I feel your absence like the sound machine in my therapists office. It sounds like static, white noise, I know it’s only there to distract me from what the person inside her room is discussing.
An elderly woman walks out and folds the blanket she has wrapped around her body and places it gently on the ground. She is laughing to herself lightly. I wonder why she sees my therapist.
I clutch the tissues in my hand and look at the floor. I don’t want her to look at me. I smell like patchouli because of this stress relief spray I found sitting in the waiting room that I decided to spray all over my skin. I want to open up the bottle and drink it. At this point, I want relief almost more than I want you.
I hear her typing on her computer and wonder how long it’ll take for her to open the door and tell me to lay on her couch. I haven’t seen her in a few months and I wonder if it’ll be awkward, but my senses are on overdrive so I’m sure I’ll just end up crying.
There’s a circular table with six different teas, coffees, Emergen-C’s and a jar of honey sitting directly in front of me and a box of affirmations to my left. I shake my foot because I can’t sit still. I shake my foot because the sound machine is giving me anxiety. I shake my foot because I’m in a bad spot, again. I don’t know who I am, why I’m here, or who I’ll become. I miss you.
You made me feel grounded and I know you felt the same from me. I loved that feeling, you hated it. I need that feeling, you try your best to push it away.
I don’t feel like I’m panicking, or anxious, I only feel sad. I want your skinny little lips on my neck and I want to feel safe in your bedroom. I imagine what you and her are talking about in those green text messages and my stomach goes into a knot. It’s gotta be something surface level. Disgustingly surface level, the kind of small talk that makes me puke. Small talk is comfortable to you.
The analog clock ticks loudly and I wonder if she’s doing it on purpose. I want her to open the door fifteen minutes early and allow me to start crying sooner, I feel these tears deep inside my chest and I don’t want to stuff them down. But I’m going to, outside in the real world.
I wonder when we are going to talk again and I have to acknowledge that it isn’t up to me. Most things aren’t. I wish I had more respect for myself so I could hate you for what you’ve done to me but I’ll just call myself overly empathetic and understand your actions instead. That hurts, you know, always trying to find the good in people. It hurts because sometimes there isn’t any good, but I am still here searching. I hope there’s more good because I want to go to the pumpkin patch and make out in the corn field again but you want to do whatever you want, whenever you want it and I’m only an after thought. I wish I was whatever you wanted.
I still have twelve minutes until she opens the door. I want to have a therapy appointment three times a week, I want to have a therapist who tells me what to do. I want the love of my life to not hurt me so bad, I want to be loved gently. Kindly. Carefully.
There’s a difference between want and need and gentleness was never something I put on my to do list. Instead I wrote independent, tough, hard to love, detached. I wrote difficult, stubborn, distant. I wrote down every single bad quality you have and decided to love it more, decided it made you YOU, decided I could walk through the mud as long as I got to lay on the beach the next day.
It’s been a full week since I last slept at your house. We’ve talked everyday but it has felt like the static the noise machine is making. I still have nine minutes until she’ll open the door. I still have days on weeks on months until you’ll consider opening yours up one more time.
You did this, but I’m here hurting. This isn’t what I asked for, I did everything right. I don’t have as many tears left as I thought I did. I’m going to go to the gym and lay in a park and try to push off feeling sorry for myself until I have no other choice. I want to push away all these feelings, maybe it’ll lessen them. Maybe the wound is still open and blistering and I just keep pouring patchouli stress relief spray right inside it. Patchouli is your favorite scent. One time you told me you were only tobacco and patchouli and you bought me a candle with that scent for Christmas. You’re the opposite of stress relief.
I miss you, but I know not speaking to you for a little while is going to help me. I don’t like talking to you when I can’t call you mine. I don’t like the way it feels to kiss your small lips and feel your jaw tighten. You hugged me so tight and I took one more step and leaned in. You said goodbye, and I said that was a mistake, I shouldn’t have done that, and walked hurriedly to my car.