Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Heart is a Lonely Companion

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I was blue and weepie most of the day, since just a few weeks ago, my partnership of five (on-again/off-again) years broke up, and I had ensconced myself in lonely self-pity.

Seeing people coupled up was unbearable, and when I read Facebook comments from happily-married friends complaining about this romantic holiday, I wanted to thrash them. Don't they appreciate what they have? A loving partner who stands by their side through thick and thin? A co-parent, co-pilot, com-patriot?

I sit down to coffee for one, moving my feet a few inches to the left on the coffee table to accommodate her phantom feet as we warm ourselves by the fire. I find myself looking at things in the store, thinking she would like this or that. Her habits I once thought were silly, have remained in my repertoire. I sleep diagonally on the big bed, vainly trying to cover the cold empty space to my right.

I miss shared stories, shared Smartwools, shared texts and toothpaste. In my naiveté I had been certain we would be together forever, even when all signs pointed elsewhere a long time ago. I think perhaps what I am most missing is an idea, a romantic idea that was never grounded in reality. I still grip the possibilities such an idea brings -- albeit with someone else -- with all my strength.

Although this doesn't make obvious sense, the emptiness echoes louder because she is around all the time. She lives nearby. We share friends and our daughters are like sisters. Our social circles run together like some cruel, in-escapable venn diagram.

If I could, I would hoist myself up and move to somewhere far away, where palm trees grow and colors are new. For now, I walk through my days in various stages of numbness and misery -- a Limbo I will gladly put behind me as time begins its slow heal.