“stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.”
– “Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell”, Marty McConnell
So. At the risk of appearing as though I have completely lost my sanity, here goes:
A couple of weeks ago, my sister calls me up and says, “Uh, I don’t mean to freak you out, but I just heard from Ian.”
Ian who’s been dead for almost 6 years, Ian? Yes. One and the same.
Now, a word, at the risk of making my sister appear like she has ALSO lost her sanity: we both have a bit of a sixth sense, but hers is a bit more refined than mine, because dead people=scary shit. So maybe I have a sixth sense. And she is more like an 8.
She tells me that she was just driving along – you know, like you do (which I really don’t know because I don’t drive often) – and that he told her that he was weak, but that he was with me, he loved me, he heard the song I sang for him at his funeral, but … it was time to let go and move on.
You know things are bad when someone who is dead is telling you to GTFO.
So of course I was like, “Oh. Okay. Thank you,” then started sobbing like a motherfucker, because that’s how I handle these things.
Then, about a week ago, I came home to find that my room – and only my room – smelled of cigarette smoke. I haven’t smoked for years, and thought maybe someone outside was smoking and that it was just traveling my way, but I checked and… nope. I then checked under the bed and in the closets. No hidden smokers.
And then I thought, “Hm, maybe it’s Ian. …HOLY FUCK, NO.” Because here’s the thing: when I think of seeing him, I don’t think of him in normal, human terms. I think of him the last way I saw him, and then I think that he’s probably been zombified 17 times by now and like, I CANNOT HANDLE THAT SHIT.
Eventually, the smoke smell dissipated. And I chose not to think of it anymore.
Then, a few days later, I had a dream. One in which he was very much alive, and that the whole death thing had merely been a practical joke. But, you know, he was back, and he wanted to be with me, and… everyone else knew about it and it was a funny little thing.
AND I FUCKING LOST MY SHIT ON HIM IN THAT DREAM. I just screamed at him and screamed at him and screamed at him. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS? WHY? HOW? WHAT? HOW? and so on and so forth with a lot of excessive crying and hand gestures on my part and a lot of not giving a fuck on his. Because, you know, it was supposed to be funny, and we vastly differed on what was funny AND WHAT WAS CLEARLY NOT FUNNY.
Eventually, I think I screamed at him til he disappeared. Which might be taken as a “You know, I thought I wanted this, but I was wrong. See ya, I’m out.”
And I woke up angry and crying and sad, because that was more life-like than I care to admit. I mean, if we’re gonna do the whole dream cycle thing, I just wanna be like, “OMG I LOVE YOU SO MUCH YOU’RE THE BESTEST EVER,” and he’d be like, “NO YOU ARE,” and I’d be like, “Oh. Okay. Thank you.”
But I don’t think the whole moving on thing involves just him. I haven’t had a real relationship since he died; there’s been glimpses here and there, but nothing stuck – wrong time, wrong place, wrong person. I think maybe I want to, but I also think it’s a headache. I have commitment issues. I’m lazy. I’m shy. I want to hear all of the good things, but won’t believe you anyway. I now think that if I can’t feel you breathe if you’re lying next to me then I have killed you and you are dead. (You can thank the ghost ex for that one, menfolk.)
It’s a thing. I spent three years in therapy after all this shit happened, and I still have things. I don’t go to therapy anymore. I think the things will always be with me.
I don’t want to be the girl who has things, but I also never wanted to walk in on a dead person with whom I happened to be in love. So, I don’t know. Call it even?
I think my heart is still leaking something so strong, but I’m trying to fix it – and I think that for the first time, I’m not trying to glue things together haphazardly and have some unavailable person be the stand-in for my issue-shaped void. And maybe, by doing so, I’ll collide with someone who is right time, right place, right person.
… But seriously. It might be a headache.