Sometimes in love, you end up with a life partner and children. Other times, the forgotten times, you end up with sweaters you don’t know what to do with, gadgets and bracelets and old dried flowers that don’t quite fit in the trash but hurt your heart every time you see them.
Sometimes love ends in eternity, sometimes it ends in morsels of memorabilia. For me, thus far, it’s been the latter. “At least I got a sweater out of it,” became my little way of laughing through the heart-wrenching, near-death experience of letting go. Somehow sitting in the sweater he bought me muted my agony and made swallowing the anxiolytics all that much easier. He may have shot my nerves to smithereens, but hey, at least I had a sweater to keep me together even though it was him who made me fall apart. Somehow it helped to imagine him ordering the damned thing on Amazon, to imagine him thinking of me as he wondered what size to get and what color I’d like best. Somehow it helped to know that he cared enough to try to impress me, or to make me happy, or whatever god forsaken intention he had in the moment—even if he would, at some later time, single-handedly exhaust my psyche of all its coping mechanisms in one fell swoop. Somehow it helped to know that at one point, he cared—even if he didn’t anymore.
Maybe he cared to get in my pants, or to hear me laugh, or to bathe in the beauty I so generously gave him. Maybe he just wanted more time with me. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Because the fact is that he wanted nothing more. Nothing more than a taste of me, an overview, a glance—a proverbial preview of the real thing.
But I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be a movie you can’t help but get completely lost in, a movie that makes you forget the world around you, a movie that changes your life forever. I wanted to be devoured in my entirety, not sampled like a soda cracker on the side of some tasteless soup. I wanted to be known like a subject of mastery. I wanted him to ache to know me the way a child aches to know everything about life.
But you can’t implant desire in the brain of another. You can’t make someone want you any more than they do. The fact is that he was satiated with a bite of me, and I couldn’t make him hunger for me any more.