To be perfectly honest, I thought my second post would involve more unadulterated joy.
Now, that’s not to say great things haven’t been happening as of late, but I can’t really comment on said things (yet).
However, in the interim, something I could never prepare for happened: just before Valentine’s Day, an ex-boyfriend of mine passed away.
I’d never dealt with this before.
I struggled for weeks, wondering whether or not I should post this. In the end, I coinfided in Stephen (as I always do) and he thought it best for me to go ahead and air my woes … so here goes:
I’d had falling outs, regrettably ruptured friendships, complicated situations. I’d been friend-zoned and returned it in kind. I’d crushed without merit and longed for the unattainable. I’d dodged commitment and had others reverse that sentiment.
But I’d never had to deal with the death of an ex-boyfriend. Until now.
When I met you, I was thoroughly smitten. You, with your swagger and your sense of humour and your musicianship – early-twenty-something me was hopelessly lost. (I was a bassist and you were a bassist. The jokes were inevitable, but the conversation was ripe.)
When we started out , I was sure I was in love. I wanted no one but you.
Then things got rough. They got nasty. Scars were forged.
I couldn’t possibly sit here today and pretend I’d never shed a multitude of heartbroken tears over you. For a period of time, you were my world. As time progressed, I moved on – I lived and learned and left you behind. The pain remained, but I chocked you up to experience.
I forgot about you.
Then, on Valentine’s Day morning of 2017, my best friend broke the news:
You were gone.
I can’t begin to explain the rush of emotion at that point. I’ve no doubt there are people in this world who believe that life presents itself only in shades of black and white – that there’s a straight-cut answer to everything, no questions asked.
Those people are full of shit.
Life is complicated. It’s full of greys – more than fifty, most like. Even when someone who made you feel your worst passes on, it’s still believable that you feel grief. It’s not like you somehow forfeit said grief because you parted ways on terrible terms – life isn’t that clean cut. You can’t help what you feel, especially when someone who shared such a mutually intimate portion of your life dies suddenly. (You can’t turn that shit off and on.)
Remember that night when you confessed to loving ‘When Your Heart Is Weak’ by Cock Robin?
We were sitting in your basement, sans electricity, trying to make the most of the laptop battery we had at our disposal. I’d just finished asking you to help me figure out the bassline to ‘Ask the Lord’ by Hipsway. I’d thought I was corny as all hell for still hanging fast to such a blatantly 80s-era song from my childhood, but I was surprised when you showed intrigue at the prospect of my Scottish funk fascination. I’m sure you thought it was all whimsy for me, but I never stopped associating you with your reciprocating song.
Now? Well, I’ll associate ‘When Your Heart is Weak’ you with it forever.
Goodbye. I know we’ve done our share of sins in this life, but I hold on hope that you’re free now. Live on, wherever you are.