Do you make yourself sick?
An essay on finding ease.
I’ve given myself gonorrhea.
Or, at least, I instigated it’s arrival. I think.
I have had my heart broken again.
Original Eddie came and went again.
In his absence I searched for distraction.
I found it.
In one week I had three sexual encounters with the same old Eddie from September.
Now, I am sitting here waiting to hear if I have gonorrhea.
My kidneys are infected.
I told the Eddie I slept with that we might have gonorrhea, that I think he gave it to me because I feel it in my throat as well.
He stopped talking to me.
I have just been sitting here, tired, feeling alone and condemned.
Last night I sent original Eddie a voice memo.
I have never done that before but, I remember when First Love sent me a voice memo and I kept it forever, it made me feel special and it made me feel, above all else, connected to him as long as it was in my phone.
I sent one of my own to Original Eddie.
I was going to write a transcript of the memo but I couldn’t listen.
I deleted it off my phone.
It’s just a message to let him know that I’m not mad at him but I’m sick of texting him.
It felt brave at the time.
It felt like standing on the apex of a mountain, it felt like burning an ex-lovers clothing, it felt like biting into a Popsicle, it felt like: Really Good.
I woke up. I hadn’t heard from him.
But I’m not mad.
I feel a sudden enlightening.
Maybe it’s the gonorrhea.
Maybe it’s the kidney failure.
I don’t know why but I suddenly feel less concerned about what is owed to me.
Maybe love isn’t a spiritual right. Maybe it’s just an offering. Maybe it isn’t meant for me.
I feel now, it certainly isn’t owed.
Yesterday I walked around thinking that I have no idea how I am ever going to meet anyone ever again etc. etc. etc. we’ve all been there—
This morning I realized: That’s not the point.
The point isn’t to feel loss and shame and punishment and anger.
The point is to find strength in the absence of pleasure.
This morning I recognized that Eddie’s absence is just a test of my strength.
The test is only succeeded by the will to exist within the painful circumstance: Within his absence.
Seems easy. In fact, if learning is this easy then why didn’t we learn to learn this way.
But, it isn’t easy. I have been texting Original Eddie with no result for weeks. I failed. I smoked many cigarettes, drank at least ten bottles of wine and slept with an infection in his absence. In his absence, I gave myself gonorrhea.
I still sent him that memo. Why? So that he could have me. in which case, maybe he wouldn’t be completely absent.
But, I haven’t heard from him.
I can’t forget that I chased him, that I’ve been chasing him. I try.
I fog and I forget and I see the his number in my phone again and I remember.
Daring, last night, it felt and now it feels absolutely selfish and a bit creepy.
It isn’t about forgetting.
You make yourself sick trying to forget.
Whatever you’re chasing, you don’t need it and it isn’t owed to you.
You have to truly truly say goodbye.
Say goodbye for the time when he lied to you to hide his failure
The first time
Say goodbye for the time he smelt like gasoline and you said he didn’t
Say goodbye for that feeling of him finally arriving and it not being that great
Say goodbye for the awkward arrangements
Say goodbye because who fucking cares
Say goodbye because there are more or there may never be more but at least there was one
Say goodbye because he isn’t real if he isn’t here
Say goodbye one more time to the feeling that he might rescue you from that feeling of constantly tipping into teardom
From that feeling of the sun burning the skin challenging the pain centers tempting the pleasure centers
From that feeling that pleasure is just a distraction from pain
That pain is the essence of existence
That existence is the essence of fantasy
That fantasy is the essence of him
There is a candle burning in my window and beyond it, of course, a sheet of plated glass and then far beyond the window there is some sort of smoke stack which I can only assume is a furnace.
Above the smoke sits the sun. The sun is hitting my face through the glass. It hits my upper cheekbone.
I am not sure that I have gonorrhea but the fact that I might have it because I slept with someone who claimed their penis was too big for a condom which, first marks him stupid and therefore not worth sleeping with and, second, marks him arrogant therefore worth kicking out but, finally, marks him a candidate for transferable disease so why is he succeeding with me…the fact that I did it anyways brings me great shame, guilt and remorse.
But, I felt sexy.
But, I felt wanted.
I felt useful, which is a horrific thing to get out of sex, but I did.
If there are other ways to feel that way, may they come but they haven’t so I won’t wait for them.
I’m sick now and I have a kidney infection. It’s only been six days.
I learned my lesson.
You are not owed anything.
Stop waiting for the thing you think you deserve.
Are you worthy of love? I don’t know. But if you’re making yourself sick over it, perhaps you’re just not ready yet or perhaps there are higher forms of love you haven’t considered yet or perhaps you are in love and you can’t admit it or perhaps you’re more in love with misery and so love is wasted on you.
I can’t say.
You can’t say.
Don’t give yourself gonorrhea just because it’s hard to say goodbye.
If you’ve gotten any solace whatsoever out of reading this, please pass it along via social media channels and feel free to leave a comment or send a message my way. Sex is awkward, take a shower. You’re going to be ok. Thank you, eternally, for reading and for being here—–Rae