I’m so mad at you. Did you know that? So mad. It’s been almost a year since you said goodbye. (Who would’ve thought that’d be the one that stuck, out of all of those goodbyes that spanned several years?) I’m mad because our final goodbye was so unceremonious, so unexpected. I’m mad because it was actually only your goodbye. I’m mad because you didn’t give me the chance to say it too.
I’m mad because I still think about you every day.
I’m mad because our birthdays went by without any contact. When was the last time that happened? 2009? God, it was brutal. I thought for weeks about whether it’d be better or worse to hear from you. I knew if I heard from you it’d be a simple “happy birthday,” just like the ninety others I received on Facebook. From ninety other people, it’s more than enough, but from you it’s nowhere close to enough. There is never enough with you. But not enough was always better than nothing. You knew that. You knew it the day you decided to ignore my birthday. You knew it’d make me wonder if you even knew what fucking day it was at all. You knew I’d then have to ignore yours, as if I had no idea what fucking day it was at all. I knew. I know every day which day it is. But I don’t get to tell you that I know. I’m so mad about that.
I’m mad because this is all on your terms now, and–it has to be said–your terms suck. They’re unfair and hurtful. I’m mad because you don’t seem to realize or care how unfair and hurtful they are.
I’m mad because I bought a ton of new dresses recently, and you won’t see any of them. The weather is gorgeous right now, but it’s about to get so hot. It was ninety degrees here today. So I bought dresses. One in particular I thought you’d like. I don’t know why that one. It’s pink with a scalloped hem. I walked all over downtown for lunch the day I wore it for the first time. It was a bad day at work, so I walked. And then I sat down in the grass by the river and felt such sadness over the fact that you’ve chosen a life where you’ll never see my pretty new dresses. I’m sure the life you have chosen is filled with many wonderful things. New babies, for example. (Forever new babies–what is it with you and the new babies?) New wonders. New commitments and loves and opportunities. But it’s not filled with me in a new pink dress. Maybe this doesn’t bother you. But it makes me so mad.
I’m mad because tonight I tried to find you on the internet, but you were nowhere, so I watched my YouTube videos to you from three years ago. Spring of 2009, the last time we ignored each other’s birthday. Jesus, what a time. I’m truly terrible at guitar in those videos. I’m not any better now, but at least I’m good enough to know how bad I was then. I don’t think I’ve learned any new songs, maybe just one or two, since then. I was so alive and so depressed and in so much pain and so alone, but I sang and sang and sang. What do I do now? Work? Sleep? I’m mad at you because you made me feel so alive and now I feel dead all time. And old. Dead and old and mad.
And do you know what happened even further back, five years ago? We were already very much in love. Five years ago! Five years. That spring it rained every day for a month and I had the office with the huge windows and long stretches of time with nothing at all to do but wait for you to e-mail. Five years! How can it be that long? What have I even done since then, besides get this dead and old and mad?
Where are you in this? When I used to think about us, I would see us in my mind’s eye bound up together with a rope. Now I just see you bound with a rope alone. And I don’t see myself at all. Where am I in this too, then, besides mad? That’s not who I am. I don’t usually stay mad for this long. I forget too quickly. But I can’t forget this. We made a lot of choices, you and I, but my choice was always you. Didn’t you see that? It was always you. But I was never yours. And, I suppose when it comes down to it, that’s really the only thing I’m mad about.