Unexpected. My body and heart has been hit by a truckload of red hard bricks. This place is quiet. Too quiet for my noisy mind. The thoughts running rapidly, repeatedly. The coffee tastes sweet yet bitter. Life is bitter and sweet. Love is bitter, and surprisingly rarely sweet. The television is on and the talking heads are assessing the constant breaking news. Every day there is new breaking news. Every hour something is breaking.
Am I the newest broken news?
Am I surprised how easily a wedding and an engagement ring came off my ring finger? Yes, I’m overwhelmed by the sudden death. The white marks around my finger are the only reminder of a July evening where we made vows. Where we promised with glorious cheeks shining, grins beaming, “to have and to hold until death do us part.” Perhaps, this is our death. The end feels like death. Mama remarks how the kitchen looks like a wake after a funeral. We’re burying my marriage. Pies, cookies, and doughnuts sit uneaten at her kitchen table. Too sad to try and eat. Too hurt to want to eat. Nothing tastes as it should. Nothing turned out the way I’d intended it to be.
Try to live normally. I don’t understand this new normal.
I scroll through Facebook and I see happy families with their gleaming pictures. I see the Facebook facade. For a brief moment, I resent these pictures and the people in them. I hate their happiness. I hate seeing a wife whose husband didn’t cheat on her. Didn’t want someone else’s attention. I take a ball bat to my self esteem. I beat my insides bloody, allowing my innards to spill out onto my Mama’s carpet. I apologize repeatedly for the woman I am.
I’m not pretty enough. I’m not good enough. My waist is too big. My breasts are too small. My skin is starting to sag. The wrinkles are showing and no one could love a face as ugly as mine. My teeth are stained with coffee and cigarettes and sweet tea. A smile dimmed in tragedy. He wanted something prettier, younger, better. Not me. He wanted anything other than me. What was so wrong with me?
In the densely dark midnight hour lays my haunting nightmare: What is wrong with me?
Friends will say nothing is wrong with me. But those are my friends and my family. Those are the words they’re supposed to say to my broken-heart. They’re supposed to tell me how my self worth isn’t defined by him. How I deserved better. How love shouldn’t continue to hurt a person year after year.
This wasn’t his first time. I’ve taken muddy leaves and scooted them over his tracks for years now. Each time I heard the words I wanted to hear, “I’m sorry. I love you, I won’t do it again. It was a mistake.” And I believed in those words. Desperation will eat anything its fed.
I’m his desperation. I am everything, at every place I never thought I could be, the place I never wanted us to be. I am his pistol grip pump bitch locked and loaded with scorn. I am the woman who a few short weeks ago wrote my undying memories surrounded in the word I wished I’d never said: “kismet“. I can’t take it back. I can’t erase the words I believed. I can’t undo the memories replaying each second, wondering how we arrived at this destination.
I can’t even brush my teeth today, but I have to. Have to wake up and crawl out from the nightmare. Have to keep going. Have to rely on my greatest strength which is rising up from the ashes. Building a new life. A life without love. If you love someone, you don’t betray them time and time again. You don’t bring down a home without warning. You don’t stab them when their back is turned scrubbing the tub with a steel-wire pad. You don’t lay with another on the $200 blanket I bought to make our bed a comfortable home.
All will say, “Don’t publish these words.”
All will say, “Don’t air your dirty laundry.”
I will say, “These words are the only home I’ve ever known.”
A writer retreats back to her safe place.
Her words. Her comforting allies. Her talent manifested and anointed. The only favor God ever granted her are these letters forming sentences and structuring something coherent. Something so many people say “is beautiful.”
The only good part to me is here, are words written without effort. Pain placed symbolically across a website I never wanted to own. Words I never cared whether they were read or not. Don’t publish they’ll say. Don’t walk naked into the world again.
Someone has to do it. Someone has to take the step and say, “Love is a bitter cold bitch. I hate her for what she’s done to me. She destroyed my home and my heart. And I know I’m not alone. Somewhere out there is another person naked, raw, and not wanting to brush their teeth today.”
Hit publish, Misfit. Hit it hard and fast. Never look back.