Breakdown

It’s Monday. I told my readers I’d post every Monday. I had some good shit ready to go. But we broke up this morning. 4:00 a.m.

It was me. I wanted to. I wanted to be alone and miserable again. I had to tell you that I love you. I love you deeply and it burns to watch you struggle. I love you. But I love myself more. And I have to let someone else love you, and hold you, and fuck you, even though that will burn me too.

Truth is agony. I’m so tired, so weary of hurting people. But there’s no way not to. When I lie, I hurt someone. When I tell the truth the same thing happens.

***

You said I was going to get a good blog post out of this breakup. I did. But it’s not for me, it’s for you. It’s your tribute.

***

In the morning the sun was bright and clean and hot. Like the afterglow of a bomb. First day of a new life. I felt drained and dehydrated.

We’re both still in the apartment; lease complications. We ate cereal and acted like pals who’d never fucked before. Talking to you is soothing. Even when we’re trying not to cry.

I did cry. When I was in Starbucks later with the laptop open, drowning in work. Too much work to be sad. Or so I thought. I had to put my sunglasses on, but people heard me sniffing. They kept staring; people loathe you when your emotions leak out in public. Sometimes you actually feel yourself breaking.

I got back home. Rested my head on your lap. We have to wean off each other. As I got dressed to go to work I got the email from the publisher in Singapore. They’re going to give me the book deal. No contract yet. But it’s going to happen. They said, “We’re definitely keen to have you on board for the book, what do you think of the submission deadline?”

So what if it’s a tiny book about Vietnamese culture. It’s real. I’ll leverage it to get more real books printed with my name on the front. They picked me. My dream came true.

The message that changed my life, it had to come today, the day I left you. I read it and felt absolutely nothing. But you cried when I told you. You’re so happy for me. When I think of that I break down again.

I’ve never had a day like today. I can’t imagine I ever will again. I’m stunned.

***

I’m going to move to Saigon to finish the book. I want you to be there with me. But what I want more than that is to do it alone.

The right thing is to let you go. So you can get your old self back. Be a girl again, find some virile little boys. Me, I’ll just turn 30. Get worse hangovers. Become professional. Stay stuck in 2011 for the next 40 years. Blow out a hip, devolve into a potato, become one of the old white guys in Asia who young white backpackers make fun of.

You meant everything. Please remember that. Take me back in time, I’d do it again. Thank you.

***

We promised to get back together in 10 years if we’re both single. You won’t be. I will. I’m building a romantic career out of being the ex-boyfriend the husbands hate. And they should. I’m special, I’m talented, I’m lucky. I’m going to get what I want. Whether that will satisfy me or not, I don’t know yet.

Back when it ended, early this morning, I held you. You came to me. Wrapped up in the comforter. You can’t sleep without me, even when I’ve just killed you. When I held you, I forgot I killed you. I forgot that I had already left you and that I loved myself more than you.

And while we were about to fall asleep, I was truly, desperately in love with you. You’re my girl. It was simple and obvious. If I could, I’d stretch that moment out for the rest of our lives. I closed my eyes and tried to do that, one more time. But when I woke up it was gone.

 

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19 thoughts on “Breakdown

  1. So sorry for you both Fred. Isn’t it terrible that you have to be almost dead to write so well? All the other voices are silent except the brain & body cravings for what was. I’m a little less dead now, it’s been two years….

  2. So sorry to hear that. Did I miss anything? You seemed to be too happy to break up. Dont worry, you’ll be okay. Give it time.

  3. Why? What happened that made you break up? You sounded really hurt. I hope you would feel better in the coming days.

  4. Nooooooooooo!!!! Ugh. On some level, I completely get this, though, and it terrifies me. My need to get lost in my writing has caused problems but I cause more problems without it.

    I’m sorry, what a painful end to something that was so beautiful. I want to congratulate you on your book deal, but I’m sure it won’t mean much right now.

    In the meantime, stop fucking making me cry.

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