working through it

Jason’s gotten into the habit of reading through my text conversations with boys. He reads them likes school literature: critiquing them afterwards, probing for background, eager (and reluctant) to inquire about future character development.

I hate it and I’ve gotten used to it. The invasion of privacy makes me feel like I’m cared for…in a rehab kind of way. Someone who knows me well and knows where I’ve been, sees me going down a path that could lead somewhere not so great, and they want to protect me by taking me off that path and locking me up in a room for a conversion of sorts.

“Don’t talk to him. You shouldn’t talk to him for a month…at least. He sounds disrespectful. Why do you have people like that in your life?” And so on.

When I watch him pick up my phone I think how stupid it is. Then how brutal. Then I stop and don’t think anything. Maybe I am unfit for the world I’m navigating and need to be watched over. He says he used to do what I do and it’s wrong. But I think what he did was different. I don’t think he loved while he was doing it. He only sexed.

I don’t think he gave a damn the way I give a damn. I don’t think he got up at 3am to write because he was feeling so much for the people in his lives.

I’ll have to ask. I don’t know. We’ve had lots of fights about everything I don’t know and all of the assumptions I make. I need to ask.

We had this dramatic moment only a week ago or so that I’ve almost wiped from my memory. I asked him about it today.

“Remember that night here, when you walked out, and I didn’t come after you? I remember you walking out and what happened afterwards, but I don’t remember why you walked out.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

That night marked the first night we didn’t run for one another after a fight. And he asked me to. He asked me to come over and fix it. I didn’t. For the past several months the relationship has been crippling us both and it was the first time I felt clear and calm when seeing him upset. It didn’t change as his voice raised. It didn’t change when he left. It didn’t change when I didn’t respond to his texts. All that was in my head was silence instead of noise and it was beautiful.

He admitted himself to the hospital that night after waking up from some type of system failure. He blamed me for it. If I had chased after him he wouldn’t have been home alone, so stressed that he woke up twitching, gasping for air. The folks at the hospital said he would’ve died. I guess when you stop breathing in your sleep your body either wakes you up or doesn’t.

I apologized on his request. I didn’t want to. I wasn’t responsible for any of it. It was a side effect of a bigger issue — one that I play a part in but do not puppeteer. He didn’t care about it being sincere. He would have preferred, yes, but me saying it was enough. Me “coming down from my pedestal” and taking responsibility for his life, was enough.

I go back and forth between this experience with him being one of the greatest things I’ve ever known and it all being some type of  bitter disillusionment. Maybe it’s possible for it to permanently be both. Should I resign to the idea that love is unforgiving?

He says that after many long years of fragmented connections he has finally found a full one. He has found someone to give the entirety of himself to and everyday he does. I can’t list all the ways he shows himself and finish this entry. I’d be mush.

And here I am, after many years of a deep and fulfilling connection, not wanting to give myself to anyone, but I love too much for that. And so every day, like a ghost, I go in and out of the wall, wondering if I will ever be human again and stay on one side.

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