Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To separate into parts with suddenness or violence

Why do they call it a break-up?

It seems they ought to call it a tear-down, or a rip-apart, or a twist-away. A break implies something clean and even. If you break a bone, the cut is usually straight and uncomplicated. If you fracture a bone, it's a little more jagged; and if you shatter a bone - which I actually have - it's nasty. What used to look like a part of your anatomy now looks like a garbled mess of twisted wire, or a scattered egg shell, or the remains from a tree trunk that has burned.

That's what has happened to my once loving, happy relationship. It is not broken. Nor is it fractured, really. It's shattered. This is what it feels like to "break up" with someone you are in love with: you feel like you're sitting on a bench on a sidewalk in a busy street, and something terrible is happening in front of you - you can see a person lunging at you, with a knife or something, and no matter how hard you try to dodge in any open direction, your body refuses to move. You know something awful is about to happen, and it's gonna hurt really bad, and you want nothing more than to stop it. But, somehow, events just keep happening around you - swirling around you, unstoppable, like a big city often does - that lead to the lunge and the knife at the end of it.

You feel it go in. At first it hurts a lot, then adrenaline kicks in and you feel nothing. Then, after all that wears off, the pain returns, except it's worse than it was before, deeper, more complicated, shredding you from the inside out. You look down and realize this shit has happened to you, and it's irreversible, and you will have a scar forever, and you just scream and scream, but the person who lunged is already gone.

The worst part is that the person who lunged is also the person you loved, and the person who once professed love for you. The knife is still with you, and all its fucking remnants, but the attacker is gone.

And you're left, sitting alone on a bench in New York, wondering what in the world just happened and why couldn't you stop it and when will you stop bleeding and how long will it be before you don't even notice the scar anymore and it just becomes a part of who you are, like your fingernails or that weird mole on your left knee.

Yeah, they should really call it something else.

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