I hate how much more difficult navigation is after a breakup. Certain places, movies, tv shows, musicians, entire musics now feel off-limits. Because they’re sacred. Because the two of you shared them together. It seems blasphemous to do these things or go to those places on your own.
I restored the ipod Bill had lent me when mine was stolen. I kept his music on it for the longest time, expecting to eventually buy my own and return his with all of his music on it. We said our goodbyes last night. He told me to keep the ipod if it was still working. So I did. I restored it and started adding my music to it. One of my all-time favorite albums is Deja Entendu. We listened to it on one of our first dates. He cleaned his room for me and told me that I would never again see his room as clean as it was that day. I thought he was joking. But he wasn’t. That album reminded me of high school, so to have a guy play that in college made me immediately nostalgic and like a sponge to soak up new memories. Soak them up, I did. I think that was the first time we really kissed. The first exciting kiss that leaves you hungry for more than a brush of the lips.
Anyway, I’m not ready to put that on my ipod.
Most of our relationship took place in Oshkosh. It’s probably for the best that I don’t live in that city anymore. I don’t feel ready to go to my favorite bar because I remember the time we sat by the bar while jazz played, and he folded up a dollar bill and somehow managed to squeeze it in my locket. He told me to save it for emergency money. It came out of my locket last night and I had what can only described as an anxious breakdown over a very crispy dollar bill.
Aside from the tangible things, of course my mind has become a minefield. I’ll start thinking about something and one thought leads to another until I get to the slightest thing that reminds me of him and then I start crying. I did that a few times at the mall last night. I started out fearless. Andrea and I went with me to do some retail therapy. I saw a pad of paper. One of those tongue-in-cheek list things. We used to send them to each other. I have the pads, and I would mark off lists like “Things You Need to do to Make me Happy” or “Why I Need to Have Sex with You” or “Things You Need to do to Make the World Happy”. And I would spritz it with my perfume and send it to him. He’d do the same, only spraying it with his cologne, the one we picked out together. I saw it in a little boutique and I started crying. It was pathetic.
It’s just surreal how dangerous daily life feels. The slightest thing becomes incendiary. I feel like I need to shut off my mind, because so much of it is filled with him. Nearly every part of my day has the potential to be terrifying, simply because my mind is so vulnerable and as a consequence, over-actively making connections as a desperate attempt to hang onto something I never thought I would lose.
No, this is not the end of my life. Yes, this is the end of a very happy chapter, and moving on is going to be one of the most painful things I ever do.