Monday, July 18, 2011

sorting through the rubble of our relationship

sorting through the rubble of our relationship love photo love image, http://weheartit.com/entry/6716637
ph: weheartit

My shrink told me to write you a letter, to tell you how I feel about all the shit that’s gone down the past few months. That alone is embarrassing. I can see you in our kitchen, just sitting at that dilapidated kitchen table you picked up on the side of the road and so lovingly restored, just sitting there with a cigarette between your fingers, shaking your head and taunting me: A fucking shrink, Louise? A fucking shrink?

Yes, I need a fucking shrink. I’m not like you; I can’t just pluck a few cords on a guitar, drink straight tequila and deal. I need to talk. Most relationships are based upon talking, but ours was never like that. I bet I couldn’t fill a one-subject notebook with all the words that passed between us while we were together. Yet we somehow knew more about each other than most people. Like I know that when you were 12, you were making out with Georgia Flannery behind a 7-11 and her father caught you. I also know that he chased you back to your house wielding his belt above his head, swinging it just close enough that the buckle made a whoosh sound next to your ear.

But that’s a verbal story. I could fill a five-subject notebook with stories about what goes on behind your eyes. I could publish novels based solely on the way you’d kiss me in the morning before I was even fully awake and the journeys your fingers made up and down my naked back. Ours was a love based on moments strung together by hand with emotions, like those ropes of popcorn we decorated our plastic red Christmas tree with in the middle of summer.

It was the most fulfilling, realistic, complete relationship I’d ever been it. It was also heart wrenching, twisted, blemished, rage-filled and nauseating. There were nights I would cry myself to sleep because I didn’t know where you were, where we were, what we were, what you wanted us to be or how we were going to pay our bills. But then I’d wake up with your curly hair in my face and know, somehow, that this was right. That we’d make it work, fill in the holes and sew up the tears. It would work. It had to work.

The way we met wasn’t glamorous or romantic like you read in thick paperback novels. I worked at an ice cream place on the boardwalk; you loved medium vanilla cones with rainbow sprinkles. The first time you stopped by, I fell in love with your big, crooked fingers that floated in front of your chest, waiting for your change. The second time you stopped by, I fell in love with your witty, sarcastic humor that I hoped you were putting on for me. The third time you stopped by, you asked for my number and waited around till closing. We drank 40 ounces on the beach. Our first date. We barely spoke, a foreshadowing of the relationship to come, but we spent the whole night lying on our backs and tracing constellation. Every once in a while, I’d feel those big crooked fingers wiggling through the sand, hesitating on whether or not to take the plunge and lace between mine. You told me you dabbled in photography and that you’d love to take my picture. I figured you were either a pornographer or the love of my life. I gave you a chance.

Our second date. You picked me up in your yellow Chevrolet Caprice from the 70’s that you had found on the side of the road and breathed new life into. I had a big Christmas bag filled with yellowing lace slips and oversized loafers. We drove to a junkyard and I changed in your backseat while you sat on the hood and smoked a cigarette. We spent the day taking pictures: me on a couch that was growing springs, me in a rusted out pickup truck, me holding an umbrella with holes like Swiss cheese.

With every click of the camera’s shutter I felt bits and pieces of my soul transplanting themselves in you. I was scared out of my mind, but I was drunk off the very idea of you. I knew in that instant that I would never be whole again if you ever left me. The truth is, no one truly understand that feeling until they’re standing in front of the person who has so neatly and completely embezzled their heart. No, not just their heart. Their entire being.

We were inseparable. It was only a matter of weeks before I moved into your place. Of course you would live in a trailer. It would be impossible for you to even think about maintaining a home. But I didn’t care. Our lives quickly meshed into one another, and before I knew it I was eating mashed potatoes with hot sauce, like you, and you were clipping your toe nails over the toilet, like me. We bought a cat and named him Tiddly Winks. He slept on a doll’s bed next to ours. You and I fell into a routine. I quit my job at the ice cream stand and started working at an antique store in Point. All day, I’d sort through old dresses and jewelry and spatulas and coloring books. I started taking old black and white photos of babies in basinets and big Italian weddings, framing them and hanging them around our house. We pretended they were our family, since we really had none: Aunt Madge, cousin Hector, grandma Natty. But we didn’t need a family. We had each other.

