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Breakin' Up Is Hard to Do. So I Don't.

I ran a lot of errands yesterday and ended up having to pass a couple who were having a very public breakup. Three times. They were just standing on the sidewalk, several feet apart, looking at each other with those big eyes that say "Why can't you be what you used to be?" When I walked by the first time, she was saying "Why can't you make me smile all the time?" And I was sad that not only did she not get to smile anymore, but that she felt that it was someone else's responsibility to make her happy. Then, the second time I walked by, the man was saying "It's not my fault he believes in Muslims and that shit." And she said "As though there aren't enough problems in the world." The third time I went by, I was in my car and the man was gesturing wildly, waving his arms in the air and the woman was just standing there. She was wearing a puffy down vest that looked more and more like a life jacket every time I walked by.

It got me to thinking about how much it sucks to break up. Lord knows I have done more than my share of breaking up with lots of people, and the worst thing is how it involves the acknowledgement of lies. Maybe the other person lied to you about who they were or what they've been doing. Maybe you lied to yourself about how you felt about their politics or intelligence. Either way, you end up thinking over and over "why can't you just be what you used to be and we could be happy again?"

I had already decided to do my next Nanovel about Los Flacos, the band made up of my ex-husbands who do only covers of songs I hate. And it made me think about my breakups with all of them. In every case, the painful thing was knowing that I had lied to myself about what I wanted from them. Of course, that always leads me to feeling much better about my current relationship.

So I ended up having a dream about breaking up with my first husband. By the end, it had devolved into the opening scene from A Philadelphia Story, except that he was on his cell phone calling his brother to say that he was coming over to stay for a couple of days. And it felt just like it's always felt in real life. I was angry more than anything. Angry at him for not being what I wanted, angry at myself for having lied to myself about what I was willing to accept, angry at life because I had wasted so much time on something that was never going to pan out.

And I woke up in the same position I had fallen asleep in six hours before, feeling like I hadn't slept at all. That's not good.

I know this is a metaphor for something. Hell if I know what, though.

Comments

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kr8vkat
Feb. 7th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
She was wearing a puffy down vest that looked more and more like a life jacket every time I walked by. This is a great line. But how sad to watch a public break-up. How sad to do your breaking up in public.

I've always dreaded the break-up scenes, even when I was the one who wanted or needed "out." I've always wanted to snap my fingers and skip that part. But then, I'm always only wanted the easy bits, and that just isn't life, is it?
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