Friday, January 24, 2014
My longest relationship (with a BOY, I mean) lasted five and a half years. That still seems like an INCREDIBLE amount of time to me, which probably explains my firm commitment to serial monogamy. They were five and a half long years, if you know what I mean. A lot happens between the ages of 19 and 24. In hindsight I'm glad I had a buddy through all of it, dramatic though we may have been. We had five years of post-adolescent intensity, weekend trips back and forth to each others' hometowns each summer, nights sleeping over in the guys' dorm, mixtapes and heartache. We were in it for the long haul. Then I moved to Vancouver, and things went south as I veered west.
After a year of long-distance agony (and ALSO a couple of insanely fun visits, nights under the stars on the beach and heartfelt declarations and good sushi), and mere days before I was scheduled to come back to Ontario for a month, he broke it off over the phone. It's an awful way to end things, over the phone. If you're on the receiving end, there's nothing you can do, no one to grab onto, no door you can barricade to keep the other person from going. If you're the one going, it depersonalizes it, makes easy an act that has already ripped your heart to shreds from the agony of deciding to do it in the first place.
No one wins, really.
When he broke up with me that afternoon I didn't even know what to do. I sure hadn't expected to be on the receiving end of something like that. I felt like the rug had been ripped out from under me (and that rug really tied the ROOM together, man). I flew home from Vancouver in the fetal position, re-reading Franny and Zooey. I was not in a great place, emotions-wise.
"Five and a half YEARS!" I cried to my mother. "It's a quarter of my LIFE!" She nodded, and made sure I got a lot of fresh air and hugs during the next couple of weeks.
I never thought I'd get over it. For a long time, I didn't, till suddenly, i did. Sometimes I wonder if I spent more time getting over him than I actually spent under him (or beside him, rather). Sometimes I wonder if things would have been different if I hadn't run away, but I know that particular hypothetical would NEVER have worked for me. Because I'm always running away, even when I don't even know it. Always with the escape route, for better or for worse.