One year ago today, I was running late.
I know this because today in the “memories” section of Facebook, I was behind in getting to the Supreme Court to be with the people on both sides of the opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges as arguments took place, the case which would establish marriage equality. It was an interesting day, because an antigay protester got under my skin and told me he’d beat the gay out of any of his children. Having been bashed myself, I can tell you that physical violence has not once caused me to stop loving women. When I realized that I needed to fold and walk away because nothing was going to be accomplished, he told me it was just like an angry dyke to run. In actuality, I was running because I wasn’t as big as he was and I wanted to punch him in the face, and physical violence wouldn’t have changed his mind, either. However, there would have been many years’ worth of anger behind that punch. If Jesus really did die for all our sins, I would like to believe his was one of them and that Jesus would have chosen to eat with me, just like he ate with lepers and prostitutes and all of the other margins of society. I don’t remember the part in the Bible where he got together with the Pharisees and Sadduccees just for drinks.
I was also really interested in keeping me from being the story, or getting arrested at what seemed like a party just for me on the other side of the equation.
And no one likes a party more than me… when I’m in the mood for it, anyway, and the marriage equality side was full of rainbow banners and overflowing love. I needed that overflowing love, having shown up to a marriage equality party and going through a divorce. It was a moment where I wanted/needed Dana in the worst way, because it was a party I wanted to share with her. Going without her seemed like showing up with a missing limb. Reality hit me like a car accident that day.
I am still waiting for the day when the dissolution of our domestic partnership arrives, and I hope the Nassers are home when it does. I dream that Dana is procrastinating (she wanted to handle it) because she doesn’t want to get divorced, and that is not reality, just a dream, but it’s comforting nonetheless.
I am still lost, hurt, and somewhat angry that this happened, and I am not putting any of it on her. I choose to believe that my own actions are mostly responsible, and I carry that weight. It was her choice to make it a physical fight, but at the same time, our divorce wasn’t really contingent on it. She made the choice to betray me, but even that is small in the light of what happened over the next two years. I choose to believe that after that fight, I saw her differently and took my own actions to grieve and move away emotionally so that eventually I’d have enough strength to really leave and not look back. Of course, that is over many months of reflection, and not what it felt like in the moment.
It took two years for our relationship to really dissolve, even though in the fight where she betrayed me, I told her she had enough money to do what she wanted. To go back to Virginia or whatever it was she wanted to do. Instead, we resolved that issue, or I thought we did, but in retrospect it just allowed me to wander further and further away from her, because if I didn’t trust her ability to hold a secret before, I really didn’t then. And I wasn’t even that angry that she blabbed it, just that she went back on our agreement while I wasn’t there to see it happen, or to change our agreement beforehand.
Falling in love with the idea of Argo was just a shitty catalyst for comfort as I moved into the world not knowing what to do. I was reading my old entries and realized all over again the truth of the matter… that Argo the character was way different than the real person and that in some sense, I’d fallen in love with my words about her rather than the person she actually was to me.
Because I really do love her, but not like that… because once I’d had that epiphany, I couldn’t go back. I did in words to get her to retreat, but my shitty commentary was as much real as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny all rolled into one.
I also learned the difference between really forgiving someone and not letting it go on both sides of the equation, and why I believe that this parting of the ways will stick with both Dana and Argo because I forgive what happened now, but I won’t forget it. Argo didn’t deserve what she was handed to by me, and I don’t think I deserved what she handed to me, either. We were both lost and afraid for very different reasons, because the way our relationship started was not the way it ended and oh God. What have I done?
A few days ago, I went to the beginning of our conversations with each other. Just re-felt everything and bathed myself in the light of it so that I could forgive both of us, for real instead of holding on to everything that’s been done… because I truly don’t believe that we left anything undone. I feel that we each did the very best we could to hurt each other so that neither one of us can say that further interaction is necessary.
I am still somewhat paranoid that we will accidentally run into each other, but that is fairly impossible as I don’t even cross the Potomac anymore. Everything I needed to see or do is done, with the exception of picking up and dropping off my parents at the airport and taking my mom to Mt. Vernon. I am comforted by the fact that I might not even recognize her, anyway, but her face is burned into my brain and I talk to her in my head all the time because I am determined not to talk to her in any other way.
But it’s not because I don’t love her. I just love me more, and I want to stop my own heart from bleeding out in pain. I had a lot of dreams that died when we hurt each other, and I doubt I’ll ever forgive myself for it. I can forgive her, but forgiving myself will take a lifetime.