The Last Five.
Updated: Dec 15, 2020
August is weird. I'm devastated and OK and proud and scared. I think to myself there's no way I could be handling this with such grace. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, but while I wait I busy myself with the stillness of my new apartment. I go to Palm Springs and drink by the pool all day just to fall asleep in only a t-shirt and panties by 9pm. I'm sad, but not as sad I think I should be and it's scary as hell.
September it hits me. A little. I fantasize about you surprising me and my parents at dinner. I feel like such a fool when you don't show up. You send me a courtesy Happy Birthday text instead. Like the kind you'd send a business partner. You don't tell me you love me, you don't draw an iPhone doodle of a bee with hearts around it. There is no "Can't wait to see you" or "I am so proud of you". Then, I don't hear from you ever again.
October is horrible. October is when the other shoe drops. October is when you still haven't done the one thing I asked you to do. October is when I find out about HER and how you're being all the things you were when you first tried to date me. October is when I compare myself to her and feel like nothing in your life. October is when nothing I do seems good enough, because you don't care about it. October is when I hate the ghost emoji and can't stand Thai food. October is when I have to delete social media for the weekend, so that I don't have a panic attack. October is when I don't greet you "Happy Birthday" because October is when you make new birthday memories with her.
November isn't much better. I visit Mariela and secretly cry when she's in her bedroom or putting Pi to bed. I cry in little spurts like when I'm loading her dishwasher or making a gin and tonic for us. Because her apartment looks like our first apartment. I drink the most alcohol and coffee this week. I told myself I could move to Portland. November is when I realize I don't want to move to Portland. It rains almost everyday, and I am happy to be home. Instead of a full week of crying, I only fall apart four days out of seven. Thanksgiving is hard. I don't hear from you or your parents. And that's when I know November is when your mom moved on too.
By the beginning of December, I only cry once while on my period. Like clockwork, I have the truly sad, sads one week out of the month. This month it's only two days, but where I lack in quantity I make up for in quality. I cry so hard I give myself a headache and sometimes throw up. Where shit is unbearable and the sadness is strongest and I am no match. On nights like tonight where I miss you so much it hurts, I have to cover my mouth or else the neighbor upstairs will hear me. It's the kind of cry that pinches the backs of your jaw like you sucked on something sour, and I have to drink water. Except it's hard, because I can't breathe. I am almost keening, because I am dead to you when you take up all the life in me. I have a dream about you and now I'm scared to go to sleep, when I was already terrified of staying awake and in my thoughts.
And the month isn't even over yet.