Julie & Julia

I absolutely fell apart last night, because for the first time in legit years all I could do was cry and miss Dana…. just inconsolable that she wasn’t holding me while I cried. This is because when I heard the news that Julie Powell, of Julie & Julia fame, had died, I folded into myself with memories.

That movie never fails to bring me to tears. Watching Meryl Streep cut onions while studying for culinary school always reminds me of my curly haired spitfire, a description that one of my friends gave her and will stick for the rest of my life.

Yes, we are broken up. No, I am not confused. I have a good memory, that’s all. When I’m not thinking about it, she’s out of sight, out of mind. But we all have our triggers, don’t we? And some of them are actually sweet rather than terrifying. So if anyone, friends or potential new girlfriends, has a problem with me having memories, good luck and God bless. I’m sure you can find a woman somewhere without memories, but I’m sure she’ll also have other symptoms from getting hit on the head that hard. Bless your heart.

I would be a total narcissist if I didn’t realize that I was at fault as much as anyone else in the world is responsible for a breakup, try to learn from my mistakes, and move on completely. Luckily, I know I’m not a total narcissist because that’s exactly what I’ve done. Believe me, if I hadn’t, I doubt I would have many (if any) sweet triggers left.

Also, I think it’s important to reconcile your past because then you stop torturing yourself over it. When I look back on Dana, 80% of the time it’s to laugh and smile about a memory. It’s not like I don’t have negative triggers, there’s just so many fewer than there used to be with the passage of time. I can honestly say that we were amazing right up until we weren’t, and those communication issues went back far longer than I originally assumed. My teenage crushy, blushing feelings for someone of the opposite orientation were a reaction to something both in me and that Dana triggered at the same time. My reaction was my own, I have no bones about that. She didn’t “make me do” anything. I’m just saying that I reacted poorly to stimuli I didn’t realize was there. Does that make sense?

I thought I would start writing incessantly about her as time wore on, because I’d have some perspective on our relationship and could dive deep into the wreck. It has always been an assumption on this web site that I am leading from the back, laying out all my fears, experiences, and dreams for the future in hopes of helping someone else.

Here’s what I didn’t count on. The wreck is as much of a mess as old necklaces stuck in a drawer and somehow over the last 20 years they’ve knotted, attracted dust, and probably have gum on them and smell like old purse. Diving into it takes so much out of me that I don’t have any stomach for it. Maybe I’ll never write about it, maybe I need another 20 years. What I do know is that I lost the love of my life so far. It’s been a blessing to know I am capable of eventually having another.

Then the 20% becomes the 80% and I don’t like who I become thinking about that much trauma happening in that little time. Two years of awful destroyed some five years and change of wonderful. Only thinking about those five years is akin to loving The West Wing right up until Aaron left.

The changes in my personal life were just as dramatic, but they evened out. Maybe Aaron Sorkin writing my life was just a little too dramatic for me. Maybe Amy Sherman Palladino will call. Great writer, and she seems to be connected umbilically to Alex Borstein, so she’ll be in my TV show and I will pay Amy extra every time she gives me a kissing scene with Alex. Seth McFarlane and Seth McFarlane could play our next door neighbors if it was animated. I would love to have a weekly show on free television that stars Seth MacFarlane as a gay couple. I’m dying laughing just thinking about it.

Back to you, Bob. Let’s go to the phones.

I slowly slide back into humor, leaving the wreck untouched. We are picking chesterberries, we are running a kitchen, we are sitting outside by the fire in various states of sobriety. Drunken trivia nights where winning was dependent on who could remember the answer. Going to pub trivia and deciding that our team name should be an ellipsis and a sentence, so that when we won, it would be stuf like “And the winners tonight are….under investigation by the FBI.” Days spent working on Katrina’s yard together, or running “our kitchen.”

Phillip Hunker and Outpost were talking about living your dreams in “Grind” by saying “stop trading five days for two, and do with your love what you’re supposed to do.” It works the same way in reverse. I will never stop trading my two for five with Dana. I’m working on the other thing.

It’s what I think about when I’ve been inconsolable and crying.


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