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It Changes

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 9.29.08 PM

On Saturday I worked a sponsor booth at a 5K race to celebrate a student who recently died of cancer. It was a frigid 32 degrees that morning, and three times I had to go to my car and sit in the heat to warm up. I noticed none of the runners in shorts seemed to be having a problem with the weather and realized it’s funny how we can convince ourselves everything is ok when we want (or maybe need) it to be.

Her husband was there with their kids and it ripped my heart out to see him so earnestly greet and thank every sponsor and then publicly address some 1,500 runners. He looked so young and so healthy and so genuinely happy. What an impossible game he’s playing, was really all I could think.

And just like that it changes. By lunchtime the temperature had shifted an unseasonable 30 degrees into the upper 60s and we rode that spring fever straight into the mid-70s on Sunday. I ran the greenway, read a book on the balcony, maybe even got a little fleeting flash of a tan.

Last night we went to get pizza like we always do, got the olives on the side like we always do, half threatened half begged to go get frozen yogurt like we always do. And just like that it changes.

The waitress avoids eye contact as she drops the check, and I abandon his sweatshirt I’ve been wearing. There’s no triumphant way to walk away from a breakup so I just walk, quickly and silently, with him three paces behind. A fitting and unfortunate metaphor for the entire relationship.

I’d made a spare key earlier that day to replace his that replaced mine that I lost on a plane in Minneapolis. It’s funny how we convince ourselves everything is ok when we want (or maybe need) it to be. I turned it over and over in my pocket damn near rubbing the edges flat like maybe somehow it might feel different from another angle.

I woke up this morning to clouds and sleet and a sharp drop in the temperature. I dressed in black because that’s what I always do but today I kind of think black dressed me. On the way out the door I noticed I was still wearing the tiny tag necklace with our initials on it. I bought it for myself and never took it off. Today I unhooked the clasp and unceremoniously threw it away.

There is no triumphant way to walk away from a breakup.

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Let’s call this fiction. I just needed to write something worth writing.

19 Comments

  1. Emma Emma

    <3

  2. Janice Janice

    I’m sorry. We don’t know each other, but I’ve been reading sweet tater for years and then switched over to here. You are a beautiful writer and an even more beautiful person. Stay strong, dear. <3 Sending good vibes your way.

  3. Elizabeth Elizabeth

    Definitely “worth writing”.

    • Sometimes you just have to get it out, you know?

  4. Amy Amy

    very well written..

  5. Jenn Jenn

    I so relate. In an overly dramatic show of independence, I once literally tore a tiffany pendant from my neck (it was a gift from the bf at the time) & threw it in a garbage can in a dirty bar in Atlanta where I was drinking away my sorrows. It was not the most graceful moment in my life, but like you said…walking away triumphantly is often difficult.

    Very well written!

    • Me too! Mine was less gracious- I ripped off the necklace right before I vomited in the toilet (sober, just so heartbroken I had a physical reaction).

  6. KP KP

    this is fantastically written. thank you for having the guts to share.

  7. BugsMom BugsMom

    Delurking to write that you are a hell of a writer. This post gave me chills, and I almost always LOL at Caturday! Hang in there.

    • Thanks so much! Caturday for life.

  8. Tara Tara

    Gorgeous writing. I relate to so much of it. Keep it up!

  9. Jen Jen

    Just don’t forget the part where the sun comes out and warms everything up again. <3

  10. Sylvia Sylvia

    You don’t even know how triumpant you are, my gosh, spectacular. We all see it. As Charlotte said to Wilbur, “Chin up.” You are a wondrous thing, my dear.

  11. Jess Jess

    This is fantastic. Wonderful writing, as always.:: you have such a great voice. Enjoying your more regular and fabulous posts. Your kitties will get you through this. They’re beasts:)

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