The Heart of the Matter

Dear Reader,
Forgive me for what you are about to read is unedited but I post it in its state as I fear I may never get to edit it and might loose it like I have lost so many other things that I think to put to pen. Perhaps someday I'll come back to it and do it justice.
I wrote this on the Jubilee line over a month ago whilst listening to India Arie's 'Heart of the Matter' on my mp3 player. This was written after a visit to a friend's house in the Boondocks as he calls it. I must say most of this was inspired by his beautiful house as I admired it for what it was now and what he could make it into once he finishes his grand design and in my brief romance with the house, I thought about what it would be like to be in that house and build such magnificence with a partner. That was the sentiment I carried to bed with me and in the morning, I awoke to India Arie whispering '...forgiveness, even if you don't love me anymore' over and over again in my head. First thing I did was get my mp3 player and make sure I had the song in my play list. Less than an hour later, en route to work - this is what India and Cerebral Soul inspired:

I knew you would come bearing news soon enough. I expected it you know, dreaded it but waited for it to happen nonetheless. As sure as I am committed to every promise I make, I was sure you would mock what we left behind with your newly graded news of how you started anew, learnt to walk again, learnt to talk again, learnt to disjoin we and make that you.
I knew you’d be here soon enough to talk about the future, because the past to you no longer is.

I have been willing myself as long as I can remember to get to me. It would appear that when I (for there must have been an I before I became we), became us, I -the me that never quite was- wound myself around the us that no longer is. It would appear that no amount of willing will bring me back to me. If the road to reclaiming you is that which I must take to find me then I resign myself to not having a future – because I cannot forget the history that carved me into who I am today. For this reason, when you talk about forgiveness, I try, but I cannot understand.

Where do I begin to forgive? How do I forget? How can my face find a smile if it is to separate we, knowing this ends with erasing me? How do I sell the home that we built together along with the dreams that furnished it…items we fought over which corner of the room would best display its beauty, objects stumbled over whether during purchase or in hurried movement through the house. I’ve learned to live with the stuffed pet in the living room, the green sofa in your study room which never quite worked with the auburn coffee table your treasured comic books would sometime find themselves resting on. I’ve finally learnt to cast away the rules of blurring colour lines long enough to appreciated the complicated painting in the hallway. Just when I finally came round to learning so much…I do not know how to unlearn these things. I cannot.

You knew I’d be difficult about this, you say.
If you are truly justified in your actions, why do you need my blessings, I ask.
Why is it important to you that I scatter the charred ashes of the Us that you would have buried alive. Why do you need me to say my shattered existence is happy to keep loving you whilst you love someone else? Why are you waiting to hear me say it is okay for you to not love me anymore, at least, not in that way.

You never should have come here, you say.
I’ve tried to learn to be without you, I say. I’ve tried to not love you through my fits of rage. I’ve tried to not hate you as I pick another broken glass out of the kitchen sink. I’ve tried to not curse out your name as wounded, bloodied fingers try to protect themselves from my perpetual tragedy of events. Through all this, you have tried and succeeded in moving on.

You just want me to move on, you say.
You want to hear that I forgive you, I ask. Is that what this is about? My forgiveness? For stealing my last opportunity to be in love. To hear me say I forgive you for not loving me. I forgive you for denying me in the face of many. I forgive you for planting ugly seeds in my mind that germinate into stout anger. I forgive you for your gifts of deceit. The irony of it though – of all the things you gave me this - inhumed Us you left behind is all that’s lasted. The Us that we were eats me up inside like a parasitic plant growing regardless how often it is watered or shielded away from sunlight and news.

In the early days, I would look for signs of your blind stubbornness weakening. I read meaning into your phone calls and whispers as you passed me a polite drink across the bar. I caught on soon enough though, I learnt something after all! My attendance to functions of mutual friends went from infrequent to nonexistent as I strove to stave myself off more ridicule. The only form of pity I allow is that of self. Even now, the look across all their faces alienates me, makes a story of me one which is not as quickly disregarded as you forgot what we used to be. And what we used to be, we were. Where we not?

Why, I ask. Why have you come here in person to water this plant, to ensure I cannot avoid this news? The competition of moving on is over. You won.

I just want to know you are okay, that you accept my reasons, you say.
You want me to accept that as you pick out China patterns, I’ll be pulling the shutters down. As you pick out colours, I’ll be pulling down drapes and fighting off memories of the hard times when we could not afford the life we eventually got to have. The days of pulling bed linen across the window pane to cover our dignity as we loved. Times when we were sure our love was all we needed. That love I crushed on then has crushed me now and I crumble away at the thought of never having the assurance of us anymore. We faced the world as a team and now you leave my exposed mind open and defenceless against the throws of the world.
I ask you again, how do I separate we and erase me with a smile on my face?

You look…well, you say as you habitually tilt the painting next to the door on your way out.
I remember how we instinctively completed each other’s thoughts soon enough to know you thought me gaunt and frail looking.
How is work going, you ask.

I stand worn from the argument that will never come again. I lean into the now shut door, cold after your departure and listen to you pull slowly away as one would a hearse out of a widow's drive way. I sink to the floor and notice the clock we received from the Martins on our fifth anniversary leering at me from its stakehold across the hallway. I stare at it giving thanks that on this Saturday afternoon, I have a crisis at the office. Thankful for the perfect excuse to spend a day without thinking about you. I pull myself from the door in that moment, throat aching from the screaming conversation we could have had. I save that for the outbursts between muffled pillows when I return home from work twenty four hours from now.