Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Blustery Day

I went to my college boyfriend's home, in the rural Midwest, for Christmas one year. The gifts that his family gave to each other were relatively modest. For College Boyfriend's gift, one of his aunts gave him a homemade carrot cake with buttercream frosting, wrapped in aluminum foil. It was College Boyfriend's favorite dessert. Later, he explained to me, "Her family doesn't have much money right now, so she made me a cake." The word "touched" doesn't even begin to describe what I felt that day.

The proceeding story can't hold a candle to what College Boyfriend's aunt's family was going through at that time, but I do understand desperation under certain circumstances. When I felt scared or sad or in terrifying, all-consuming love with N, I would always write him. Paper letters handwritten in black ink, well-crafted e-mails, poignant text messages... Writing was the last thing I had to give him. It was my swan song.

I write him all the time now; I write to him in my head. I write to him in unsent e-mails. I write to him in make-believe letters. I write to him in draft-saved text messages. It is the last thing I have to give him. But at this point, it's just bluster. It's noise and action to save something that can never be saved. That could never be saved, no matter how strongly anyone, on either end, feels. That is to say, me.

But what I feel for N is not not healthy. It is not good. I love him, but what I miss most is the memory of him when he was good for me. I am breaking out of the underworld; I am not Persephone:

"There is more to bitter sacrifice than this."

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