Thursday, July 13, 2006

Your Life Two Years Ago

It’s so hard to get started sometimes. Just when you think you’re there – when you’re feeling good about your life and the choices you’ve made – he makes his way back into your view and everything is lost. Everything you worked so hard to achieve… it’s like it never existed and you’re standing in the same spot you were in two years ago. Only your haircut is different.

It will never be as comfortable as it was with him. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you commend yourself for making it work as best you can – it will never be the same. You’ll never have the feeling of ease that came so quickly with him, never have the idea that he knows exactly what you want to say without saying anything at all.

The new one is smart. Very smart. And funny, and polite, and kind. He is a pleasure to look at and speak to because he is clearly pleased to be looking at you and speaking to you. He stares at you when you talk; he remembers the details you tell him of your life. He holds your hand under the table at dinner.

Then you get a phone call or an e-mail or a lingering look as you pass the other one on the street. Immediately it is two years ago again, and you are thrown back into the indecision and longing. You cancel your dinner plans and drown in the hatbox under your bed, the one that holds everything that represented your happiness for so long. You read letters, touch pictures, hold matchbooks… all while the new one waits for you next door. He knows something is wrong, but you don’t say the words. He’s good for you. You cannot allow yourself to be convinced otherwise.

It’s so hard, though, not to get lost inside that flowery box. It even smells like your life two years ago, like everything good and worthwhile that you’ve ever known. You close your eyes and remember his old cologne, wishing for your long hair of two years ago.

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