the problem with quantum mechanics is uncertainty.
It’s been years since I lost you and I still linger by the doors we went through when you and I were one. For the first few months after you left, I recalled you in stunning detail but these days the memories are blurry. But even though the lens is smudged with dirt, the way I – I mean, we (us!) – the way we felt will never leave me.
It’s been years since I lost you and I haven’t been able to move forward. But I haven’t been able to move back either. Stagnation is mud, drawing me in, holding me still.
Remember writing? That thing we used to do? I cannot do it anymore. Not as easily as before, not with feeling and enthusiasm. My curiosity for the world is gone, my eye and ear for a story has disappeared. My command of language keeps slipping. My speech is full of fillers and I keep resorting to pidgin english (I know! Remember when we couldn’t speak it?)
Everyday, I am reminded by people around me that they expect excellence. They seem to believe I have it in store even though I have been phenomenally disappointing in the years since you left.
They say I need to grow, to discover new ways to be me but so much has happened since you left and the trauma has altered the shape of my brain. No matter how hard I try, the stains remain.
I am too tired to be me without you, even though I know you are gone. I am too exhausted and scared to be me without you, even though I know that if you came back, it wouldn’t be the same. I am sluggish, and unconcerned, and uninspired, and full of fear.
I am too tired to talk, to laugh, to move, to be definitive. Everything is a suggestion, an I-don’t-know, a shrug, a please-don’t-put-this-in-my-hands.
I have kept the house exactly how you left it so everywhere I look, I see the shards of our shared life.
I should pick up a broom, I know.
The walls need a new coat of paint, I know.
The furniture needs to be replaced, I know.
It’s been years since I lost you and I still wait in front of the stores we loved. It doesn’t matter that the stores no longer exist. It doesn’t matter that in their places are new experiences to be had. I keep waiting for you to come out with a shopping bag so we can be on our merry way.
But everyone else has moved on while I bask in the faint glow of memory. And boy, does it fade everyday. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and see the hollowness in my eyes – hollowness born of a refusal to let go, born of my insistence on catching a ghost, as impractical and impossible as it is.
It’s been years since I lost you and I still cannot accept that you are gone. I hang around the doors of your favourite restaurants to eat because maybe you are still eating. Maybe there is a problem with the payment and you’re sorting it out. They say to me that it’s impossible to sort out a payment issue for a decade but they don’t know how frustrating these banks can be.
I have looked for you in every pair of eyes that have held my gaze in the past ten years. I have looked for you in bodies, in conversations, in disagreements. They ask me why and I say it is because you are the only way I know how to live.
I cannot bring myself to accept that you are gone. And yet, I must, if I am to find meaning in this world. I do not know how I am to go about it, but I am desperately praying for strength. There is no plan but to drag myself out of the mud one step at a time.
I have no illusions about how lonely this endeavour is going to be, but loneliness is a familiar feeling. I end this thinking of Khalil Gibran, wondering if he knew he was creating magic when he wrote these words down:
“And God said “Love Your Enemy,” and I obeyed him and loved myself.”