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v u l v a l i c i o u s

to keep
2019-11-26 // 4:20 a.m.

Found out through instagram that you're married again. That's twice now. I suppose if I weren't sick it's something I might joke about, leaning against the desk beside my co-worker and telling him about it, appreciating his shocked face and laugh. I'd maybe think it was worth gossiping about with some of our old friends, even. Maybe call someone up and ask if they heard and say I'm glad you're happy (I really am) but I'm also glad it's not me who's gotten married twice now.

But instead I'm sick. I don't talk to my co-workers (what would we say to one another? they don't want to talk to me, I know that much). I sleep and watch tv and feel too exhausted to go anywhere or do anything. Every activity is an exercise in testing limits: if I walk from point A to point B, will I be able to go back? Will I collapse against a wall? Will I make it fine but pay for it tomorrow and the day after, aching and dizzy and struggling to walk to the kitchen for tea?

Sometimes I don't even want to test it, my molasses bones telling me it won't end well, and so I lie in bed and feel the heaviness as it sinks me lower into the bed.

When I was young I would let myself float, feeling my body expand like a balloon filling with air and then contract until it was as brittle as a leaf. I would call it dissociating now, though I still can't entirely understand why I did it.

It's like that now, sometimes. Almost.

Anyway, here you are in love again. Here you are not just in love, but in love enough to marry someone. To want to keep them.

It makes me wonder if I had some defect that you never mentioned, some Thing that made you know deep down that you didn't want me around forever. It's been six years now, and that's as long as we were together. You waited long enough to decide to stay with this second person, and I'm glad you did. I hope it lasts, I hope it's good. I want that for you.

But I'm still stuck wondering what it was that made you not ever ask me to stay. Why you joked about it sometimes (we're sat in a fancy restaurant and I say something about hating the idea of a showy public proposal and you say, 'ok but what if i asked you to marry me right now in the middle of the restaurant, would you say yes?' and all i can do was look back at you because I can see you aren't serious and it isn't something we'd talked about and. Was I supposed to say yes?). Why the fight that we couldn't see past was about having a fucking baby when I'd always said I didn't want a baby, and you started to insist on it. How you said, the last time I asked about it, that's you'd rethought it and didn't want one anymore.

That fucking fight. We had that fight over and over again, me explaining why I didn't want to have a baby. You talking about how it would be fine. Me saying: Nothing will change my mind on this. You saying the same.

(My mind hasn't changed) (I continue to be stubborn) (I may be indecisive but once I know I am set on a course and nearly unchangeable)

So anyway, here I am. It's late and I'm sick and I keep asking myself: if you didn't want to keep me when I was unbroken and soft and ready for love, who would want to keep me when I'm like this? When I'm messy and tired and spending time with anyone exhausts me? I don't think I want the answer.

And I know that you would be kind to me if I ever brought this up. You would say that you loved me. That you still care. That anyone would be lucky and happy to have me.

We were always good to each other.

But I feel so deeply unlovable now. I barely want to keep myself.


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