The days following my last entry here just shy of a month ago were spent warring with myself - one part of me wallowing in the misery of what it meant to truly live without him, and the other part of me telling myself that it wasn’t forever, and I needed to pull it together.
I began to busy myself with anything I could think of. Errands and appointments I’d put off, I took care of. Every little thing that could go wrong, did. Every minor stress became an instant nightmare. The day after, I found myself crying openly walking down the sidewalk in the middle of town after leaving an appointment where the receptionist had been rude to me - It started off as frustration, that morphed into a pity party about nothing in my life going right, which led me to think about how nothing will ever be okay again. I had to pull my sunglasses over my eyes so I could keep crying in public without drawing attention.
I’d be driving and a song would come on and it would remind me of him in some way and I’d think about how we’d never sing a song together again, I’d never get to show him a song that reminded me of him, that he’d never send me any songs anymore - and I’d just have to stop listening to music all together because there’s no way I can hear anything and not think of him. I’d start crying then because music was ruined forever. Concerned motorists looked at me at red lights. I was past the point of caring, they could never know what I’d lost.
I went to the gas station where he and I had last picked up snacks, and the security guard who we had chatted with was there - and he asked me where my guy-friend was. It took everything in me not to break down or say something I regretted. I made a flimsy excuse and he said we should come back and visit again… As I drove away my heart deflated. Thinking of the fun we had that night, and knowing someone remembered us, US. TOGETHER. just hit me differently. I probably can’t ever go back there.
I didn’t put on makeup or brush my hair or wear anything but sweats and felt incredibly sorry for myself for a week, sick to my stomach wondering if he’d read anything I wrote here. Worrying I’d get an even more formal goodbye than him falling asleep during our last conversation. Scared to death to check this journal or my email or anything. Going back and forth with regret over being stupid enough to give him this link. Most of you called it brave. I felt like I made a huge mistake. I still feel that way, though the world hasn’t ended.
The second week I was called about a stray dog that had showed up at one of my family member’s doors and needed life-saving care - and I rushed to pick him up in another state and took him for emergency surgery and vet care, and spent the next two weeks straight nursing him back to health 24 hours a day. I barely slept. Every moment was devoted to making sure this pup made it. I got into a heated battle with someone who claimed they owned him, but couldn’t explain the major signs of abuse and neglect. I refused to give him back. I hid from the police. I was on the run. I was eventually arrested for “stolen property” even though I didn’t steal that dog, I tried to save it. I eventually had to give the dog to an intermediary because I had no choice but to do it or go to jail. All I knew was that I kept him long enough to save his life, and he was mostly healed by the time he left last week, and all I can hope is that he leads a better life now, I did all I could. And in that time, I kept myself so busy and so exhausted that I didn’t have time to think much about “him and i” and our conversation, about this journal, about what the future held. So I am grateful for that little dog finding me when he did, but it sure did break my heart the way it all played out. I was left again hurting, sad, alone, left with my thoughts, feeling not good enough, feeling like nothing would ever go right in my life. crying until I made myself sick…
That brings us to this past week. Feeling relieved to not be hiding from the police and even feeling relieved to not be nursing a dog 24/7 the way I had been… But I shut down. I simply couldn’t feel anything anymore. I didn’t DO anything. I didn’t TALK to anyone. I haven’t even told my friends or anyone invested in the rescue dog’s story what happened because I am just so emotionally exhausted, I think I’m in some kind of shock, too much happening at once, unable to process, so I overheated and shut down. I needed that time to decompress.
I’d be lying if I said thoughts of him didn’t creep in now that i have had some down-time. I drank several nights in a row trying to get up the nerve to come here again, to read any comments left, to maybe even write this update. Every time I couldn’t even type in the address. I just gave up and continued my netflix binge and drowned out every thought and emotion I had.
I’ve dreamed of him a few times this past week. I almost wrote about him. He’s slowly become the last thing on my mind as I lay in bed, praying for sleep, and then my mind makes up all these dream scenarios of us. One time we were playing Mario Kart. Another time we were on a guided tour bus near the ocean… But when I wake up, there’s a blissful few minutes where I forget everything bad, where I feel warm in the comfort of his dream-presence… but reality inevitably comes crashing back in and the tide of sadness pulls me under, reminding me that this is reality and it’s been weeks since we last spoke and I ain’t shit.
So you’d think that with all of this sadness, all of this missing him, all of these dreams and all of this anxiety over his absence - I would have been a little more surprised when he called me last night out of the blue, talking to me about things like a concert he went to, and the roast he made the night before, and some pans and a kitchen knife he bought to improve his culinary skills.
But I admittedly wasn’t all that surprised. I’m more surprised now that I wasn’t surprised then. My pulse quickened and my hands began to shake but nothing much worse than the way they always do around him. So, I talked to him about food, about music, about work and friends and life and the weather and the news and definitely not about us. Not about the last time we spoke nearly 3 weeks ago. Not about the things left unsaid. Not about the email with the link to this journal… And to be honest, I’m not sure I could have taken a very serious conversation in that moment anyway, after all I’ve been through recently. I’m still trying to turn myself back on after being so shut down.
As silly as it sounds, just having him reach out - hearing his voice, hearing an update on his life, knowing he’s okay (at least surface-level OK), knowing he hasn’t completely cut me out of his life.... even though I know nothing more than that - made me feel better. Relieved. Because what I thought might be the end wasn’t the end. And the part of me that told me he’d come back has been proven right. For now.
I don’t know what the fuck is going on. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t know if he wants to be in my life or if it was a mistake. I don’t know if he remembers trying to end our friend/relationship/situation-type-deal, or not. I don’t know if he read anything in this journal or not. I have no idea because all he seemed was normal, like nothing had happened.
All I want is normal. I’m ok with normal although at some point I’d like answers. Just talking to him the way we did made me realize how justified I am in missing him when he is gone. How I would have done, WILL DO anything to keep him in my life, in some capacity. If hearing about his steak dinner and workplace stories can lift my spirits in that way, then I know it is worth whatever sacrifice I have to make. Even if that’s all it ever is. I don’t feel right when he’s gone, I don’t feel like myself, I feel like a piece of me is missing - and even just our friendship on such a surface level makes me feel like that piece is there again. I know it’s supposed to be. That’s why it hurt so bad to think he’d checked out of my life forever.
So I guess I’m still at the point that I’ve usually been at in my entries here. Unsure. Cautiously hopeful. Low expectations. Relief to not be ghosted. Confused in general. Knowing I love him with all I have despite it all and always will, and it wouldn’t have changed if he never made that call last night. I would have loved him the same. But I’m sure glad he did.