NEOSiAM 2021

The Truth Is, I’m Still Not Ready To Face Reality After Losing You

Reality is at my door. He’s been there for months. He seems to have set up camp. I hear him knocking now and then. I see shadows of his feet under the door. Every once in a while, I feel brave enough to catch a glimpse through the peephole. I find him horrifying. He’s a faceless shadow with the silhouette of my lost love. A space once filled, now empty of light. A cut out in my world.

Reality represents an absence in my life—he’s an ambassador of my sadness. He has yet to ring the bell. He has yet to raise his voice. He has yet to pound on the door. He is annoyingly patient, steady, and unrelenting. Since he has claimed the front door, I sneak in and out of my own house from the back door.

I pretend Reality isn’t there. I leave in unconventional ways, at unconventional times, to meet unconventional men.

I pretend I can’t see Reality when I pull into my driveway and walk around the house to get inside. He always notices, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

I pretend with those I love that Reality is nestled safely inside my home. That we have talked through many nights together, cried together, held each other, and now at last we are on the same page. Which most certainly is bullshit.

The truth is, I have left Reality alone in the cold, day and night. I haven’t so much as cracked the door for him. I haven’t offered him a seat by the fire to warm his shifting hands. I haven’t offered him a cup of tea, a blanket, a conversation. I don’t want to. I don’t want to know what he has to say.

Reality is a shadow of my lost love, and I’m not ready to look up into his face without seeing your eyes.