A break-up is like a broken mirror: it’s better to leave it alone than to hurt yourself picking up the pieces.
His name was Michael. He was 32. I was 24. We met at work. I loved his sense of humour and he loved my adventurous spirit. We were friends first. Nearly a year, before anything more than friendly happened. But as is often the case between men and women, something did happen. I practically dared him to kiss me, and when he did, it was as if time stood still. July 19, 2004…after lunch. The kiss lasted exactly 42 seconds. I know because I had a digital atomic clock on the wall in my office. The kiss touched every neuron in my body, and for the first time in my life, I felt alive.
I named him “Nobody” and he called me “Girl. ” If people asked me who I was dating, and they did because people love to meddle in the affairs of others, I’d say “Nobody.” If people asked him who we was seeing, he’d say “Just some girl.” It was our secret, and it was exciting.
We carried on our secret affair for 18 months –until I moved away…co-workers weren’t supposed to date. And even after moving to a different state, the thought of him was like a drug. We were like addicts addicted to each other; couldn’t stay away, yet couldn’t get enough.
The first step in recovering from an addiction is admitting that there is a problem, and oh boy, there was. Michael was as strong as any drug I’d ever encountered, and willpower alone wasn’t enough to make me quit him. Over time I came to rely on a power greater than myself and contact with Michael became more and more sparse. Withdrawal is a painful master. There was physical pain. There was emotional pain. There were tears.
The last conversation I had with him was right before I left for Moscow. He said “you always did want to go places.” and I said “I will always love you, but this will be the last time I tell you that.” And I haven’t had contact with him since. After returning from Moscow, I wanted to call him. I wanted to tell him all the amazing adventures I had. Instead, a moma cat moved under my house, and had her babies. 4 kittens, and I claimed one as my own. I named her Lily and she was a sweet girl.
Lily helped me heal.
I still have a post card he gave me. And ticket stubs for various events. And a necklace. And various little notes. What can I say, I’m a sentimental soul.
I knew before I went to Zagreb that I wanted to go to the museum of broken relationships. I find it fascinating to see what people keep as mementos from relationships. Not every relationship ends on a sour note. Some have other obstacles that time just could not overcome. Some just aren’t meant to be. Some exist solely to prepare you for the future. Michael was not my first boyfriend, but he was my first love, and without that relationship, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I’ve held on to the mementos of the relationship with Michael for 10 years, and karma, good energy, and such being what it is, it’s time to release that energy into the universe.
PS...I have a slight confession to make. One time I was dating this guy, and I made him brownies for his birthday. I left them on the kitchen table with a ‘Happy Birthday’ note. I came over the next day to find everything in the trash. I was pissed to say the least. He was being such an ass. I went to the local World Market, bought a bottle of cheap $10 Il Bastardo wine, and switched it out for his fancy $200 bottle of French Bordeaux. My friend and I drank the rich, velvet wine while sitting in her hot tub cursing all the shallow men in the world. I still feel no shame in taking Il Bastardo’s prized bottle of red wine.
PPS…Names and dates have been changed to protect the innocent…Except Il Bastardo. His name was James.
PPPS...If I dated women, I’d totally give every.single.one I ever broke up with this bar of chocolate.