That U2 album, though…
Apple caused a huge stir by including a U2 album in a software update (not sure which, don’t care) because people wanted the space instead of the music. I, for one, am glad I listened to it before I decided the space was wasted. I need it, especially today.
I finally got through to Argo about the whole unsubscribing thing, and I got to hear something I’ve been waiting to hear for a very long time… that she is on the way to healing from our emotional tornado and just being able to wish me well. My eyes welled up with tears at the sight of her words, because I’m not sure that I could even convey on paper what they meant. I could try, but there’s no way to put that kind of depth on paper. Words are words, and tears are tears. Tears are a 3D sort of medium. It was a day I truly wished I could reach through the Internet and give her a hug, even though I knew we would walk in different directions afterward… or worse, I wouldn’t be able to let go… and it’s time. For both of us.
I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I know what needs to happen right now. I need to take the life raft of apart and lick my wounds in my own silence. I have put her through hell and she has returned the favor, because as first children, neither one of us have the ability to back down. It was a sheer battle of will. I will own that she won, and I am sure that she would smile at those words, because first children like to win.
My king fell when I realized that the marks Diane left on me transferred to her and I projected a lot onto her that wasn’t rightfully hers. I got so angry I was fighting with someone who wasn’t even in the room, because she pushed my buttons so goddamn hard. Parting became inevitable as we both learned the buttons to push that would get the other one to react.
The hardest part for me to admit is that she wouldn’t respond to love, but she’d respond to anger, and I’d do anything to get attention…. a pattern I knew all too well and still participated, anyway, because it didn’t occur to me to not.
I was chasing, as U2 so eloquently says on that damn album, “every breaking wave.” We brought out the worst in each other, even when we didn’t mean to do it. We each had each other on the ground with our words, because words were all we had. And now, the hardest part is the memory of those words, the ones I have to own in order to heal. It’s amazing how much I’ve healed already, all things considered.
Like today, knowing that walking away was the best decision we could have made. I got to say everything I wanted, and I will share my words here:
I would not be the person I am today had we not met, and I am sorry for the emotional tornado that I was to you. I can say that I am a better person for having loved you, though. In time, I hope that’s worth something, because it’s enormous to me.
I also attached a PDF of Love, Leslie -or- Working Backward, and told her I wanted her to have it as a keepsake. Now, the onus is on me to keep doing the work I promised myself I would do, piece by piece by…. peace.
I used to tell Argo that I slept deeply in the belly of the ship, knowing my passage was safe. I do not know whether there will be another trip, but what I do know is if this was the only one, it was worth it. Even when I was on deck, looking toward the Sirens, there was a bulwark in every direction, keeping me from falling overboard into deep, deep water.
And then I jumped where she couldn’t reach. I failed her in so many ways. I failed Dana at the same time, because honestly and truly, I wanted to marry them both in different ways. I wanted Dana to be my person, the one that would catch me in all the ways a partner should… and I wanted complete and total dedication to friendship with Argo.
- Lucy and Ethel
- Dorothy and Rose
- Kate and Allie
I didn’t have any experience with how to draw those lines. I could with Aaron- so wholly other- so, well, male. Argo wouldn’t tell you this herself, but she is the woman dreams are made of (and yes, I WILL end that sentence with a preposition, thankyouverymuch). The thing is, though, so is Dana. They fed different parts of my brain, as they were supposed to, but again. My romantic love was opened before it was ready, and it caused problems I couldn’t solve… clearly, because you see the volumes I’ve written trying to come to resolution within myself… fighting with myself and Argo, too. When lines crossed, I pushed her away, because I just didn’t know what to do.
As those fights happened, though, I was forced to take a look at myself in a different way than I ever had before. There was never a letter in which she didn’t have a valid point, even in anger. I folded into myself, one of the reasons I left Houston so fast. Deep and absolute isolation from everything I knew was something I needed as much as air. Not having any friends here was a good thing. I have walked in silence, and there have been entire days I have not spoken out loud, only breathing in the universe and trying to exhale peace.
I’ve had time to evaluate everything, from my relationship with myself to my relationship with Dana to my relationships with Aaron and Argo. They are the faces I’ve looked to for love… separating in my brokenness allowed me to give them more love and not less, because I was able to own my part in everything that happened. I took them all for granted, especially Dana and Aaron, because I was isolating in order to give Argo more room.
I cannot say that it was intentional…. I mean, I can own that I did it, but at the same time, it seemed right and good to isolate that way. With Dana and Aaron, established patterns were just that. Argo was above the fray… the one that listened to the prayers I prayed about both of them, calling me out on the things that I needed to work on in a way that Dana and Aaron couldn’t, because it’s one thing to be in it and another just to look from above.
It is something for which I will always be grateful, and peace is knowing that next year’s Easter is already here. There may not be a resurrection together, but there is resurrection within me…. and after all, isn’t that what counts? I have learned enough in this relationship to launch the thousand ships at my disposal, ideas that I hope will live long after I’m gone.
Pushing each other’s buttons was so painful for me, and these words are on repeat in my headphones:
The sea knows where are the rocks,
And drowning is no sin.
You know where my heart is,
The same place that yours has been.
We know that we fear to win,
And so we end before we begin.
However, that does not mean that my journey in the belly of the Argo did not keep me from harm. It means that the ship was strong and I was weak. I am swimming back toward her, because even if the relationship dies, its legend lives in our words, on every breaking wave.