You got work at a furniture store and worked on restorations. I’d love rubbing your callused fingers after a long day at work. I loved you, and you loved me. You spent your days smoothing over cracks and imperfections in tables and chairs. But it was only a matter of time before our own cracks and imperfections started to show. We tried to smooth them over. But they were a little more stubborn. Your paychecks were minimal, which didn’t make sense because you worked 15-hour days. The nights we used to spend together watching Land of the Lost and drinking white wine started to dwindle. You’d come home, shower and go out. I didn’t think to ask you where you were going. Sometimes when you’d come home, your lips would be chapped. I tried to smooth over the cracks. I loved you so much.

The first night I woke up to you cooking crack in the kitchen, I wanted to die. Your eyes had been looking distant, and I wanted you to love me again. But you were just sitting in the kitchen, cooking crack. Next to the pan of uneaten lasagna I had made for dinner. I felt stupid, standing in your Metallica t-shirt and bunny slippers. Like I was in middle school again, and we were watching that sex-ed video, and everyone seemed to know what a period was and how a penis gets hard before sex, and I didn’t. You looked at me and gave me a scary smile. Your teeth were yellow. I went back to sleep.

Things got worse. I’d come home to the sickly scent of burnt Brillo pads and know. We’d make love, but it wasn’t like before. It was violent and painful. Sometimes afterwards, I’d look down at the twisted Superman underwear around my ankles and feel like a rape victim. Since I couldn’t hate you, I started to hate myself. I still loved you, and I hated myself for loving you.

I was alone, watching Land of the Lost with white wine the first night you hit me. I don’t even remember the reasoning, but it was quick and I saw streaks of silver. My cheek swelled. I left it like that. A battle wound. I deserved it. I deserved it for loving you. And it made me hate myself more.

The day I knew our relationship had to end was the day I had to charge American cheese to my Visa. The old lady behind the counter looked at me with sad eyes that seemed to say I know. Looking into her eyes, I felt no self-pity. All I could think about was how I never wanted my eyes to look old and tired like that.

I came home and made you grilled cheese, like you’d asked me to. It was one of those stretches of three days where your normal self would return. You’d be loving and attentive and you’d fix the kitchen table chairs you’d broken on your last binge. We’d re-hang the pictures of our imaginary family that’d crashed to the ground the last time you threw me into a wall. I’d make us Hamburger Helper and you’d make love to me like old times. Watching you eat your sandwich from across the table, I started to think, maybe, just maybe, you’d stay this time. I’d help you stay off the drugs, we’d move out of a trailer and into a cottage on the beach, we’d have a babies and name them after J.D. Salinger characters. Life would be good.

With a mouth full of grilled cheese, you looked across the table and said I love you.

I packed up and moved out that night. You were asleep with Tiddly Winks.

It’s been a month. You haven’t tried to look for me. Or if you have, you just haven’t found me yet. Maybe you didn’t even realize I’d left. Maybe you finally overdid it with the drugs. All I know is, I still love you. And I don’t hate myself for it anymore. I know that you love me, too. Maybe one day you’ll come back for good. Maybe the drugs will end. If that day ever comes, I want be here waiting for you. My shrink says that’s not a healthy plan, but I don’t care. I’m perfectly content with spending my days sorting through the rubble of our relationship, wondering what you saw that night on the boardwalk. And why you lost sight of that.

I love you, too.

Love,
Louise

52 comments:

  1. i love it! <3

    visit mine honeylovesandrew.blogsopt.com

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  2. this is beautiful. and beautifully written. i think you know your strength. take care of yourself.

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  3. You are a really strong person and I really wish the best for you and hope that he will change.

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  4. What beautiful writing! I hope for his sake he changes but I am sure there is someone else out there that will treat you with respect and love, all the time. I hope things work out for you.

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  5. Thats the most honest and beautiful thing I have ever read in my life.. Thank you so much for sharing it!

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  6. I really loved it and I really hope things will work out for you.

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  7. wow, amazing story, beautifully writte, yet so so sad. Hope you find someone worthy of all your love

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  8. that is a very sad story. It's good that u try to be positive bout it. But please, WAKE UP. SNAP OUT OF IT. He is an ABUSIVE DRUG ADDICT, the personal ad speaks for itself...

