try out my knuckles at your door, heck, I should have ignored the apartment you returned to take up in my mental space after two years. Prior to your second coming, there had been Marie….and Lana….and Ruth. Each was good to me, never mind that my heart was a tad too slippery for their warm kind gloves….but each was too pure, too comfortable, too easy to figure out, and that was why I jumped at the first chance to let you in again. It would seem that I live for the pain of unrequited Love, and that I am made for the windy roads and cloudy skies, rather than the safe cliché of emotional stability…..or maybe my soul is too dark to deserve any form of conventional shelter. Then again, there was the small matter of getting round the maze that is you (which I didn’t quite achieve the last time out), so I took a second plunge, reckoning without the reality that some puzzles are not worth the pain involved in solving them.
Just like it was way back then, I didn’t trust myself with loving you, and the neighbours in my head continually folded their arms in scepticism…..but I wasn’t about to figure out what (or who) was good for me; I just wanted you, even if it meant lighting a cigarette near a keg of petrol. It’s dangerous when someone knows where your switch is, when they make you go back on what you believe, when their presence shows you that your will is not as strong as it used to be. No one logically chases after yesterday, but for you, I was Usain Bolt.
You cited distance as a major reason for your decision, as if Geography now determines how the heart beats…..oh well, I felt the distance on your lips the last time I wanted to taste your new brand of gloss. Funny, isn’t it? Even English scholars cannot wrap their fingers round how past tense becomes present tense and then past tense again. Well the twisting of your knife doesn’t hurt like the last time; maybe it’s because back then my heart was a fat shapeless piece of cake, but now Life has chopped and shaped it into a flat piece of pizza. There is a reason why big-time employers demand sufficient notice before staff tender their resignation, and I wish the same procedure could apply to relationships…..never mind, I wasn’t exactly caught off guard, I always had my eye on the knob this time around, and so there isn’t much resounding of the door slammed shut. There will be no angry texts, no subtle digs on blogs, no excessive use of the ‘block’ button on social media outlets; I am older now, and with a lighter heart too.
The beautiful part is, the door is wide open for you to come back in and saunter out as many times as you want, I am mad about you like that. You can take my heart (or whatever is left of it should you decide to revisit) and toy with it however you want, yea, you can come back to hurt me anytime. Maybe that is what it is now: a sport, where you toss someone’s heart, come back to pick it, and then fling it again to ensure more shock impact. Let’s call this game, the Heartbreak Olympics.
I feel a bit guilty though…..at the fact that I am not sad enough, not shattered enough, not devastated enough. Afterall, is this not what I have always wanted; to fall into the arms of a woman who doesn’t deserve my love, get thrown out of her heart’s window, and then tell stories about it? Honey, I am sorry for not being half as upset with you as I was two years ago…..maybe it’s because breakups these days are as regular as taking a dump in the restroom. Beyond that, the weather is hot right now, and maybe it will be fun sleeping alone, contrary to the usual pattern of November being chilly with everyone scared of being alone. I love the irony in a way; hot weather, cold hearts….something you would know a lot about.
For us, goodbye is as frequent as the word “hi”, but be sure that I’ll still look out for you, checking the weather where you are and all. Don’t worry, I won’t be mad when I see pictures of you and the next guy on Instagram…..ok, I will be a bit jealous, imagining your eyes closed while digging your nails into his back, but I definitely won’t be mad. Thanks for not causing chaos on your way out this time, and do let me know when you want to stop by again, as is typical of this sport you play so well.
“I can feel your body
When I’m lying in bed
There’s too much confusion
Going around through my head
And it makes me so angry
To know that the flame still burns
When will I get over?
When will I ever learn?
Fool me once, shame on you
Do it twice, and the shame is on me
It takes foolishness to still yearn for you
But that’s what my fate seems to be.”