10.18.2002

The Metaphor

I limp, but make small progress. Each step forward towards getting better hurts. I am torn, not broken.

I have to give a great big shout-out to the Great Jedi Council, who told me things I didn't want to hear. Things I certainly needed to hear. Right now I'm my own worst enemy.

They tell me it's in my own best interest to get a clean break. They say it's either/or, and there's no middle ground: I cannot maintain a healthy ongoing relationship with my ex-girlfriend, not without a profound sense of loss, of an absence. It has to be all or nothing.

I'm not necessarily of that frame of mind, but I cannot say enough how appreciative I am of their willingness to give advice. I'll admit I still have expectations. A month ago my instincts told me we had something good. I didn't know where it was going, but right then, in those times, it was an arrow nocked to the smoothed bowstring. And my instincts are seldom wrong.

But do I have to make a choice now between maintaining a friendship characterized by loss, hurt, and desire, a relationship that matters to me, regardless of history; and maintaining my emotional well-being by making a clean break of things and keeping distance, an action that would catalyze more loss, more hurt, and more bad will?

Last night I was accused of allowing myself to be taken advantage of; I doubt that's the case. I could be more accurately accused of keeping her on a pedestal, and making special allowances in this situation. But my perspective isn't going to allow me to recognize it, if true, for a while. I take the attitude that in a situation like this, where we actually do enjoy each others' company; where we hurt but care, grieving together and grieving alone; where we can continue to count on each other for honesty and compassion; in this situation it's best to come away like a shoe, gingerly removed from an injured foot.

There will be separation. We will go different ways and meet new people. And continue, when we see each other, to be friendly and urbane. But right now, in this time, I am dashed between sorrow and joy, knowing comfort and pain in the same moment. I've never felt a more unique mix of emotions, and the force of the originality wears me out. Yet I savor the sensation. No painkillers for this kid.

You are a splendid butterfly;
It is your wings that make you beautiful.
And I could make you fly away,
But I could never make you stay.

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