I was watching the film Closer this morning, and it reminded me of this piece. This was also written in the Autumn term at l’Abri, but was never read out, as the subject matter is a little more intense than the usual High Tea fare. It developed out of another piece, around conversations with another writer about the process of recovering from a broken relationship. Again, it is written in a female voice, and was intended to be read aloud.
Just to warn you, that it i not the easiest read…
Damn it! I just can’t make sense of it, y’know?! I mean, what the hell happened!
God, this is crazy. I have got to pull myself together; I can’t live like this… It’s been six weeks now. Six weeks! Six weeks of howling and hollerin’ and gnashing of teeth. And tears. Oh, so many tears.
I keep going over it in my head. Replaying those last few days, that last fateful conversation. Where did we go so wrong? I can’t believe I said those things, such hurtful, hateful things. I can’t believe he’s gone.
The bastard! He walked out on me! Four long years of life together and he just gets up and goes!? I can’t believe he would do that? I can’t believe it’s the end…
Sometimes I replay those last words, those last shouted and screamed hours together, and I wonder how he could not go. I think I would go, if it was reversed. I think I would have gone, had he not gone first… How can you remain after things like that have been said?
But… four long years! And they were good years, weren’t they? Well, I mean, mostly… We had our fights, but then doesn’t everyone? We weren’t forever in the throws of sexual ecstasy, but is that even possible? They were mostly good; largely good…
I have some good memories, looking back. We spent some great times in each other’s company, did some fun and crazy things, and it seems to me that some days colours were brighter and more vivid from being perceived alongside him. I wonder though if that can be true? Weren’t Mondays still Mondays, even back then? The sun still yellow, the sky still blue. But my mind says those days are treasured, and these not, and the absence keenly remembered.
I can remember fights and frolicking, passion and persuasion, jealousy and joy. I look back through clear and hazy rememberings and search for some clue, some explanation. Some indication of where the hell things went wrong. How did hell come out of heaven?
I wanna find a key, a lever, a magic button that if turned, pulled or pressed will return the chaos back into its box. What did we do wrong? What did I do wrong? Did I do wrong? Or was wrong just done unto me?
There are things he said, things he did… *Aaugh*! My blood boils! But there are things I did, things I said… things of which I am deeply ashamed. I desperately wish I could undo some of those things, unsay some of those words. Does that make this my fault? Does that make this hurt self-inflicted?
I sit here, and I cry. Or I scream. Or I drink wine until I can’t feel any more. I just can’t get over it; I just can’t.
He. Left. Me. He left me. That’s not my fault! He was the one doing the leaving! How can that be my fault?! How is it that I sit here day and night and scream inside ‘what have I done?!’
I didn’t walk out, I didn’t slam the door, I didn’t leave and not come back. So why do I feel guilty? Why do I berate myself all the goddamn time? Why do I search endlessly for things I could do, or say, or undo to persuade him to return? Why do I want him back so much, when it was him that hurt me?
And if it was my fault, if it was all my fault, then why am I so angry with him? Why does it hurt so?
It can’t be. It can’t be just him. It can’t be just me. But here we are, in this big, smelly shit of a place, and we tried so damn hard! It seems so wrong…
How do you deal with the consequences of your actions? How do you even know for sure what those consequences are?
I can deal with the fact that third cup of coffee is going to stop me sleeping. I don’t like the reality of the tossing and turning, but I can appreciate my mistake and take some ownership of it. But this? The messy end of a relationship, where you can’t even be sure you know where the mess starts and the relationship ends. Which consequences, of which actions?
It’s such a big goddamn awful mess, and I just don’t know how to make sense of it all. I know I done him wrong, and I know he wronged me, but does that justify the pain, or the end? I can’t find that lever, no matter how hard I try…
The past plays through my mind like a film in a theatre. I watch my actions like I’m seeing some other girl up there; see his from a distance. I’m looking, searching for the turning point, the tipping point, from which hurts easily forgiven become long remembered, from where its all downhill.
I just can’t see it. I see things he did that make me scream; things I did that make me cringe. I see things that make me laugh and smile. But every which way I play it, I can’t see or make sense of when the change comes – when we stopped being lovers, but were enemies in the same bed. It must be there, mustn’t it?
Where did we go wrong?