Thursday, 26 October 2017

Those I've lost.

I have lost a lot of things in my life.

I'm always losing jewellery because I fiddle with my rings in anxious absent moments (or when I'm focusing extra hard) and when I'm running late for something, I drop my mismatched earrings in pockets to put in later.

I've lost bigger things, too. Bits of my lower bowels, my appendix, most of the strength in my immune system and just my general sense of optimism about my general health. I tap wood now when someone asks me if I'm alright, and I only ever say 'everything seems fine', or 'all good...for now' before rapping the table my coffee sits on, making the black surface ripple and little spoon clatter against the plate.

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I've lost whole concepts of things, elements of life, too. You could argue that I've lost my independence. My living situation is one a lot of twenty-somethings would work impossibly hard to avoid – but luckily, never judge.

But that wasn't why I recently got into the car I drive, that is not technically 'mine', and I cried quite a bit.

Not for the first time, I found myself weeping for the people I've lost.

Some of the humans no longer present in my life are never going to be welcomed back in. They were forcibly removed, almost; I will have cut them loose or simply let myself drift, no longer needing their presence or influence anywhere within my world. I am glad to be rid of certain toxicities.
Yes, most of the people I've lost have been for good reason. Some of them used me, at least one abused me. Some left me time and time again, only to come back for more because they knew they could, before I decided to leave them forever.

A few have tried to get back in. I've had texts, missed calls, friend requests. Answered curtly, politely, or ignored completely when they became incessant. One persistent, poisonous person would always appear where they knew I'd be, only to be disappointed when I then left without even a look their way.
I've had begs for a clean slate, offers of 'just one coffee date', a plea for one night like before, void of very valid hate.
"No, thank you."
I'm not being harsh to you, I'm being good to myself; my mind and my heart.
But still. I miss who you were to me. Even in some cases, I miss who I was with you, for you.

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I miss being the one you walked home with. I miss our train journeys together, revising Sociology and gossiping about boys. I miss how whole and buzzing I'd feel after saying goodbye to you, til tomorrow.

I miss the flutters you put carefully in my tummy. I miss your kindness, no matter how vile I was to you. I quite liked being your big decision.

I did love that fledgling friendship, when it was just the two of us in the new house, making three bean chilli and watching Supernatural. “Just one more episode before bed.” I miss our private jokes. I hope you don't remember the night you stood by me in the street, when I was sick in the gutter. 

I sometimes long to hear your cackles and clapping. I wish we could go back to the constant tweeting. Your name will always jolt me, like when your body shakes you awake at bedtime, when your heart rate is dropping too fast.

I miss dressing up and going out with you both. Dancing to 'The Great Gatsby' soundtrack and getting wine from the offy across the road. You putting an arm around me as I cried sitting on the pavement, feet in a puddle.

I was addicted to you, once. I've since recovered, but I do wonder if I'll ever feel that infatuated with and physically hungry for someone ever again.

My friendship was just what you needed, at the time. Sadly, you weren't what I needed in the end.

I have lived so many little lives, with so many different people. I've had hundreds of relationships, and it's possible that more have failed than lasted. Not always because of an altercation – sometimes you just outgrow others, or are out of reach of each other longer than you can stand. But then, I've got friends all over the world who I have managed to keep. And friends down the road who just couldn't stick. It's so interesting, isn't it?
A friendship ending can be just as painful as, if not more than, romantic break-ups. Even if the friend was toxic, even if their time in your life was full of trials and torment, it's still a loss. It counts.

(Rupi Kaur. Of course.)


The other day, I sat opposite a man who looked just like you. He even had your name – I heard him answer his phone. Sounded slightly too northern, though. He was reading a manly fashion magazine, and had apparently finished a pot of tea. I burst into tears after he left – maybe because he didn't recognise me, most likely because I didn't know anything resembling your face would still hurt. I muted you. I'd commended myself for my strength and efficiency, getting over you. I threw away your compliments when I had to see you again, and you were zooming in on me. Clearly, I need to work harder. To properly lose you

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