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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
Wednesday, May. 15, 2019 @ 11:46 am
I step off the bus. I walk two blocks west. My stomach clenches. I stand in front of the building where Daniel and I went to counselling. How many years did I come here, sit on that couch, and struggle interminably to be seen by a blind man? On the other side of this, my mistake is obvious. I remember, at the beginning of the relationship, waiting months for him to say I love you. And then, over the course of our relationship, hearing that phrase only occasionally, perhaps twice per year. Why did I choose to be with a man so bereft of feelings, so emotionally unavailable? Did I even love him? I don’t recall feeling in love for years. A decade? I cared about him, and still do, as I would any other human being. But love? My heart is not broken, because it was never full of him.
Why was I so awful to myself?
Rain falls over the city. I tie up my running shoes, scamper down the concrete stairwell, and push forth onto the wet seawall.
I run a steady pace, an easy six-minute kilometre. The sky folded in layers of grey clouds. Herons still in the shallows. Crows pecking out the soft insides of broken mussels. A gull with a starfish lodged down its throat, patiently waiting for digestion.
The rain torrents from the sky. I strip off my long-sleeved shirt and tie it around my waist. Rain falls on my bare arms. I spread them wide, open my mouth to the sky. Great drops of rain fall from the limbs of cedar trees into my mouth.
After eight kilometres of solo running, I walk the last few blocks home. I stand under an old rhododendron, pick up a fallen and bruised blossom.
I love myself. I now love myself enough to know that I will hear the words I love you spoken gently, tenderly, and with honesty. Expecting nothing in return; a gift.
Russell and I message each other every night.
“I have two camping chairs in my living room. I sit each night and listen to music by candlelight. Maybe you’d like to come over sometime?”
“I’d love to.”