Jonathan and I broke up yesterday. Three wonderful years, but the ritardando diminuendo in the soundtrack of our romance reached its final cadence as we sat at the breakfast table in the morning light after a night of hugging opposite sides of the bed and I finally said, "Should I speak first?"
The tensions and truths tumbled from our troubled hearts onto the table and onto the carpet we'd picked out together and fell into the places where even the new Dyson couldn't erase their shadows. We've been so good for one another and we've helped each other grow so much, but we've grown apart and the differences between us and our needs and desires have yawned like time-lapse trees just as quickly as we put down roots of love into our hearts. We grew apart.
What's said can't be taken back, there's no chance we could try again, change, repair the mistakes we've made along the way or to step backwards to admit the things we should have admitted to one another much, much sooner.
I'm wounded, of course, who wouldn't be after an amazing and wonderful relationship has ended not with a storm of fury but with solemn, quiet acceptance that we love each other, but that we can't pretend that I can be what he wants or that he can be what I want any more. Like a marathon runner who walks across the finish line, it's not the grand finale you'd imagine, just a pained, tired sigh and the knowledge that there's a lot more pain to come.
I don't know where I'm going to live. I don't know if I can afford anywhere I'd like and I don't know if my erratic earnings over the last few years will make it impossible to prove that I earn as much as I do now and that I can actually pay the rent I'll be needing to pay. I've just left a job that was breaching every rule I gave my soul but now I'm facing the challenge of paying a deposit, losing my home, my rabbits, my neighbourhood and possibly my dignity as well as my savings and my man.
This is interesting stuff, I'm sure.
There's been tears; I'm sure there are many more to fall. There've been flashes of guilt and recrimination, blame and esprit d'escalier thoughts stretching back to conversations we've had or failed to have across the years, but a world of "if only..." isn't this world; those strands spun off into the ether as ghosts, whispers, polaroids of other lives that haunt and discolour and darken as whatever process made them seem real burns them from the inside.
No, this world doesn't have those light flares, those soft glows, that sad sepia. Instead, it's just got the bitter burn of acknowledgement that no matter how much we have loved and still love one another, it's not working and it can't work; that it's time to move on from those little portals into moments of bliss or the moments where the needles became knives that slowly cut the ties that bound our hearts as one.
He'll be fine; the flat's still here, the rabbits are here and so are his many friends.
I'll be fine; I'm looking at flats, I've got a little money and a lot of imagination and there's plenty of time yet for me to make some other fucking incredible domino cascade of mistakes with my life, interspersed, as I always manage, with the jigsaw puzzle pieces on the streets of the city that show the true picture of my life. Disjointed, interrupted, fragmented, but so wonderfully connected by chaos and beauty and limitless truth.
It's sad, of course; it's a fucking disaster in a lot of ways, but that's fine. That's actually fine. There's so much hope and joy and love and friendship and incidental wonder to be tripped up on or tripped out on that I know things will be just fine.
I'm sad, but I'm so fucking far from broken that it's almost hilarious.
Maybe we should give Brockley another go, what do you think, Coterie? I think it might be fun.
Love you all, now I've got to do some drawing for The Lengths. I've only got a couple of weeks to finish it in, and if I'm sofa surfing at the same time, that's going to be a bit of a giggle, eh?
Go and do something brilliant.