Out of the Grave

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One of the last moments I remember spending with the boy who didn’t love me was idling in the parking lot. His headlights disturbed the otherwise dim orange glow in the concrete space. I decided to profess my honest-to-goodness ridiculous and narcissistic refusal to stop liking him. Despite being a hopeless romantic, I don’t enjoy the status. He took the lead in telling me I couldn’t follow him. I don’t regret being honest, nor do I hate him for being so. I hate that the reality hurt me more than him.

I wonder if this is what all my relationships will ultimately beget–an utter sense of wish fulfillment propelled only by my own wanting. It’s a soul-sucking idea, but recently proving too true for comfort. I had a really close friend once, but now she seems more a product of time, convenience and proximity than someone who just wanted to be a friend. I realized she was one of the first people to call me fat, the first to take advantage of my competitiveness and one of the first to tell me I wasn’t trustworthy. Poison.Yet, she wasn’t a complete monster, always leaving room for late night chats and laughter. I want to know what I did wrong, that made her gossip and become someone so foreign.

I hate that. This feeling that we can become strangers again, aliens inhabiting familiar spaces. That we can so easily transition out of each others lives, adhering to these boundaries set by college or marriage or our own cowardice. He wasn’t the first one who broke my heart. She wasn’t the first friend to turn away. Why now, of all times, does the pain hit so hard? I feel like I have to apologize for wanting so much, for trusting so easily. I am tired of feeling betrayed when, maybe, people are just moving on.

In the last few months, I’ve spent more time working on my thesis and on Netflix than I have with people. Defense mechanisms out in full force. Drama bled out across the page or metered out in seasons always trumps getting bulldozed by people. Selfish, broken, beautiful people. Even swing dancing, usually such a force of stress relief, has turned into a source of frustration. I think it’s a kind of self-diagnosed cocooning, wiling away far too many hours sleeping than conscious.

They say anhedonia is a mark of depression. I think anhedonia is a side effect of grieving. In a way, I think it’s healthy, this laying to rest of dead friends and dying relationships. I suppose I am thankful for the course they ran in my life. Many of them were sick or gravely ill. It was time. I have to believe that God is refining me in these times when I seem to cry as much as I breathe.

But man. Through all these funerals, I really just want to see a wedding. I want moments of pure joy that I’ve had before, to watch them blossom and burst into pockets of infinity. It is that longing and that remembrance of what true love is that keeps me alive.

I am not okay. I feel like I’m learning how not to drown after helping other people to shore. It’s exhausting, but I’ll make it in the end. No matter how hard, I know where I’m going and how to get there. Never trust a man without a limp, never forget the struggle to gain a reward.

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