Saturday, 28 February 2009

I stalked him on every Internet dating site each day for the first year, then once a month for the second year. After that, I occasionally went on an all night bender of him online, parsing the words in his updated profile, studying his aging face in his photos, and scoffing at the man he purported to be -- all the while feeling myself longing for him and hearing myself call his name in despair.

He telephoned me again after seven years. He called me monthly, then weekly, then daily. He had two successive relationships with Internet women over the next six months while we talked. Both women rejected him and he was drenched in misery. I commiserated and kept waiting for him to . . . you know, but he didn't.

Last summer, after a late-night telephone call from him in which he recapped the events of his day, I booted up my computer and fired off a one-sentence email, "I'm letting you go." I added a PS that read, "For all the reasons you may think I am doing this, I want you to know that every single one of them is correct." He telephoned, but I did not return the call.

Friday, 27 February 2009

A couple of months after we split up i realised i still had your toothbrush in my bathroom whilst i was having a cleaning spree. So i used it to clean those hard to reach areas around the base of my toilet. It still makes me smile when i think about it now.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

I did quite a few things when I split up with my ex - cried a lot, drank a lot, read a lot of self-help books and spent more time with my closest girlfriends. But I think probably the most interesting thing I did was a cutting cord ceremony. I went to my friend's houseboat, taking with me many treasured notes, cards, memories, photos, and even photocopied notes from his journal where he had chronicled the wonderful beginings of our relationship and us falling in love. I put all of this in a purple box, tied it up with a black velvet ribbon, said thank you to him, and visualised cutting any remaining cords between us. Then my friend and I burnt smudge sticks and floated the box (and him with it) down the Thames. Sounds crazy but it worked...

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

I have two (they're separate instances):

I went dancing with my friends and hooked up with someone 10 times hotter than you.

I met my soulmate.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Getting over you would be so much easier if we didn't live together.

I can hear your alarm go off at 5 am, your door opening, and your footsteps across the carpet that we bought together. You walk around the house naked (though in all fairness, I do as well), flirt incessantly, cook me eggs, do my laundry when I'm buried in books, and tell me all of your secrets.

You let me share baths with you and you slide your soapy legs around my waist. I put my arms around you when your anxiety spikes before your first shift of the week. You tell me to calm down when I freak out about an exam. When we buy groceries separately you text and ask if I'd like anything, or I call and ask if you're out of soy milk. Sometimes you come into my bed, and lay your body between my legs, and we just hold each other.

So all I can do is to fill my nose with blow, and forget how you smell.

Friday, 20 February 2009

I took swimming lessons. Now I can do the butterfly.
For the first three days, all I did was sit alone drinking cocktails, and watch the sea.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

I got married to someone else.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

I cancelled mornings. It's when I miss you most.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I cleaned our apartment obsessively. I bought a mousetrap and caught the critter that had been sprinting around the kitchen for weeks. I took the clothes you left behind to a charity shop. I threw away your yellow toothbrush. I woke up mornings, went to the office as usual. I generally got on with my life and rediscovered lost friends. I found a different appartment to rent. But your ghost was nothing if not persistent. I often had a sense of you being there next to me, especially late at night. That shivering, feathery feeling still rises up in me sometimes, but less and less frequently. Slowly, surely, I’m getting over you.

Monday, 16 February 2009

I stared at strangers on the tube and tried to guess whether they were happy or unhappy in love. It was hard to tell. I still wonder whether you know I used to love you.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

The day after I moved into my new, single-person room, I got on a plane from London to New York with my sister. By the time we were a few hundred thousand feet over Ireland, we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe. We didn't stop laughing all week. When I got back, my single-person room looked like home. I never wanted you back. I hadn't thought it would be so easy.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Long walks without a map.
Over the years, here are some of the things I have done to get over you.....

