Love travels a sticky flow of energies that ignite, excite, and sometimes cool. The meaningful relationship I Tindered my way into a year ago has come to a close. My heart is tender but ok. This relationship taught me a lot and was by far my most healthy, which I’m proud of and grateful for. Alongside tears and painful discussion there are words, always words. Part salve and part inside teacher, they lay like grey lace over the screen.
I take a picture of Elliott crouching in the closet beside the bag that holds his things. Toothbrush, lounge pants, 4 pairs of socks, 3 t-shirts, the slippers I bought. An inventory of disappointment. She takes refuge from the sad uncertainty that dribbles from my almost closed heart. The theme song from Big Little Lies is on repeat and playing loud. Repeat. Repeat.
I made this decision several weeks ago, when I put his things in the bag for the first time. They waited in the darkened closet, like me, for word from the reluctant man.
Big talk, sex, and more Netflix brought us to the same place. No lies, just words and the stated wants of people trying to reach one another from opposite sides of life’s room.
I retreat into Florence Welch, who wrote a square book the colour of wine that beats with brilliance. On one black page sits a golden hand with a bright, blinking eye staring back at me. I think of the tedious, ferocious, constant care that love demands, that we demand as we labour to craft ourselves and the things we are told to need and hold up like the biggest fucking accomplishment. RELATIONSHIPS.
Our hearts are like beaver dams
Like nests that we plan and rebuild
While the seasons change
Are they our forever home?
Lovers are branches, shiny plastic, fear
With them we file our teeth and hope for the best
While traveling the length of love’s river
That winds around each finger, each mouth
Its final resting place