at the centre of it all is this:
those tender moments replay like videoreel slides out of sync, but they are still tender.
but then I tell myself, clearly that is what I imagined, this tenderness betweeen us was me, just me just me just me just me. this moment between us was just mine mine mine mine mine. I tell myself I will never know how you felt, maybe, some of those moments were precious to you too maybe not all of them, maybe other moments that I discarded carry some sacred quality in your heart, I can’t possibly know how you felt, I say to myself but this is a lie.
you felt like leaving. so you left.
and that’s ok that’s ok it’s ok ok ok ok ok fine fine fine fine without a fight or a fuss or anything actually changing between us you left so all that means is that I really could imagine a world of moments, shared, that were in fact never real. I could in fact imagine someone’s feelings for me, have them gently correct how they feel.
so we could share gazes and touches and kisses and moments that looked like that, felt like that, where I could see myself reflected in you and imagine that you saw yourself in me too when in fact! in fact.
those moments were nothing special to you.
how cruel then, a year later, they are still there for me.
in leaving, you know, you turned me into a liar.
Here is an important memory, i said, holding up a shared moment.
That’s not mine, you said, surprised, not mine at all.
So now here is the moment. it is no longer sweet (how can it be) or tender (how can it be). it is as crass and as stupid and as meaningless and as inconsequential as every other moment.
the littleness of what you experienced – i want that. give it to me. the smallness of it. the tininess of it. a little kernel of truth.
there was no connection. a connection needs two people.
there was only me.
the next time i feel an emotional or romantic connection, how will i know if it is real for the other person too?
i don’t know why you did the things you did with me.
maybe you were then, like i am now:
sincere and bored.
thank you always for leaving
please stay gone forever in every iteration in every new person i never ever want to see you again anywhere in anyone ever again
it was not a connection. it was not a relationship.
it was a crush. my crush. and it crushed me. and that’s ok. honestly it’s fine.
now i know that when someone looks at me that way, there’s as much a chance of it meaning nothing as meaning something. now i know that when someone touches me that way, there’s as much a chance of it meaning nothing as meaning something. now i know that when i think a connection is shared and good and true and real, it’s actually nothing.
“Was it real?” I asked.
“What is ‘real’ ?” you asked.
A year later, I can tell you that ‘real’ is staying because you want to stay more than you want to leave.
Everything else is dirty, you know. it’s just a dirty thing, a dirty lie. Call it lust, or convenience, or “eh why not” in the aftermath.
But don’t call it a connection. Don’t call it love. Don’t call it meaningful.