bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 12:57am on 31/03/2009 under , , ,
I had a dream about my ex girlfriend last night. We passed each other in an office hallway as if we didn't know each other. I turned and held out my arms and she turned and saw and walked back to me.

She has no internet presence. No MySpace, no blog, no twitter, no Facebook, no Friendster, no LJ. Evidence of my current life and loves is all over the net but she's a virtual ghost.

We were always different in that way. I am an open book. She demanded privacy. Two ends of the spectrum, both strange in our extremes.

But now we haven't spoken in a year and a half and she's not holding up her end of the arrangement. She can view my triumphs and setbacks from a safe distance but if I want to know about her life, this woman who I shared the darkest parts of me with, I have to call.

I'm not going to call.

We have been apart longer than we were together. She moved on before the ashes were cold, leaving me railing and frothing about Staten Island gym teachers. She might be a half dozen women past that one by now. I don't know.

I am still sad about it. I don't want her back. I don't want to hit her or poison her dog or key her car. I don't want to ask why, because the why is simple: sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes what you are feeling and what the other person is feeling are different.

Sometimes you can make yourself into what the other person seems to want only to find that she liked what you were before better.

I was a child in that relationship. I let her dictate the rules and the boundaries. She wanted someone she could mold and teach. She needed to be smarter and wiser and more worldly. She needed to be more balanced. She wanted an urban-trendy professional girlfriend so I bought gold slip on sneakers and wore khakis and blazers.

I am wearing a blazer today, but it's over a Battle Circus t-shirt. I pitched the sneakers for Doc Martens. Tattoos-- which she didn't like on me, she said-- have been revealing themselves on my arms like bruises and I love them because I finally feel real.

I say that no one dies. I calm my inner spastic freak-out princess. I breathe. I open my heart to as my people as I can stuff in it, I open my home to most who ask, I go to yoga when I'm not being lazy and I don't shower every day anymore. My ex showered twice a day most of the time and I got in the habit too, but honestly? I like being dirty sometimes.

In the dream, when I held out my arms, I saw the tattoos and wondered if she would still know me. Not recognize me. Know me.

I don't think she does. No matter how much of myself I toss out into the internet, no matter if she sees every photo of me flashing my panties at the merch table, no matter if she reads this blog, that girl doesn't know me any more.

I don't know her anymore either.

I don't think I want to.

But I want to know ABOUT her.

Love,
Beth
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 04:24am on 14/08/2008 under , ,
Is it terribly wrong of me that, upon stumbling upon the MySpace of the woman my first girlfriend dumped me for TEN YEARS AGO, I am kind of happy that she got fat?

It's not like they're even still together. My ex ended up getting married (Canadian, yo!) and then divorced. We used to email once a year or so, but that stopped three or four years ago. We didn't really have anything to say to each other. All old hurts forgiven, no real connection remained.

Nevermind the fact that, at fifteen, I was convinced I'd found the love of my life.

...

I was thinking about love, darling. I was thinking about love because I met someone I could see myself falling in love with. Our mutual friends tell me she'll break my heart.

They are probably right.

Girlfriend number one was a year older and Canadian. We met online. She left me for the woman who has now gotten fat and I went crazy and didn't eat and cried and watched The X-Files movie over and over and over again. It was four years before we communicated again. At age 19 I sent her a four page, rambling note written in pink pen on notebook paper. She said she knew it was me as soon as she saw the handwriting on the envelope and the US postmark.

Girlfriend number two was married. We were precisely wrong for each other. I think she admired my spontaneity and freedom as much as I coveted her roots and clear sense of purpose. There were moments of bliss, I'm sure I remember them. I think she got in too deep and didn't know how to get herself out. I do that to people, I think. I think she had enough of my impulsiveness and I had enough of her habit and routine. We no longer admire or covet. But things are okay.

Girlfriend number three wasn't my type. She was loud and pushy and people rolled their eyes behind her back. She was on an endless search for enlightenment. I am in a very different place than I was when we broke up; our mutual acquaintances tell me she is much the same. We do not speak. Our breakup was bad enough that I think there is nothing left to say.

The sum total of my romantic history in three paragraphs. I've never had a boyfriend.

...

Sex with a new person is like getting a tattoo or doing drugs; the first time, you're nervous and you wait a long time to make sure you want to do it and you want it to be perfect. It gets easier every time.

...

I slept with a girl who keeps a list of her lovers in the back of a journal.

I sat down to write a list of mine. The list seemed too short and then I realized that I'd left off the names of the three women I was actually in love with.

That seemed telling, at the time.

Love,
Beth
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 03:09am on 06/08/2008 under , ,
Whilst searching for an email from my boss, I happened upon an email from two (is it three?) exes ago.

I read it. I shouldn't have, because now I sit, wide-awake and with heart in throat. Over the words of a woman I haven't been in love with in years.

That email prompted me to seek out an email from the last real ex ago. We broke up last September. People who have met me since then note how anti-romance I am. I hesitate to tell them that I am, in fact, one of the most utterly-in-love-with-love romantics that exists today. I'm just still bitter.

Reading these emails caused a realization for me:

I am really hard to dump.

Every time it happens I say I was completely blindsided, but every time, when I go back and look, the clues weren't just clues-- they were declarations.

In the case of both my most recent exes, their emails to me, months before we actually broke up, are full of things like, "I love you but I don't think we should be together," and "This is too hard, it's not supposed to be so hard," and "I don't think this relationship should continue."

I, of course, counter every move. You don't want to have sex with me anymore? Well, it's fine with me if we just cuddle. You need some space? I'll spend a couple nights a week at home! You want to be with a six foot tall, blonde man? I'll get the hair dye and stretchers and place a call to the surgeon.

Desperation isn't sexy.

The next time a woman says point-blank that she does not love me, God grant me the balls to tell her to fuck off and walk out the door.

Love,
Beth

ETA: Get in on the action... tell me your worst break-up story in the comments.
bethofalltrades: (Default)
Day six of not speaking. At this point, it becomes a contest. Whoever breaks first loses.

I keep picking up the phone to call her, but I am not an amiable loser.

Cut because I sound like a total whackjob. And probably am. )

Love,
Beth

I am much fucking angrier than you think.
-Crave by Sarah Kane
Mood:: ambivalent

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