I cried so much I was sick. I cried so much I couldn't wear my contact lenses. They wouldn't fit in my eyes.
I drank red wine and pretended nothing was wrong. I drank more red wine and talked about how it could have been different. We drank red wine and talked about how it wasn't different. Not just once. For years and years. I don't know why I didn't stop that sooner. Perhaps I always thought you'd change your mind.
I sent you long long emails that I thought were sensible and calm but were filled with pain and anger. You never replied to those. I'm not surprised. What would you have said?
I slept with as many people as possible. I always thought of you. I slept with you as much as possible and pretended it meant nothing.
I dated wonderful men who I should have loved. I would never commit. There was no point. You'd always come back. Although you still didn't want me.
I hated going to bed for a while. Every night, I dreamed you kissed me, told me you loved me and said everything was going to be OK. Every morning it felt like I'd lost you again.
I phoned a therapist. I never showed up. What would they say?
I felt humiliated when people asked me if I'd met anyone nice recently. That it would be lovely if I had someone special in my life. What would I say? I have met someone. Someone to spend the rest of my life with. Someone who fills my soul with light and sunshine and stars and music. They just don't want me. But they won't leave me.
And then, I wanted it to be different. I deserved more. I moved south of the river. I left you. I hear you are hurting now. I don't care anymore. It's too late.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

I sat in a launderette and wept until my socks were dry.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

I bought trousers. I wanted to make sure that, from now on, I was wearing them.
I wrote to you. I wrote pages and pages. Then I made paper flowers out of my beautiful, angry, weepie letters and stuck them in a vase. They were pretty but I set fire to them one by one. He loves me not.

Monday, 9 February 2009

I started to run, and have now completed a number of half marathons. It began well; novice runners have to concentrate on their speed, rhythm and lots of pain. Unfortunately there is a down side to becoming a proficient runner, your mind, with each stride, becomes a little more free to ponder and pine. Ipod to the rescue; as long as your can resist playlists featuring Colin Hay and Roy Orbinson, which I couldn't. So with the running cure waning in effectiveness after 4 months, I decided I would engage in an abstract form of confrontation. I went to Mexico, a country she had lived in for a year, prior to meeting me. I went to landmarks, to restaurants, to clubs I knew she'd visited. I imagined her sitting at bars, talking to guys, taking photos; and I ignored her, I met other travellers, ate with them, talked with them, and created a micro life amongst the memories of her. It seemed to work, its been two years now, and i've not called once.

Friday, 6 February 2009

I did the London Knowledge. It took three years and two months. You have to cram your head full of street names and routes. There wasn't room to remember the colour of her eyes or how it felt when she kissed me.
I killed a moth that was you. But it wouldn't die.

Let me explain: before we got back together, I'd been doing some nature magic with a friend. Then you wheedled your way back in and started to substitute your sleight of hand. Then, when we split up for good a month, maybe two, later, I was laid waste. Like you'd taken my soul with you.

A couple of nights later, I woke up at the feeling of something brushing my face and a heavy beat in the air. Well-warned by the tabloids that poisonous German moths were invading the UK, I bravely sprang up, turned the light on, cornered the beast -- really, it was, with a wingspan of about four inches -- on top of a chest of drawers and killed it. Slam, a heavy book smashed down on it.

Next day, I was getting ready to take part in a play planned to celebrate kissing the city goodbye. A friend hanging out in my room lifted up the book, and the moth flew out -- and up under my (skin-tight, angel-covered) lycra dress. Feeling very Victorian, I had a fit of the vapours, tore off my dress, but still the moth wouldn't leave. It kept flying into me like an attack. Even after we shut it out the window, it flew back, audibly butting its anthers on the glass.

No wonder it took me a whole summer to get over you.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

I lived in my dressing gown for a week. The old lady next door took pity on me and brought me groceries.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Thinking back, I wonder whether that's why I got my nipple pierced. The pain was a distraction from the dull ache in my heart. It was also oddly enjoyable. I remember lying in the bathtub for hours and watching my skin slowly turn from purple and yellow back to pink and cream. Now this little bit of steel is part of me. I forget it's there until someone touches it.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Me, I did Aretha Franklin. Loud as I possibly could. And I know you know which song I'm talking about.