Vanishing Act

I woke up in the middle of the night and called out his name. I guess my brain thought it heard him and I was still half asleep. It’s odd having somebody just disappear after living with them for three years. I still haven’t moved the note or the key from the kitchen table. I still haven’t slept in my bed. He just left without talking to me. Most of the time when you end something of this magnitude, you get to say goodbye. I would have liked to have had a grown-up goodbye. If one of us died today, the last thing he would ever hear from me is “I hope you fall into quicksand”, because nothing says “thanks for the good times” like telling someone you wish the earth would swallow them whole.

You’d think I’d hate him, but you’d be wrong. I don’t really hate anybody. I wish he could have been different, less of a misogynist. I wish he could have overcome the way he was raised. I wish we could have been friends when the dust settled. I’ve only had two relationships end this acrimoniously. I had to get a restraining order against the last one. I sincerely hope this is the last time in my life I have contemplate restraining orders and personal safety with regard to somebody who claims to love me. I’m sure we can all understand how that screws with your head and, frankly, mine is a bit of a mess anyway.

Last night I realized that for the first time in my life, I am totally free of any obligation to another human. I could go anywhere or do anything and my only responsibility is to myself now. For a moment I imagined myself flying. I have never felt less attached to anything. The promise of an unbridled future came to a screeching halt when I realized that with this absolute freedom comes the lack of a net. Even master trapeze artists have a net and my life skills are nowhere near master level.

One of my co-workers is making me try dating apps. Not because I particularly want to, but I’ve been off for two days and the only meaningful interactions I’ve had with other human beings are my next door neighbor and the guy collecting shopping carts in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. I miss having somebody to love. I think that’s the hardest part for me. Even when he was still here, I had somebody to cook for, do things for, make comfortable. Now I have nowhere to focus my attention, except myself. Maybe I’ll just get a dog.

The next few weeks are going to require some muddling and I’ve got enough to muddle through to keep me busy for a while. I’m at my best when I have things to do and I want to be selective about what I choose to fill this hole with.


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