“Hurts” and “For Rent”
Barring any further heartbreak or change of heart, these two pieces–Hurts (stream of consciousness) and For Rent (flash fiction) will appear in my upcoming anthology, A Wren in the Willow.
Eventually, the tears clear; but then you find yourself walking around in a haze and you don’t know what to do. It’s like trying to live life while you’re sick…you can function but you’re not all there. It’s like trying to operate your everyday life while you’re busy searching for pieces of yourself. Except you’re not used to this multitasking, so you feel scatterbrained at best, or completely gone at the very worst. You keep telling yourself you’ll feel better at some point; but honestly, you have no idea where some point is. In fact, you could really do with a map.
Your heart sheds tears along with your eyes. Your mind sings songs that have nothing to do with anything, yet everything to do with something. You’re head over heels in the five stages of grief. You feel like he was supposed to live longer, make more movies; but life just shit on his head and took him away.
You put all these feelings down on paper, and you read them back to yourself, and you start to wonder who it is that you’re actually talking about: the one that just passed, or the hole you’ve been harboring in your heart for the last…I don’t even know how many years. (Seven, I think.)
They say work is the best thing for curing heartbreak, but how can I work if I can’t even focus?
Last year was different. Last year, I knew he was gone, even before I saw the “for rent” sign as the elevator opened onto the entryway of his suite. His books, his scripts, his furniture…everything gone. But at least there was a chance he’d come back, no matter how much he hated me.
This year, I find myself in the second building, standing in front of the door to his apartment, my husband’s arm around my waist and my head on his shoulder, wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do. It’s like he just went ’round to the corner store, like he’ll be back any moment. I can hear the clink of metal and glass nearby and I know Jason is playing quarters, grieving in his own way. At some point, I find the courage to separate myself from Jamie and see what he left me. Everything is still there, right down to the pictures of dear Rima beside his bed. And a note:
Embrace your English heritage.
Do whatever it takes to become the novelista you deserve to be.
P.S.: The first "he" mentioned in For Rent is referring to my former crush, who dumped me a year ago next month. The apartment complex is a metaphor for the space in my heart occupied by those I favor.