I dreamt of Beautiful again last night.
I really don’t know why. I haven’t thought of her in weeks. I don’t miss her. And ever since I wrote my post on social media being the devil, I am proud to say I’ve stayed strong and since then I’ve unfriended her on FB to avoid seeing her posts and I’ve had the self-control and self-discipline to not visit her blog in some vanity-driven quest to see if she’s missing me or writing about me or what a big mistake this all was. I’ve done the necessary steps, I’ve taken care of myself, so I really wonder what ingredients had to be mixed together to create the cocktail of last night’s dream.
I remember it starting off with me, Beautiful, and my group of friends all at Chinatown in NYC, one of our favorite late night hangout spots. We’re looking around, checking out shops, I’m holding her hand. I see my usual martial arts supply vendor and decide to take a look around. I see the dao I was working with during my martial arts retreat and get excited. I start to swing it around and test it, I happily tell her all about it and the kind I bought and the history of the weapon but she seems bored and uninterested, so I put it down and we keep walking. Then it’s my favorite part. The food! Chinatown is a glorious budget smorgasbord for the adventurous. I remember wonton noodle soup, xiao long bao (soup dumplings), har kaw (crystal shrimp dumplings), siopao (okay that’s a Filipino word but it refers to Chinese meat buns; my favorite are the white siopao with ground pork, mushroom, egg, and Chinese sausage), beef tendon, bubble tea, and salt-pepper squid. She isn’t eating and I notice this. We remove ourselves from the group and duck into a side-street to talk, only she isn’t saying anything. I want to know what’s going on. Why she’s giving off so many strange vibes but not saying what’s wrong. She tells me she needs to go back, take the night, and we can talk in the morning.
I stay out all night and don’t get back home til sunrise the next day. I am nervous and fearful of the call. It is afternoon now and I still haven’t heard from her. Anxiously, I text her ‘Hey, love’. The phone rings. ‘Hi [my name].’
That’s all I need to hear. I know what’s coming at the end of this conversation. She never used my name. It was always a nickname, or if not, it was ‘Baby [my name]’ because of how lost in my interests and hobbies I get and how adorable she thought it was when I was so giddy and excited. Like a baby. Her baby.
I’m sitting in my living room and as soon as I hear her say my name I start bawling. I’m kicking at the coffee table between heaving sobs. ‘Why,’ I ask. ‘What happened to us.’ But this is my dream. This Beautiful only know what I know. So she says only what I can answer for her.
‘I don’t know.’
Like I said, I don’t know why this came up again. I’ve been doing really well; better than I could have expected actually. It’s hard to think that the events that hurt me so much, the events that pushed me to create this blog, happened only 73 days ago. About two and a half months have gone by since she left me and since I started this journey of reflection and growth. It’s hard to envision two and a half months when I’m writing on average 1.000 words each day that goes by. I’ve never written this much before and certainly not at such a consistently maintained pace. This has definitely helped me process things and get over the hurt much quicker and more effectively though. I’ve never talked through a breakup or had such a far-reaching opportunity to share my story. Even though I don’t talk about it as much and I’ve been able to move on to discussing other things, the simple matter of writing has taken everything that could have hurt me in my head and poured it out through my fingertips. I’ve expelled so many doubts and worries. Each word I type puts more distance between me and her. Maybe this is why I have so much to say and why I want to say so much.
Still it is very clear I am not immune to pain. There will of course be obstacles, as there are in anyone’s path. I still think I am happily and healthily over her and the breakup. I just think I can’t deny I miss having someone. That is right now the hardest part. The fear of being alone. When you’re with someone, you don’t really spend much of that time envisioning when and why you’ll grow apart. You only hope that if it happens, you’ll know why. People can change, that’s a fact. For better or for worse. You hope that each time a relationship fizzles you are strong enough and humble enough to take what you can out of it and be better next time. But when it seems so right and so strong…and you’re left with so little to go on…you fear you lost your progress.
It is unrealistic and vain to think ‘I did nothing wrong’. ‘It was all her, none of this was me’. I’m not saying I could have changed to save the relationship, I’m saying I could learn from this too of what my shortcomings were and how I could continue to improve. I did not get that conversation. And to be honest, I don’t think I ever will. Partly because there is nothing left for her to say and partly also because she has neither the strength nor the awareness herself to know. I will have to grow on my own, I have to be courageous to face each new opportunity and hungry enough to keep learning. I certainly fear and hope I won’t be alone forever. I hope I learn enough to realize what it is I truly seek and am able to recognize when it is in front of me. I hope I can learn from the mistakes of the past and avoid them in the future.
Her and her pain feel more like the Boogeyman than anything else now. Just a reflection of a primal fear embodied in a more modern and more attractive face. The nightmares will come. But we all know that eventually we wake up. And today I wake up to a work day that consists of nothing but a longer than usual drive home. And afterwards, I’ll be meeting a friend at IKEA. It’s time for their annual crawfish party. Maybe I can dream of that instead.
Man: 55 Loneliness: 18