    WHY WOULD YOU STOOP YOURSELF SO LOW N MAKING URSELF THINKING THAT HE IS ALL U DESERVE?

    There are alot of guys out there...acknowledge ur love for him., but MOVE FORWARD. Give youself a chance to find love. Love shldn't be broken, abusive, or painful. If he had loved you enough, he wouldn't have become that way.

    MOVE ON girl!!

    Not sorry to say this,
    Z

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  9. Agree with Z... there's nothing beautiful about an abusive and drug-affected relationship.

    Put your unconditional love on someone else. MOVE ON

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  10. To anon and Z, I don't think she is saying it is beautiful, rather she is saying it isn't beautiful. She is using irony when she said she deserved the things he did for loving her. It was how she felt at the time, not that she actually deserved it, but had no other explanation than to blame herself. Love isn't always beautiful, for it has many faces.

    Speaking of love, I love this story. The writing is captivating, as is your story. I wish you the best, as I have been in your shoes.

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  11. Very nice blog, I really like it, Well this story is very sad, but hope you will be happy soon, pls follow my blog www.defectiveseven.blogspot.com

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  12. Such a touching story. I hope things work out for you in the end.

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  13. It felt good reading your story. I'm kind of in the same situation right now. And I also know how hard it is to let go.
    I have a hard time letting go as well, because sometimes there is this little hope left that everythings gonna be alright. But without professional help it'll get worse.
    Just a few people understand how it is to be together with someone whos addicted to drugs. It makes you sick too, you get crazy and you slowly begin to lose yourself in all this crap. We are co-addictet, we are in this too!
    I am proud of you that you left. It must have been a big step, but I'm sure it was the right decision. Take care

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  14. this was so captivating to read. one of the best posts ive read on here. brought me to tears, could feel the confusion, pain and understanding in the story. heal, love.

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  15. Just wanted to finally write a comment on your blog, to tell you what a fantastic blog it actually is, I awarded you an 'award' on mine. x
    http://peaceandloveand.blogspot.com/

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  16. Absolutely beautiful. A beautiful story of broken love.

    But with all that, I must say.. As a fellow woman with a fellow weak heart.. I hope he never finds you. And that you never find him.

    I'm sorry, but a beautiful person like you deserves, and WILL have, something much much better.

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  17. So honest, beautiful and Raw. Like a Bruce Springsteen song. All that rubble, pain, joy, love and suffering is all yours. It belongs to you. The hard part is acknowledging it and letting it go. You can love him, but you need to love yourself more, and with that will hopefully come the realization that you don't need him. I hope he doesn't find you too.

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  18. we accept the love we think we deserve..
    you deserve more, honey

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  19. so beautifully sad!! it's like one of those stories we see on movies or books... about how much life is made of broken things, so fragile, so precious

    he was no good for you, i hope you know that, and even if you dont forget him, you deserve a healthy relationship. i wish you well

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  20. so beautiful, i wish i could write with that passion... itmeansforever.blogspot.com

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  21. This text is so beautifully written, and it should teach people not to judge those who choose to stay in an abusive relationship. It is not done out of stupidity, it is done out of love for the person the abuser once was. Love doesn't come with an off-button.

    And Louise, I know you know he will never change, and I know it hurts, but it will get better. Your heart will slowly learn to recover.

    Mie

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  22. I enjoyed this story. Very well written. My favorite part was him saying 'I love you' with a mouth full of grilled cheese.

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  23. you should have taken tiddly winks with you :(

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  24. Love sms Says:


    It a great place to learn about love Please tell me how i can get check my love percentage

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  25. Yeah, I agree that you should have taken the cat with you. Belonging to a drug addict is no life for a cat. Think you can kidnap the cat back?

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  26. This story was so beautifully written i'm completely blown away by the author. Such a sad, heartbreaking story as i'm going through the same feelings of a relationship falling apart and not being able to walk away, and hating myself for it.

    I pray things work out for you, whatever way they are supposed to. Such a beautiful, broken story.

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  27. I read Le Love every day and have never felt the desire to leave a comment. However, your story, and your writing, is magnificent. For a moment I was not sitting at my desk at work, but lost in your world. You write beautifully, I would love to read more.

