I’m no good without you.
I used to be a person who could be alone. I can be, I still can be — this I know about myself. I have no trouble being alone. Believe me when I say that I have been with a lot of people while thinking, What I’d really like is to be alone now, for a couple days, forever. I am in great practice, my form is superb when it comes to being alone. I once had a friend in college confess she had absolutely no idea how I could spend so much time doing nothing and doing it alone. I didn’t reveal my secret, but I told her it was my greatest strength, my most precious talent, and my first word, first skill, first step as a child.
I didn’t tell her that. I’d have been a dickhead if I did.
The first night you told me I couldn’t hold you, I went away and I cried myself to sleep on the floor of an apartment that belonged to a woman I’d never met. I am prone to histrionics when I’m by myself, but this crying gave even my sadomasochistic narcissism a run for its money. It was ugly. It was loud. I was balled up, on fire, soaking this woman’s carpet. I cried until I couldn’t anymore, and then tears would inevitably start again. I wanted you to hold me. I’ve never wanted to be held by anyone, and that was the second night I thought that if you could just wrap your arms around me, I might make it.
I made it both nights. It wasn’t easy, but I did.
Without you now, I can’t focus. Or, that’s not true: without you like this, I can’t focus. Am I really such a sucker for “reasons?” Maybe my neurotic need for intention or understanding finally outweighs my need for Alone Time. It’d probably be the first time anything outweighed my need to be alone, but then, maybe my saying that is a balm, a blanket I’m wrapping tightly around myself to keep it all in. I feel as though I’m busting out of my skin. Or, that’s not right: I feel as if I’m leaking out of my form, like all the important stuff is slowly trickling outside the thick, black lines that make up my shape.
Surely that simile’s been used before, is trite. Surely all similes of love have been used before, are trite.
I have you now, ultimately, though not right at this moment, so I guess all this muttering is really moot, a stream-of-consciousness plea to the universe to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change: when I’m hormonal, I cry a lot at nothing; I may be developing a dependency on you, I who have never depended on a single person in my life; I’m so in love with you that a few hours feel like days, and days feel like eternities, and beyond that is an unspeakable circle of hell where I’m stuck in my apartment, surrounded by books, the dearth of the Internet at my fingertips, a wondrous city just beyond my door, and still all I can think about is what you’re reading, what you’re watching, where you are.
I used to make fun of those couples who couldn’t be apart. I still will. I can be apart from you, I promise I can — don’t read all this and walk away worried that I’m 1) actually insane when I appeared so sane before or 2) going to do something weird like put on a diaper and drive 15 hours to murder you if you leave me. I promise I’m sane. I promise I can be alone. I promise I can be apart from you. If these were my vows — and they easily could be, I fucking hate vows, hate weddings, hate marriage — I’d say all that.
I promise I’m sane. I promise I can be alone. I promise I can be apart from you. Barring the first one, I promise I don’t want to be.
I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be apart from you.
Goddamnit, I can, but I just don’t want to be.