Everyone keeps asking me about you. You. Abstract you. You who I’ve conjured up in one million dreams and thought about while stuck in stand still traffic. You with a wild heart and an untamed spirit. Passionate, patient and completely nonexistent you.
I’m running out of answers.
I’m running out of polite and politically correct ways to tell people that I just haven’t found you yet. I’m running out of excuses and I’m running out of feel good things to say. I’m running out of other things to talk about when I’m drinking down mimosas at brunch and my girlfriends ask me “So, are you dating?” I’m running out of dirt to fill the ditches in my mind anytime I get a moment to myself and wonder where the hell you could be. I’m running out of detours away from the mess of a construction site that is my heart. I have to stop taking the circuitous route and deal with that heart head on.
Maybe I should first open up the windows and let the ghosts of every love lost fly away. Maybe this house is still brewing and breathing with all of the phantoms of my unrequited affection. All the apparitions of our bad decisions. All the spirits of love gone wrong. Maybe I have not yet eulogized my broken heart and buried it along with the sin soaked sheets of yesteryear. Maybe I am still hoping and waiting and wishing on shooting stars.
Or maybe I should not open up the windows. Maybe I should just burn this house to the ground. Build it back up from the ashes. Maybe that is the only way to let go of it all.
Or maybe I am afraid. No, not maybe. I am absolutely and unequivocally afraid. I’m afraid that someone will be so perfect for me or so ruinous for me, and either way that would mean having to shed my layers and let them in. I’m afraid to open up the junk drawers of my past and pull the blanket above all my shit I hide under the bed. I’m afraid that I will fall hard and then you’ll decide one day that love doesn’t live here anymore.
That is why I always get close, but not too close. It’s why I always take on the role of friend without ever reading over the script to audition for the role of soulmate. Because I’ve watched my heart burst and have been left to hold her when she breaks. I know my love is a forest fire that engulfs every bit of me. I know my love knows no bounds and crosses all boundaries. I know my love is true and mad and deep and dense and savage. I know my love is my greatest natural disaster.
Everyone keeps asking me about you.
And I can’t tell them that I’m working on the book. I can’t tell them that I’m looking for a new job. I can’t tell them that I would rather remain single or that I’m really not into dating right now. Those would all be lies. The book is done. The new job is secured. And last week when the dentist jabbed my gum with a shot of local anesthesia, all I could think was that I wanted someone there to hold my hand. Maybe that someone was you. You. Abstract you. Passionate, patient and completely nonexistent you.