Wednesday, August 30, 2006

post the ninety-sixth

I chose the online name "Optimistic." not because it especially reflected my personality (although it certainly does, to some extent), but because it was a Radiohead song that seemed to lend itself well to becoming an online alias. Few things irritate me more than people who say they like my online persona because I'm "so optimistic and upbeat." Do you people even read the things I write? Honestly. I go out of my way to be sacrastic and even biting at times so people don't confuse the two Optimistics.

In this post, however, I'm actually going to display the optimism that I'm inaccurately known for.

Yesterday was, without question, the most painful day of my life in recent memory. I'm including the time I got appendicitis in there, too. That hurt unbelievably - it was probably the most intense physical pain I've ever felt in my life. Looking back, I can't think of anything that hurt me more, physically, and likewise, I can't think of anything that hurt me more emotionally than yesterday. I'm including in this list things like my grandmother's death when I was 17. I haven't had a particularly traumatizing life, so I suppose there aren't too many things to compare this to.

Still, it hurt like you wouldn't believe. I remember having a conversation with Petra once where we talked about the problem of allowing people to get close to you. I, predictably, was in favor of it, since someone really close to you has the ability to make you extremely happy.
She argued against it, saying that the closer someone gets to you, the more they can hurt you. We were both right. Someone really close to you can make you feel on top of the world, as Petra showed me over the last several months (and as I like to think I showed her). Likewise, only someone extremely close to you can inflict the sort of damage inflicted on me yesterday, as Petra also showed me.

Words can't really accurately describe what I was feeling yesterday (and I know that sounds really trite and cheesy, but as one not given to hyperbole, i refuse to apologize for it), but I'm going to give it a shot, anyway. I currently live alone in a new apartment, waiting for the rest of my roommates to arrive later this week. Receiving news like this by myself in unfamiliar surroundings was traumatic. What's worse is that it came right on the heels of a period of tremendous optimism on my part, as though fate was playing a cruel joke on me. I spent hours trying to wrap my mind around this new development in my life. How could Petra be completely out of my life, never to come back? She'd been a part of it for so long that I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like without her. (To be honest, I still can't. That's going to take some time.) Nearly everything in my life reminds me of her in some way, from the Arrested Development DVDs on my coffee table to the Badly Drawn Boy CD I'm listening to even to the shirt I'm currently wearing. Spending that much time with someone allows them to spread into every facet of your life. Having them suddenly draw away leaves a tremendous void behind.

I think that emptiness was what bothered me the most yesterday, and is what will continue to bother me over the next few days and weeks. I genuinely feel as though a part of me is missing. I had a lot of friends offer me support and condolences (not least of whom are Uffish Thought and Novel Concept, who gave me the hugs I needed when I was about to completely come apart at about 12:30 last night), but for now, they're not going to be able to completely compensate for the space that's been left behind. That space was gnawing at me all day yesterday, reminding me what I'd lost. (Thanks a lot, empty space. I don't need to be reminded, thank you.)

I'm feeling better today, but I think the pain is still going to come in waves. I just got another shot of it right now thinking about her. It's only just been 24 hours, though. Healing takes time. Healing, for me at least, also takes people who love you willing to help you out, and that's where my promised optimism comes in. I've had so many people who, of their own accord, have come to help me out and make sure that I'm doing okay. These are genuinely good people, and I'm really glad that they're here. Tolkien Boy says that I'm just reaping the seeds I sowed of good friendship and kindness. I think I've just been blessed with incredibly kind friends. I would that everyone had friends as good as these; friends willing to drop everything at a moment's notice and give you a hug, or even just sit around and talk to make sure you're okay.

To be perfectly clear here, I intend in no way for this post to villify Petra. I really don't think that I have here, but for friends and family (and her), I want to emphasize that I bear her no ill will. This post is more for personal catharsis than for any sort of vengeance.

And with that, I go to the shower to start a new phase of my life remarkably similar to my old one, just without one very important person to me in it. Wish me luck.

6 comments:

bawb said...

I'm really sorry.

Enough writing and backspacing. I'll call you soon to do something.

the pope said...

Dear friend,
I don't know exactly what to say, so I will comment on your writing. You did an excellent job of conveying your emotion. So much so, that I have never felt so bad about a breakup before (except my own). Remember that I'm always still around. I think you would be an enjoyable person to have sushi with. Lets do it sometime.
-your friend

Whistler said...

my condolences... :'-(

CheekyChickie said...

There is a good chance that nothing will make you feel better for a good while. A little less than a month ago I went through a break up with someone that I could have possibly shared the rest of my life with. It wasn't a harsh breakup, but I'm still not over it and find myself exceptionally lonely and upset at times: especially when I'm alone. Keep on going though- and don't be scared to dwell on it, it was a big part of your life: it deserves thought and reflection.

Nectar said...

They tell me that a breakup can be even more traumatic than a death of a loved one. I've not experienced a serious breakup in my life, but I have faced the death of a close brother. It is mind numbing for a while.

Good luck.

Redoubt said...

I think, now, I am beginning to understand.