Love, Leslie -or- Working Backward

I tried to kill you off, tried to forget that our relationship was sacred, tried to forget how much you meant to me. I tried so hard, because you didn’t want this relationship anymore and I did. I had this image of us walking arm in arm downtown, talking about our lives in a way that only we can. Walking arm in arm because you know that if we don’t, I will trip on a manhole cover and possibly fall in.

Falling into a manhole is an apt description, because I dug the tunnel myself. I sit in it daily, trying to work out what is what and where is where. I work backward from the death and into the days when we cared for each other in a way I’d never had with anyone else. I work backward from my sins into the wholeness I felt when you found me.

I have days where I remember everything, and all I can do is cry. I miss Dana, I miss you, and my tears won’t stop because it’s all my fault. Or at least, it is today. I feel off-kilter because I was so secure in both of you and now I am creating a future that doesn’t include you because that’s not what you want because of the way I behaved. I have shown both of you that I am capable of reacting like a wet cat with claws extended when I cannot function, or I forget who I am and who both of you are and start fighting with someone else that’s not even in the room. Transference and projection are deep injuries that I walk and talk with, trying to resolve. I never want to be in this place again, this feeling that I have no power to change the past and bring it into wholeness on my own.

I long for the days when we could just flip each other shit and enjoy each other’s company. I long for the days when I didn’t threaten you, I was just leslie, a woman standing in front of you broken, and you knew it and loved me anyway. I am lost in the end and trying to save the beginning, knowing that closure may never come from anyone but me. I hate my feelings of grief and regret because they bother me more than you will ever know. I am sobbing as I write this because the future I envisioned is gone at my own hand. I emotionally destroyed me, and sit in your love instead of your anger. When I do reread your anger, it’s a mixed bag of “I don’t think she understands where I’m coming from” and wishing that you’d heard me in the way that I intended instead of the way you took it. My words are heavy and when they come across the Internet they hurt, but never intentionally until my yard was threatened and I defended myself like a junkyard dog with a Napoleon complex.

I stare at your e-mail address in my followers list and wonder if you are listening without talking, because I can do enough talking for both of us. Trying to work it where I feel grief RIGHT NOW so that it doesn’t continue to weigh me down forever. Trying to process our demise so that six months from now, it’s less of an injury, like moving down from a heart attack to a scraped knee. It’s a shallower well of grief, so it looks different than I look now. If you came to my house, you would see my decadent porch and me curled up with a laptop, trying to let go and not knowing how. As I have said before, you took my grief and kissed my broken places so that light could shine from within, and I can’t forget that part. I can’t forget the way you are stitched into my heart.

I pray without ceasing that you are well, healthy and whole. I pray that God will prosper my ministry. I pray that I will be forgiven for the sins I committed in this relationship because I talked too much and not so much with the listening.

Not now, not ever again. I don’t want to bring out the worst in you, and I don’t want you to bring out the worst in me. I completely understand that this problem is not of us, it is of the Internet. If we’d met under different circumstances, I don’t think that we would have had our blowouts to begin with.

We’d have walked, arm-in-arm, linked because you know I’ll fall. When I trip, you’re there to catch me, because that’s what you’ve always done. I promise, Argo. I can catch anything you throw at me, because you do the same for me. I have not done that in the past. I’ve talked more than I’ve listened, and taken more than I’ve given. You are an enormous gift to the world, and not one that should have been cast aside. I should have taken you and held on to you and loved you until your fur fell off, my velveteen friend.

The end is the beginning is the end, our cycle in the months where emoting meant anger and unworthiness in response. There are days where I feel enormous, and you have given me some of them. Other days, I cry like a toy has been taken away, that ugly cry expressing so much pain and sorrow you have to get it out.

Grief this large shouldn’t just sit. It needs to be harnessed into miracles. I am working on them. Piece by piece by….. peace.

I am working backward because there are no do-overs, but there is a great deal of wisdom in learning about the past.

Dear Argo,


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