Ever had one of those life lessons where you had to have the truth ball-peened into you over and over again? Because, you know, you really wanted to believe otherwise. I’m the Catholic Church dealing with Galileo. Fuck the truth, I know what I want to believe, damn it. And apparently I’ve wanted to believe in sympathetic magic.
Dying inside because of the hole in your heart? Fill the hole. Hey, that’s just basic pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. If you have a big enough ventricular septal defect, you’ve gotta repair that fucker or the child will die. So how do you fill an emotional hole? You can’t resurrect the dead. That would be the simplest path.
You can’t resurrect the dead.
But you might be able to magic the hole away. I cooked like a demon for Karen on our first date, so I’ll cook for my dates. I spilled my guts to Karen on our first date, so I’ll spill my guts to every woman willing to listen. We’ll go to the same places. We’ll do the same things. We’ll do all the things she would have liked. We’ll sprinkle it all with fairy dust and the hole will be gone, Karen’s spirit will shine upon the union, and when I think about her, it will be with love and appreciation, and not this overwhelming despair.
And I continued to believe this, in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. As recently as last night, I told a friend that all I really need is to be in love again, and be loved back. That would make it right. That was the one last thing I could try that I haven’t tried already, and I’ve tried everything, it seems. Mind you, this was a terrible enough situation, because I can sense that I’m not ready to love or be loved, that it’s going to take more time; terrible, of course, because I have no idea what “more time” means. Six months? Six years? How long does it take, after a thirty-two-year relationship? “As long as it takes.” Fuck you. That’s not what I want to hear. (And in the back of my mind, there’s that little whisper of the believer: sure, it’ll take as long as it takes, but at the end of it all you’ll find someone, you’ll love and be loved, and all will be right again.)
Then something clicked this morning while I was cleaning the kitchen. Really simple thought, but I knew at once it was true: love isn’t going to fix anything, either. A few times this last year, I thought I was falling in love. Each time was a nice distraction, and each time, when the fog lifted, nothing really had changed.
The romantics out there might say: but you weren’t really in love. Or, you weren’t loved back. Well, yes. But I’d argue that my premise is flawed. This isn’t surgery; the hole isn’t a physical hole. Such a simple thing to realize! The hole will never go away. So I really have no other option than to just fucking deal with it.
So how do you deal with it? Fucking google it?
On the plus side, the kitchen is clean.