It's been five months, and still he hasn't returned. I am not sad about it anymore. The sadness has been replaced by wry bemusement. I'm a gay divorcee and in the separation, I got the trash. Fitting for a guy who can't get enough Roseanne.
When he left me in the past, I thought, fleetingly, what if I'm not able without him? He came back, I never had to test.
He isn't coming back, I won't let him come back.
So, what do I do with his things? Throw them away? Donate them to Good Will? Would that be too self-consciously ironic?
I don't want him back. I want him okay, safe, happy, not back.
The worst are the gifts: little stingers left alive and behind, so that when you finally see the Celine Dion c.d., the Regina Spektor album, the tablebook called African Faces, the small notes he wrote on the back of Target receipts that for some reason have survived, you can't help but feel stupid and nostalgic at once.
Except it's some superarena of nostalgia. Opening acts include bands like the whydidn'titworks, the howcouldheleaves, the Itriedsohards. And then the main event: I Don't Know Why I am So Angry singing duets with the You Failed Someones.
He doesn't want to come back either.
I'm ready for the wildness. I'm ready for unpredictable. I'm ready for what comes, what doesn't come, what wants to stay, what only stays briefly. Time doesn't freeze us solid. We move again, we want something else. I thought if only I could put my sadness in another man's hands, I could walk away from it. I could break into an empty building and leave it in the sawdust corner. But it's not true: you take it in piece by jagged piece, and you make it part of yourself until it's sanded down, it's a bed you lie in and the dreams aren't about him anymore. You imagine another life for yourself, and then the life comes back to you.
I hope it comes back for him too.
I thought I didn't want to be a gay divorcee. Silly, silly fucking me.