the post mortem phase

so 5 days on, the ex and i are in the post-mortem phase.
he comes over and we make morning coffee and stand in the kitchen holding each other and crying. and we talk about what went wrong and how we still love each other, but that we realize that we were flogging the proverbial dead horse.
and he’s done me the cruel kindness of putting into words what i had started to perceive over the last few months. he loves me still, but he fell out of love with me. and i felt it. i slowly started feeling less attractive, because i don’t think i was attractive to him anymore. i felt him beginning to make less and less of an effort. i felt him looking at me with different eyes. and we drifted apart. and yes we do still love each other, but hearing him put into words what were merely  inchoate perceptions before, makes it so much easier to let go. because it’s not enough otherwise. though i’d hate to think that all along we were simply making do.
i wrote this poem about someone else, but it feels appropriate again now.

ebb tide   11.22.03

thoughts of you plague me

like a low grade fever

i cannot shake.

i awake to find you

creeping at the edge of consciousness,

whereas for you,

i am a task you’ve taken on,

then grown weary of

and i see you pulling back

like the tide rolling out,

ebbing with ennui.

i need to look into your eyes

and see myself reflected there,

magnificently magnified,

but i can not deny that

that’s not what i see

and it’s just not enough for me.

part of me feels a little like a failure because how could i let someone who loved me enough to follow me across an ocean, fall out of love with me? but a tango takes two. i’m willing to own my part, but i know that it was both of us who screwed up the choreography and to thoroughly mix my metaphors, let the ship run aground. and i’m letting go. i’m scared of living alone in this 3-bedroom house, with a swimming pool and a garden and 2 big dogs which are now all solely my responsibility, but there’s also a simplicity about knowing that if i don’t do something, it’s not going to get done. so i do it. yesterday, i cleaned the dog-hair out of my car, i scrubbed the algae which has been accumulating forever out of the pool, i vacuumed and cleaned and organized, because now it’s all up to me. and there’s a lot more to do. and i’ll do it.
i got proactive and started taking a sleeping pill in order to get some rest. and night before last when i woke at 3a.m. to a massive thunderstorm (yes, i’ve not missed the fact that it’s been raining non-stop since we ended), the following poem came to me. i typed it out on my iphone, then turned over and went back to sleep.
Bounce  nov 8.08
I have the resilience of rubber.
Been bounced so many times,
Yet refusing to break.
I tend to forget that sometimes
When I’m vulnerable.
What seem
Like cracks start to show,
But the truth is,
I’ll rebound.
Throw me up against the wall
And I might fall,
But I’m going to
Bounce.
and instead of curling up into a little ball, i stretched out and took up the entire bed. because i could. it doesn’t change the fact that i’m sad, that  i’m hurting, that there are going to be a lot more tears, but i’m not going to wallow. even at the moment that l told me he was moving out and i felt that excruciating hole open in my chest, i felt my world both contract and expand, though i see the capacity for expansion as so much bigger.
last night, seeing that i was suddenly without a partner for the nando’s 21st birthday celebration i’d alread rsvp’d for, i called up a friend and got him to be my +1 for the night. and i bumped into my good friend K, also an actor on a very popular soap. i’ve known him since i was 15 and we’ve always said we were twins, and it was so reassuring to look into his face and see the love for me reflected there. and it was such fantastic validation to have him take me in his arms, look me in the eye and sincerely remind that i was beautiful and vital and make me vow not to forget that. and i won’t.
once again, i’m on the bound, and i’m going to bounce.
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3 thoughts on “the post mortem phase

  1. Sass you are so strong but I am feeling your pain right now.

    Breaking up is such a long and painful process, and even though you know it will get better, you still have to endure all the heartache 😦

  2. Wound up at your site quite randomly but have to say I can relate to your poem sadly more than I would like to .. albeit perhaps more on the side of your partner than yours. I was another one of those guys that literally moved across the planet for someone – a long time back though .. almost 10 years now.

    I have to say in retrospect though that I’m glad it didn’t work it in the end for for my situation – very glad. Not that I found anyone “better” although have certainly had later relationships that made my heart leap… but I’m pretty certain the path my life took after the breakup – from travelling the world, writing books and countless other experiences could definitely not have taken place had things worked out with her. Tragedy aside, everything does work out for the best – perhaps it’s just that *you* haven’t quite found the person you’d be willing to move the earth for yet!

  3. thank you for your comments guys, the difficult part is being in the here and now. i know the pain fades, but yes, po, it’s a long and painful process. i’m old enough to have been through this a few times, and i know it will get better, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

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