I have written what I think men and women need to know about love. I have suggested how to ease the pain after a breakup. I haven’t, however, expressed my thoughts on the act of dealing with heartbreak on a day-to-day or ugh-is-this-over-yet basis.
This is what fits.
My former partner is not important to the inner workings of my life anymore, but he once was, and that’s what lingers. “Once upon a time” isn’t a cute fairy tale phrase, it’s a prologue to heartbreak. I know this now. No wonder Rapunzel wanted to get the hell out, she was probably suffocating with nostalgia and untapped potential from a past lover. When we focus on the bite-size moments that showed us brief euphoria but left us with nothing tangible, it’s the “once” we are believing in, not the actual person. I may forever be enamored, and infuriated, with that word.
If you go past the meaty parts of my heart that store the rock ‘n roll classics and In-N-Out burgers (protein style), you will find a small door in the corner. That is where my love stays for him, replaying abstract memories and getting drunk off Merlot (most likely). I accept this. I know it’s alive in me. If I didn’t, our history would keep getting repressed into a black hole of resentment and bitterness, unable to peacefully retire as it should. I would rather send my past to vacation in a well-known place until it gets lost in the sand, which is where I’ve been told the rest of my worries go. Bukowski had a bluebird inside his heart; I’m confident it too stayed behind that door in the corner.
Sometimes I lie awake at night and think, “I’m never gonna get it back.” That’s the fascination about heartbreak. You either get it back, or wait until someone else redefines it. Once the new version arrives, you latch onto it and pray it doesn’t leave. I can’t stand that loneliness anymore! Distract me, ‘o new-and-exciting love! More often than not, it still ends up leaving. Your sleepless nights return as you painfully wait for someone completely different (and yet exactly the same) to bring it back once more…
Heartbreak doesn’t end when the relationship does. It can live on for months or years after, even if both individuals have physically set sail. I may never get to a point where I am fully thankful his name stops appearing in my chapters, but I won’t stop carving myself into a flexible, accepting LA woman, full of New York sass, with juicy ideas that combine sex, dedication, and companionship the future Mr. Elcao* will certainly be thankful for…all because of a life-resetting bastard called heartbreak.
And in that, is where my solace lives.
*A good friend of mine frequently refers to my future partner as “Mr. Elcao” when we talk life and love. This is my small, but significant, shout-out.