Author: Adam Abramowitz
What happens when you forget reason, logic, and pride in effort to explore a romance. A projection of life lived for true love, shared equally. Ignoring your own vulnerability, passions, and pursuits of success in hope of connecting your soul to match a heart. The following story is a memory of my own attempt to connect intimately with a love I had lost…
The image I saw in my mind, the life I had created for the woman I loved, was only missing one thing. Her…
Months after a break up, I found myself driving hundreds of miles on a quest sparked by heartache. I left my home with an intense desire to know if the daily plague of emotion I felt for another was real; to finally find out if I was experiencing true love, or just madness.
I arrived late at night and she met me in the driveway. She walked me inside her home and gave a quick tour as she led me to her garage. We smoked cigarettes and engaged in conversation. Each passing moment of small talk banter added weight to the reality of my own desire. I attempted to stave off my need to divulge the purpose of my visit and I tried to enjoy her presence. I tried to focus on the fact that for the first time in months, she was physically sitting in front of me. The girl I thought of daily, the object of my own affection, the physical representation of what I believed to be true love: just an arms-length away.
We sat quietly amidst a haze of smoke. I couldn’t stop myself from being honest, I couldn’t prevent a burning desire to be transparent. I got on my knees, held her hand, and looked up at her. I told her that I would give up anything, and everything, for her…
Her eyes began to well up in remorse and she gazed at me empathetically as tears formed slowly in the corners of her eyes. Sadness crept ripples across her face as my worst fear was gradually realized…
She didn’t love me anymore.
I spent that evening in her home, sleeping on a futon in a guest room next to her bedroom. I wish I could sit here and say that I went to that guest room, turned the lights off, and fell asleep. I wish I could say that I woke up the next morning, hugged her goodbye, and walked out the door. I wish I could write that I was strong, stoic, and confident, but…
In the guest room, alone with my thoughts, I found myself unable to close my eyes. I couldn’t stop my thoughts from spinning. As I lie alone, in a room adjacent to the person who meant more to me than my own life, projections of her jabbed at my brain with fervent force. I felt the full weight of heart ache as the reality of my situation engaged my senses in full blast. I was alone in a room, isolated from a love I was unable to receive, only a few feet away from sweet relief. A quick step and a trot towards the comfort I craved. She was so close, yet I was all alone. In that fold out couch, alone with my mind ablaze, I couldn’t deal.
I got up out of the couch and walked to her bedroom door. I knocked gently and she responded. I opened the door and went to sit at the end of her bed. I don’t remember what I said, what unfiltered thoughts I divulged to her, I only remember this: I told her that I wanted her to hold me, I wanted her to lay with me while I fell asleep, and I wanted her to tell me that everything was going to be OK.
She came with me to the guest room and lay down next to me. She held me, she listened, and she waited for me to fall asleep. The pain that I had felt while I was alone in the guest room minutes before began to amplify. As she held me, I could feel no intimacy, only duty. I could feel no desire to connect, only confusion and ambivalence. The love that we had shared was no longer reciprocated. The love I experienced was felt only within me. I was unable to close my eyes as I lie lonely next to her, compounding emotions of grief, loneliness, and despair attacking my mental.
We both agreed that her presence next to me wasn’t helping. She got up from the fold-out futon and went back to her room. I spent the next couple of hours battling the pain of my inner psyche, struggling to direct my thoughts towards anything but her. I ran through all of the things I was grateful for, I counted hundreds of sheep to the tune of an unknown melody; I strummed my thoughts gradually and drifted off into nothingness…
I woke up the next morning fully realizing that there was nothing left for me, and it was time for me to leave.
For the first time in my life, a man unclouded by a path of self-destructive drug abuse, had been rejected. I couldn’t hide behind the illusion of my own selfish mistakes. There was no one and nothing for me to point the finger at and blame, there was no excuse for my inability to receive the love I so devoutly craved. The fact is, she no longer loved me and there was nothing I could do about it.
