My grandparents have been married for 58 years. I was at camp this past weekend. Papa came in from fishing one night and someone asked Grammy, “are you going to gut the fish?”. Papa added, “like you cleaned that bass?”. She said “what?” in a demanding manner and Papa just smiled, looked down, said “nothing” and walked away, still smiling. I tried to imagine myself at 78. I can do that, reasonably enough. Then I tried to imagine myself with someone at 78, at 45, at 30 and I couldn’t. I cried a bit because, like a brick - no - like a boulder, it hit me that I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be happy with another person in a relationship. It wasn’t a sad, wailing “I’ll be alone for the rest of my life and die a crazy cat lady!”, but rather the calm realization that I am easily bored and hardly invested in others and I’m afraid I’m best at being alone.
I spent that night thinking about the only boy who called me beautiful and made me believe it. He is so warm, earnest, true, his hands calloused and kind. I’ve spent all my nights in recent history with my own love to keep me warm at night. I guess I didn’t love myself very much that night so I thought of you. Because when I want to feel loved, I think of you. And it makes me really fucking sad that I never made you feel that. I thought of all that we could have been, what we were, and all the shit we went through (I can hardly remember a single thing that we fought about). I thought about March, the pier, chai tea and coffee singing “California Baby”. I purged you from my contacts, so I wouldn’t fuck up your life when this moment hit. If you’re reading this, I’m sorry I didn’t do a good enough job. It’s still at square one. I’m still afraid, I love you in my own way, but I won’t be fixed. So why put this out into the world? Why risk it? There’s a part of me that want to let you know that you are important, that I do think of you when you’re gone, that I don’t hate you, and that you meant more than the others. I may never see you again. I want to see you. I know there’s a good reason for my purging you from me. I know we are friction and gunpowder. All we ever do is ignite and explode and burn and it’s useless. But I am so damn tired of being so placid. I’ll leave this message to chance.