Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I had to take the day off yesterday.

I'm not exactly grieving. That would be too strong a way to characterize what I'm feeling and going through emotionally these days. I'm sad, yes. But I know the ending of this brief romance is necessary, that the relationship was never going to work out in the long run for a million reasons and that prolonging the inevitable ending wouldn't have been healthy. But my life seems profoundly changed now -- and it is. It's so strange not to count to seven on my fingers to figure out what time it is in Italy, and then to Skype him every day. It's sad not to make or receive wake-up calls. I no longer post to our private blog or check it for a post from my beloved. It's a profound shift to no longer ponder living with him someday in the future. Endings, I suppose, are never easy.

I had a sore throat and ear ache and so was able to take a sick day yesterday. I really had never completely unpacked since my return from Italy January 7 and needed to deal with that. Something in me just didn't want to see the clothes I lately wore when I was with him again or wash them or fold them or put them away. Something in me wanted to avoid storing the bags that have been so frequently used on these trips to see him since June that I normally just leave them out, ready to be packed up for the next trip. I needed to go through the house and remove all the photos of him or of us as a couple from the fridge and from the edges of mirrors and picture frames where I'd stuck them. I needed to take the big picture of us in Paris down from the ledge where it's sat, keeping me company at the kitchen sink as I washed dishes these seven months.

It's all done now, the unpacking and the packing away and the storing of things too poignant to contemplate on a daily basis. Something in me feels a sense of relief; it's always good to get organized. But it is all sad, this sense of finality, of something beautiful and wild and unexpected ending forever.

It's over. I'm no longer madly in love with anyone. I'm alone again. I'm deeply grateful for the love affair he and I shared, for the tenderness, for the intimacy. I will work hard to preserve the rich, sweet memories. But I will likely always worry about him and his well-being in the long run -- I fear his workaholic tendencies, his depression, his guilt, his dark moods will eventually destroy him. And I won't be there to save him.

As if I ever could have.

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