Love with my ex-husband was war and being in love meant being in pain. Somehow, it hurt more even when it felt good. The ache lasted long enough to become a constant and the outcome, a lifeless, emotionless heart.
That sounds very dramatic and vague. Allow me to describe the feeling; Imagine the angel of death and the devil himself are playing a game of “hot potato.” Instead of using a potato, they play with your heart and literally set it on fire to make the game more interesting…and fun. You become soft, burnt and mashed-up, yet still sport a wide-eyed grin as if you’re happily rooted in fertile soil. It’s called shell-shock or, “I have been a rolling ball of flames for so long that I am actually laughing about it, just like a crazy person would do.”
No one wins this kind of battle. You part ways with the other and confront your wounds alone. You heal. You gain sanity. You accept the scars. But I made the entire process a bit more complicated by starting a game of chess with Aphrodite’s bastard son…
He started out like a pawn in my eyes, or maybe I just wanted him to be. It didn’t seem to take long for me to see him as a Queen; aggressive, forward, pragmatic, protective and seemingly limitless. He could go where ever he wanted, picking up pieces along his way; but I wanted to be his piece. I wanted to be taken.
I was a knight, unpredictable and weak if not centered. I was ready to jump over anything and anyone to get close to him, especially when he became harder to get to. I just don’t move so well. I can’t see what blocks me until I have passed over it. Plans break so easily, why would I even try to follow one? I had a plan for us. He had a different plan, so mine ended while I was grieving another ending. I lived in two parallel universes that started to merge into one big pile of shit. Maybe this gives me a unique perspective, though limited and often with a large blind spot. I possess the gift of resiliency and I’m fearless when pioneering ideas, not quite as fearless in my pursuit of men.
We keep playing and it’s a damn fun game, even with its frustrations. Maybe It could be worth it, so we both keep our eyes on the other. He plays to win. I play not to lose, so of course, I always lose. He has more strategies, more moves, more foresight. He understands the outcome of his choices and the risks that come from moving forward. He moves carefully. I move like a court jester drunk off wine and attention, insecure of my rank and lack of knowledge. I have nothing with me but a desire to capture love with all I have. Can a fool even get close to “mate” in such an inebriated state? Dogs are nipping at my heels and I am about to fall off a cliff, but I can’t even see it because of all the stars that are in my eyes. Much like a reality TV show on some basic cable channel, I am hastily flipping when he shows up out of nowhere. He allows me into his private world. He lets me visit the secluded island that houses his thoughts. I dive in, with no thought but now I can’t stop swimming in his.
I am desperately drinking up his life, like a caught fish just released back into the ocean. Right as I am becoming drunk on him, It happens, “How did I not see this?” Now I’m falling. He is standing up straight.
I think I drown myself. I forget to come up for air, or maybe I just talk too damn much. I repeat the same poor choices. I redo the same moves that never worked before. Shockingly, the outcome is the same.
I don’t think I want to play anymore.