Love. It’s amazing yet can be a train wreck. It’s fleeting yet everlasting. Cruel but kind. Meaningful in one moment but absentminded in the next. It’s something that almost everyone seeks in some way shape or form. Love for thyself. Love for another. Familial and friendship love. Love in a sport, a hobby, a job, a pastime, a memory, a moment anything. We’re all seeking this feeling as we seek happiness. So I have a question, why does love have to hurt so much? Is what hurts us the love for someone else or is it the attachment we have to them that hurts once it’s broken? I can’t say that I’ve had that “reach for the stars over the fence world series kind of thing” type love. I’ve had some crazy movie moments in my life and stories for days that I could tell in terms of love, lust and people I cared about (two in particular come to mind). I’ve loved two people throughout my life but the latter seems to be breaking me down a bit more than I ever imagined.
We were best friends. Spent 3 or 4 nights a week hanging or going out with friends and each other for almost 3 years. We were close friends for at least 4 years and I’d say acquaintances for the first. We’d known each other since childhood but there is an age difference that set the scene until recently. We’d stay up until dawn talking to each other – about anything, everything, things we wanted from life things we didn’t, things we never expected to happen, things between us, what everyone else thought was between us the list continues. We were closer to each other after 3 years than most married couples get to each other after 30. We knew each other and we both had our secrets but they usually had a way of coming out whether we meant them to or not. Me being the more guarded one I always seemed to talk less. I’ll tell you if you ask but if you don’t I might not say a word. So many a night was spent with me listening. I never asked for any information that came my way, but it was always given. Eventually you share yourselves. You build this connection, this attachment, this comfort zone. You don’t really know how much it means to you until it isn’t there or how much the other person’s actions can so affect you and drive you insane.
I was at a crossroads in my life. I knew I could stay at my dead end job and watch my world as I know it continue to be everything I didn’t want, but I wouldn’t let myself. I took some action. When I say I didn’t have anything in life that I wanted I mean it. Job that made me drink my sorrows away, turn to things I wish I hadn’t, become more and more of a person I never thought I would be, barely get by financially because of debt from college, living with my parents, I can probably think of more but that’s enough. I had this one friend that despite my lost feelings (and what I now tend to call the Lost Years) I thought cared about me. Turns out as much as we both were immensely attached to each other and had told each other I love you on countless occasions we couldn’t give each other what either of us wanted.
After a lot of time and effort, I decided to move out of state and completely change my life. I had an opportunity that presented itself and I took it. After telling a few people I was leaving this person asked me to stay – more than once. The first time we were sitting on the bathroom floor leg over leg arm over arm – next to each other, sharing a drink and a cigarette around dawn after a night out. We look at each other and I get asked to stay. Shocked by the statement I said listen I can’t be here anymore. And continued to say why. The second time came, I said simply you know why I can’t stay here. Third time came. Fourth time came. And on the last time it turned from will you stay to I’m coming with you. I didn’t take the last one seriously.
I left last June. It’s now days from January 2014. It’s been almost 8 months and I’m still not over what I left. The time and effort you put into relationships of any kind is overwhelming to say the least. There’s times that I try to convince myself that back then we both cared more than we were letting on and we both admitted it, but weren’t ready. Again neither of us could be what the other wanted yet we kept proving otherwise in other ways. Once I left, everything changed and yet nothing changed. I spent about 4 months away before I came back. The weekend I did I was accused of lying about the two of us to random people. Yet even now I hear from people that they knew I was leaving but not because I told them but because they did. The rumour issue turned into a raging argument to which I flat out said I’m done with this friendship because we never speak anymore and the only thing I’ve ever done was care too much and you know it. I thought you knew me better than that. Of course that was over the phone and neither of us meant for it to happen. Yet when we ran into each other in person it was like nothing ever changed. To say the least the argument was dropped by both of us and hasn’t been spoken of since, yet that night in person was haunting – ironically it was Halloween.
After a while I stopped trying to convince myself that the caring was mutual. I couldn’t handle that I cared more or seemed to care more than they did despite my life story being spread about the town before I left. People were spreading rumours long before either of us started talking to anyone. The entire city thought we were together but we weren’t. This whole thing has been a roller coaster. I’m now at a point where I feel like I know I still care but not like I used to and they don’t care about me at all and never did. For someone that asked me to stay and for someone that told me more than once that there’s no one else out there like me – they’ve looked – you’d think an effort of some sort would be made. I don’t know maybe I’m just delusional.
But this brings me back to my original point, after all that, the good and the bad. The times I remember aren’t the stupid times we spent out or dealing with others. They’re the times that were between just the two of us. The times no one else was there to see. The connection, the attachment that was built that was apparent to a stranger yet ignored by the two of us depending on the night. Too close yet still not good enough. I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t break a bit with this one. I’m now afraid to even be in each other’s presence. When does that love and attachment turn on you? There’s a saying that time heals all wounds yet as fucked up and ridiculous as the relationship between the two of us was, it turned when I changed the game. I take responsibility for initiating change but should love consist of being responsible for the other? Heart strings once broken aren’t so easily mended. It isn’t even pain at this point as much as it’s emptiness. I wouldn’t take back the last 5 years of my life with this person and what became of the two of us towards the end (before I left), but how do you deal when they’re still not entirely out of your life, yet now they’re just somebody that you used to know? No longer best friends, no longer really a friend at all. Yet if you ran into each other the game is still on, that attachment still there. Do you tempt fate or in this case taunt yourself with the possibility of another fun memory or does it end in despair?
Love like happiness is tricky. Holding onto it is hard and it’s definitely work. But for a love that came to be so easily and an attachment that was so severe how can one so easily sever the strings of friendship and seem to walk away unscathed and the other brokenhearted with the pieces of their life to be put back together. Love and loss is a part of life, and life is hard. For something that is so hard to explain, so personal, so hard to attain, what is hard to attain isn’t easily lost and there are certainly different ways to cope. Yet when is it okay to make the other person feel like they never meant anything to you? When does the attachment truly cease? Do you have to fall out of love, or fall for someone else? It’s been said that life has a funny way of bringing you the people that you need. I’d have to believe that to an extent, yet it pulls them from you and pushes them back in at will. When – if ever – do you want to stop loving for your own self preservation? Do you ride the rollercoaster? Do you take the risk? There was a night that I said, “in the beginning I never expected to care this much.” To which the response was, “in the beginning I never expected you to stay.” I said, “to tell you the truth neither did I but here we are four years later.” I think the problem with love is that you do in fact fall into it. The problem is falling out doesn’t leave you unscathed either. But when do the wounds from the ride heal? And which is worse, the love itself or the attachment between you? Which hurts more once broken, the love and caring or the attachment and need for a comfort zone? And how do you fix it?