Met another train-wreck victim today, in SteamCity. Lovely chat across the divide, between where I danced and where she watched, and the conversation turned to past relationships, past loves, past losses...as conversations between those afflicted with explosive love lives will so often do.
I happened to mention that I'd had some spectacular failures in my life, but that I always managed to recover, more or less...
...and the dancing maid in the rust dress mentioned quietly, that I managed to deal with everything, save for rejection...
That quiet, small prick to the heart, for I knew of whom she spoke, and I'm still waiting for the day that mention of him does not hurt, in some fashion...but there was also a slight edge of frustration, silver foil half-turn of upset...why would she mention it? Why would she mention it to me?
Yes, I know that things went wrong. Yes, I had a hand in how badly they went. Yes, if I had told him of my rule, before he actually sent the breakup letter...perhaps we could have prevented what happened, thereafter.
But we were not a pure and shining thing at that point. In fact, I had reconfigured, that very day, into someone who could accept what happened on the edges of the relationship that was driving me slowly mad as I was...I had made the decision to detach, to treat things lightly, to not let things affect me as deeply, to be merrier of heart and much less involved.
And I believe, to the amorphous, shifting core of my being...that that very decision held harm within it, eventually, for what we were, for who we were to each other. Had he not told me to leave...I truly believe, as staggering a loss as it was...we would not have remained together. One way or another, the Fates would have snipped the cord, leaving us to drift. One way or another, as frightening, as depressing as it is to say, to realize...we could not have sustained.
In the long run, taken my way? It might have even hurt more, and that thought makes my bones ache with distant cold.
Yes, it is a truth of my universe. Hate me. Beat me. Light me on fire. Insult me. Involve me in ridiculous drama, extravagant argument, o'erflorid games within games. Suck me in and suck me dry and leave me gasping on the far shore. Make me kill you.
Just don't lie to me...and don't tell me goodbye. Say goodbye...and you might as well mean it, because I will not turn back, and I will not return. It may be a silly rule, it may be a stupid rule, it may be harmful in its own way, a savage weapon of my heart and hands...
...but it's caused this much pain, I cannot abandon it. Anything that wounds me this deeply...I feel the obscure and perhaps prideful urge to cling to, because...it has hurt me, it continues to hurt me, so I can't stop now. I have to hold it up as the star to every wand'ring bark, the fix'ed point, the core ideal in a cluster of so very few I hold.
And it continues to this day. It's just...now I'm warning people, when I can, when I have the opportunity. Offer me everything, offer me nothing, offer me pain, offer me ruination...I will take it all and attempt to smile.
Just don't tell me goodbye.
Because then I go. And no matter how often I look over my shoulder...I do not return.