A year ago I was in Hawaii, but now I am having the time of my life. Funny, huh?
I expected to feel differently. Depressed maybe. Resentful. Angry. Bitter. And yet, I’m not in touch with any of these emotions. This week I am taking some much-needed time off of work to see three Phish concerts; next week, I have three more lined up. I’ll reconnect with old friends I haven’t seen in awhile, dance as the sun descends, and drink in the euphoria of the Phish concert-going experience. I’ll go over set lists with devoted followers and plan out my route to the next show.
At this point in my life, I have no attachments, no worries, no regrets. That wasn’t the case 365 days ago.
Don’t get me wrong: I had a great time on vacation. But there wasn’t a shred of romance, something that ranks pretty high on my list of important things to come out of a relationship. There was some sex, but no passion. I always imagined Hawaii to be one of the most romantic places on earth with lush fields and picture-perfect waterfalls. I thought I’d hear the melodic strumming of Israel’s ukulele on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” everywhere I turned and that giant colorful arcs would frame each snapshot. All of that was there. I was happy, or at least so I thought.
Sometimes I get upset with myself for taking part in a charade with someone who had no intention of ever getting down on one knee. In fact, he told me this before we left. And yet I refused to believe it, hung up on the idea that if I wanted something badly enough, he could never deny it from me.
One of the last conversations I had with Jackson, he told me he had checked out of the relationship much earlier than I did. I wish he hadn’t spoken the words out loud, but I had known this all along. It doesn’t make me feel better that he had thrown in the towel when I was still grasping for straws, desperate to turn a bad situation around. But it’s the truth.
So now I sleep diagonal in my bed*. Maybe I even get a little weepy when I see a DeBeers commercial. And I really miss deep conversations over coffee and cigarettes with a handsome new stranger. But I’m no longer stuck. I feel free.
* This is taken from a Phish song called “Lengthwise.”