It’s been a long time since I’ve read my friend Rachel’s blog. I saw a reference to it in a mutual friend’s Facebook status update and realized how much I missed it, so I clicked the link, read a few posts and suddenly came upon a sentence that made me catch my breath.
In a post titled Love and Marriage, about how things change so many times in our lives and in others’, she wrote, “A friend here was walking down the beach with his new girlfriend as if last year he had not been doing the same with another.” The image was like a slap, because a few weeks ago I learned my ex was engaged to a woman he’d been dating four months, as if nine months earlier he had not been planning a life with me.
How is that possible? I’ve had a few loves in my life—some short, some long. All ended. For me, losing a lover is not like losing a pet; the way to get over the loss is not to run out and get another. For me, however the relationship ends, the loss of a lover shuts down my heart, often for a long time. Before meeting my now-engaged ex, I had not been in a relationship for five years.
The relationship with my most recent ex ended bitterly. And yet I miss him—or rather, I miss the contact, the rhythm, the feeling of being home. I’ve seen him twice since I learned of his news. Neither time sent me reeling; my heart has not yet healed enough to suffer a setback. I don’t want to be with him, but I could no more imagine being with someone else right now than I could imagine driving to the moon.
Would I like to be in another relationship? I would. But it’s as if my heart has locked-in syndrome, aware of the possibility of love, yearning for it even, but unable to move toward it. If I had a wish it would be that my heart unlock, that it open, wide and soon and bright with possibility, whether to someone new or someone familiar. That it lead me again to feel I am home.
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