Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Open Letter to Everyone I Ever Used To Be In Love With, As If They Were All One Person


Wow, I know it's been a long time since you've heard from me. After all the time we were together - it must have been almost 20+ years! counting when we were in school. After all that time together, I never thought we'd ever lose touch. Yet here we are. People drift apart.

I still care about you. I want you to know I don't hold any of that stuff you did to me against you. That time you threw me out, drunk, into the night with all my belongings? I understand why, now. I didn't then! But that's partly because I was drunk. But I understand why you did that, now. It was because you were drunk.

Or that other time you kicked me out of our place for several months, while I paid your rent? And I couch-surfed all that time, or made do with sleeping in the car? Well that was my choice, after all. I didn't have to pay your rent, just because you quit your job!

Then there was that time you set up this whole elaborate breakup scene, reeling off a big, obviously-rehearsed speech - with appropriate music all timed and cued up! That seemed kind of a weak move to me at the time, a bit fake and theatrical, considering all we'd been through. But really, I must admit it was quite well-orchestrated.

And the infamous car-door slam - look, don't even worry. All of those fingers all healed, eventually, and I can fret my guitar just fine, now. Plus, you gave me that guitar in the first place! And all the encouragement, all the appreciation you had for my music and my songs - it really kept me going, despite how you also frequently said I should switch to a hobby I was any good at.

I've gotten better.

I've let all the bad stuff go, because of the good that we had. So good. Damn good. I remember all the times we went out to eat, and all the times we went to the movies. I remember all the home-cooked meals, some catastrophic, some exceptional in other ways. I remember the theme video marathons. I remember all the fun we had, playing with whatever dogs, cats, or ferrets that were handy. I remember the wine tastings. Most of them.

I remember the nights whiled away in clubs with crazy lighting, sweating and shaking to the THUMP-ta-THUMP-ta-THUMP-ta of some demented modern disco DJ. I remember how much we enjoyed our increasingly giddy arguments over abstruse points of theology, the times we shared sudden, meaningful looks in church and almost died from sheer giggle suppression.

I remember the all-night blackjack or poker sessions, the miles of epic death hikes through state and national parks, the sprawling all-night drunks, the road trips to crazy places like Solvang, CA and Pittsburgh, PA (pulling over for snowball fights!) - to say nothing of that one crazy, 5-day 3,000 mile drive. I never really made it back from that one, did I?

I remember the spirited beach volleyball and one-on-one hoops sessions (apologies for the elbow again, but really, that was technically your foul). The endless games of pool or darts in smoky dive bars. The door to door caroling - we worked out some crazy harmonies, didn't we? I remember all the lazing on the beach (ooo, that one epic SUNBURN), the bed & breakfasts, and most especially that one particular time in the hot tub. WHOO HOO! But in general, though, the same applies: WHOO HOO!

We certainly did give it our best shot, didn't we? We made it through things that would have broken up any other couple six to ten times over. It was the will to make it work - that's what we had, in spades. The commitment that we had to each other, that made such a difference. We certainly did try. But in the end, for whatever reasons, our best shot was not enough.

Some might say: maybe we tried too hard? Maybe we should have called it quits sooner? But I don't believe that. That was our time to believe in each other, and we did. You can't fault yourself for a good impulse, for trying too hard to make it work, when you believe it can work.

And you can't fault yourself for letting go, once you know it can't work. We reached that point, too, you and I.

And you're married now, or rather you're divorced, or you're re-married, or still single, or else I have no idea - but that guy I saw you hanging out with sure looks like he'd be a fool to let a catch like you go. In any case, you've moved on. I'm sure it's for the best for you, that you've moved on.

And that's enough for me. Because when you really care for a person, that's all you want. You want what's best for that person. You want them to be happy, even if it's not with you.

I want you to be happy without me. In a lot of ways, you were one of the most important people in my life.

Anyway. I just want to say: thanks for everything.

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