    As the comments say above, you are incredibly strong and level headed - I'm sure you'll know the right thing to do. And if this is indeed the end of your relationship, feel blessed to have experienced something many will miss out on. You are a wiser person for it. Good luck.

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  28. You're an extremely talented writer, but girl... take all of that fight, that will, that love, just take it & pack it up and run.

    Run, run, run...

    You have one life to live, don't live it for someone else. You'll love again...just as deeply, just as real.

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  29. This was so moving! Absolutely beautiful and inspiring. I felt I was in your place in all of this, but at the same time, I can't even understand what you went through. Absolutely magnificent.

    I hope you continue to be strong in what you believe.

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  30. This is very touching and honest. Absolutely love the way you write

    J

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  31. Dear Louise,

    Your writing is wonderfully vivid and totally pulled me in. What a twist about how your ex became a crack addict. I was not expecting that. But your story really tugged at my heart strings. Well done!

    Joy

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  32. This is so beautifully written, while I read this I kept relating to it with my boyfriend and I. Just less to the extreme. You have inspired me to be stronger, thank you so much.

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  33. This is so moving and heartbreaking. I wish you the best, because that's what you deserve.

    Love yourself.

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  34. i was stumbling and found this sight...i never actually stop to read anything that i stumble on i just usually look at pictures...but i read the first few lines of your story and i couldn't stop...the story was heart wrenching but absolutely breathe taking...it's like a book that i would never want to put down. if you put your mind to it i have no doubt that you could write a beautiful novel. i would read it without a doubt...thank you for sharing that

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  35. This story is one of the most heartfelt and real that I've read in this blog. I just hate to see criticism towards this person. She is struggling to move on in her own way, maybe emotionally she isn't ready to let go, but she did leave. Which takes a lot of courage. Sometimes we love the wrong person.

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  36. oh my god, this was really beautiful. maybe not in a good way but definately beautiful.

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  37. Your words are so beautiful

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  38. that's one of the most beautiful stories I've ever came across. i just want to say that when the feeling is real, it'll endure no matter what happen.

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  39. I don't know what to say, I am in shock after reading this tale of abuse. You have a wonderfull talent, and no personal protection boundaries, it seems. Please readjust your inner image of him to incorporate the bad stuff. Maybe read Attached by Levine and Heller, to clarify what happened and to move forward to a loving new relationship. Take good care of yourself!!!

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  40. This was moving and beautiful.
    It touched me.
    it brought tears into my eyes,
    people can hear a million stories that involve abuse or drugs, because it has become so common, but the way you wrote this, stood out, and really touched me.
    I hope you find happiness, not just within life but within yourself. I can imagine how it would be more than hard to move on, and deep down you never truly move on from things like this most of the time, just become immune or find the ability to cope with it.

    Best of luck for the future, and bless you :) <3

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  41. Just beautiful, you are inspirational.

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  42. beautiful and inspirational.. simply amazing.

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  43. This is the first time I've ever commented anything after reading this blog for months. This could be a novel, it's filled with a strangely beautiful brutal honesty and the imagery your words create is perfection that melts into flaws. Thank you for sharing and all the best to you in your new journey. I'm not sure if writing is one of your passions but if you ever write a novel I would absolutely love to read it. O

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  44. Hey! can't decide what flower to bye her, will just click on my name or copy and paste http://www.top10point5.com/2011/08/top-105-romantic-flowers.html or just check out our top ten list

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  45. You have a gift for writing that you should always hold onto.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It takes incredible strength to do what you did. I'm proud of you.

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  46. I would love to talk to you, Louise.. if you'd let me. This really got to me.. you have no idea.

    Thank you.

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  47. he didn't lose sight of what he saw and loved in you, he lost sight of what he saw in himself.

    it will be a long journey home for him. i hope you find your place quicker. sending love.

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  48. thank you so much for sharing your story. stay strong! <3

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  49. louise louise louise.

    it's been almost three years since this story was posted, and it's been saved in my bookmarks ever since. every time i read it, i notice something new, something more vulnerable, something that gives me something. it is by far the most well-written and heartbreaking love story i have ever come across and i am so desperately curious to be knowing how it all went. please - if you read this, will you please email me on: ingenvetomdennebloggen@gmail.com

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