I left her house the following morning, told her that I would always care about her, that I would always love her, but I would be unable to call. I would be unable to reach out. She had graciously provided me with the one thing I couldn’t generate on my own accord. She gave me closure. It was now up to me to pick up the pieces of what I had lost and find meaning for my own lament.
As I pulled away from her driveway and engaged my vehicle on the journey home, I picked up the phone and dialed a close friend. I called him and told him what had happened. I described how I felt and I divulged to him the grief that had reached a boiling point within my gut. He spoke,
“Come home, I love you, you’ve got a whole crew of friends who love you, come home brother”…and I lost myself.
The phone dropped and I cried. I wailed tears of pain, tears of despair, and tears of love. I ached from the bottom of my heart to the top of my soul. For a love I had lost, and the unconditional love I had just received. In that moment, all sense of reality shifted itself and I was thrust into an oasis of emotion. Tears washed down my face and into my spirit. Sweet relief swept over me as pain and remorse began to dull into a warm numbness. The release of emotion consumed the vision of my minds eye. My head was broken, and my sense of self was recollecting the pieces of my own insanity. Grasping at a new found understanding of how painful love could be, how grief stricken I knew I would remain, and yet…I found some relief. I found relief in the numbness and comfort in the voices of my friends and family. I found relief in tears that grappled manically at my heart as they force fed themselves from an involuntary state of emotional disarray. I was engaged in a timeless loop of remorseful love consciousness. Each new voice that appeared on my call log, each person who called to tell me that they cared for me, reignited a flow of emotion.
I cried the whole way home. I went straight to my folks house and fell asleep in their guest room.
I woke up a few hours later and began the painful process of accepting closure. The love I wanted, the love I prayed and hoped to share, was not real.
For what has felt like an epoch of time, I’ve been afraid to say her name, afraid to think of her. Afraid for the ever-present rise of putrid boil that encompasses my gut each time the memory of her surfaces. In my life, in my reality, I see glimpses of her presence, of her energy. I’ve attempted to train my mind to run circles around the thought of her, but feelings creep up on my consciousness like a wave of enfeeblement. Debilitating and bullying any sense of happiness or joy from my attitude. It’s difficult to comprehend as I approach the idea of her, because it’s only that; an idea. The residual energy of a love we once shared had left me empty, trying to understand what for.
A seemingly endless expanse of undocumented time passed. The memory of her frequently seeped into my heart and commandeered any sort of emotional stability I had worked to establish. Sick stomach and hot flashes: all the side effects of a love gone lost, a broken heart still on the mend.
The memory of heartache drifts away and my own personal reality comes back into focus…
I sit quietly while Radiohead’s, “In Rainbows”, plays out graciously within my ears. I don’t know how to feel right now. I did not expect for me to dive into the reality of a moment that I thought would forever live only within my own mind. I didn’t expect to feel the influx of emotion as I wrote the words you have just read. This creative exploration thrust me through the entire event again, reliving it vividly as I wrote out my thoughts. Incredibly, I felt everything. I reminisced and re-engaged the grief I have spent months filtering in and out of my head. Now, as the crescendo of energy engages my sense, as Thom Yorke floats melody in my mind, I’ve realized something…
For the first time in a long time, I can think of her. I can talk about, write about, and share the emotional instability of my past without feeling a wrench to my gut. The goal of this essay was to come to a better understanding of how I feel, to see if I was ready to move on. To move past the broken heart I have spent months reeling from. I believe I am doing it, I believe I have done it, and I believe it will continue to be done. Like everything I have experienced in my life leading up to this moment, the answer is simple and profound: Discomfort in life is meant to teach us something. It’s meant to challenge us to be better than we thought we could be. As I look back at what I have just written, I realize, finally…
It’s raw emotion in states of pain that demand our utmost respect. I chose to give these emotions a voice in the form of creativity, from my minds eye, to yours… ©