My boyfriend is packing up his belongings today, preparing to move out of my apartment.
This is not news either of us is particularly excited about.
It feels terribly unfair and uncomfortable and unreal.
The cardboard boxes stacked in the living room are giving me a giant lump in my throat, even as I make light of them and it, for my son.
We’ve made up a story that isn’t entirely untrue to tell him why Derek is going.
And I am trying not to feel that I will always and forever be totally alone in this world. Especially now that my parents are gone. Especially now that my son has become a daily soul-testing challenge, hard hard work I wish I had a partner (and some days just a witness) for. And I am trying not to feel like sitting in a dark room and crying my eyes out for a week is a good idea.
As usual, I’m up and at ’em. I’m “strong.” I’m “moving ahead.” I’ve got my eyes on the prizes: more time to get myself back into healthy routines, less time spent wishing things felt differently, more peace and order in silly daily things like laundry and cleaned-up kitchens, less time staying up past my bedtime in order to “connect” beyond the seemingly endless noise and tasks of adult life.
But what I always loved most (and still love most) about my boyfriend is the way he didn’t live in that world, the way that dreams swirled around him, the way in which he could ignore the so-called rules of living and follow his passions and interests. He was my Pied Piper for two wonderful years after I’d survived the most bruising parts of my divorce.
I wanted to be able to follow him to that place, but I coudn’t do it.
And he couldn’t take his place in my world, either.
And so today he is packing boxes, and I’m telling my son stories, and I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that just love isn’t enough. And, perhaps even harder, that it is okay that I want more.
I have no poetry to offer today, no wonderful ladders made of words to take me up and out and into the heavens. Today I can say only what is in front of me, my head bowed in grief, my palms extended and open to whatever the world may bring me next.