01 October 2013

And How Do You Feel About That?

Now seems like the appropriate time to write about feelings; it's a Tuesday night, I'm in the thick of working on a project that has to hit deadline tomorrow. I spent all last weekend attempting to write a short story to submit to a local literary journal whose deadline was yesterday at midnight, and I came up dry. So, naturally, in the thick of chaos when my brain needs to be researching success stories and case studies to write marketing copy of my own, it wants to write about all the feelings inside me.

Last night I talked to him. You know, him.

I played this really awful game last week called And How Do You Feel About That, a game I invented in 2003 when Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan came out and she was stuck in Jamie Lee Curtis’ body and had to pretend to be a therapist—“And how do you feel about that?”—It’s really stupid and I’ve played it in my head for over 10 years. 
Like I said, I was playing AHDYFAT, and I took a little bit of emotional inventory. A lot of my friends just got out of very serious, very long-term, in-it-to-win-it types of relationships. These are couples that I would study, with their oozing long-term mentality and stupid, cute Facebook photos and really envy (once I got over the irritation of their sappiness). And then they just went and fell apart and left me questioning my romantic ideals and ideas of what love really looks like. 
And there is, of course, my own complicated relationship with the boy that changed my life. The past two years have been so complicated— I’ve moved into and out of four different homes (my college apartment with my best friend, my parents’ house, mine and my boyfriends’ apartment, back to my parents’ house, and then into the temporary apartment I occupy 4 nights out of the week now). It’s been crazy, and I still don’t feel like I belong any one specific place. Aside from moving, I dropped out of graduate school; quit an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime editing job; busted an interview at my dream magazine (they asked me to tell them about myself and I couldn’t answer them); and cried more than I’ve ever cried in my entire life. I get caught up in the work week, and I still keep in contact with him, and thinking about how much I miss him and our life together usually ends with a big ol’ crying Cass, so I don’t analyze my own feels too much. 
But last week I mind-fucked myself and played AHDYFAT and asked myself about my feelings—like, point blank, “Do you still have feelings for him?” It was such an odd question—it came out of nowhere, from the deepest darkest part of my brain where my inner troll lives. Do you still have feelings for him? My answer, keep in mind I’m talking to myself, in my head, was instantly—Uh, yes! But then I took out my little feelings flashlight and started reading the hieroglyphics and deviant street art scribbled on the walls of my insides to see just how complicated these cave walls were. I ended up in a weird part of town inside me, and the graffiti on the wall was, like, written in Italian or some shit, but even in Italian I understood that it read, Yeah, you’re still the crazy mess you were back in March, you just don’t have as much time to think about it anymore. 
Last night, after he and I had an incredible conversation, I was getting chia seeds out of my freezer and I just said out loud, to the embarrassing amount of frozen chicken breasts I have in there, “I’m still in love with him.” Three months ago, I was getting dressed for work and blurted out, “What we had is over.” But it’s not over. There is distance and busy work and a lifestyle and some chicken wire and haircuts and new friends and mountains and rivers and county lines and the aqueduct and weight loss and confusion between us, but there is still a pilot light glowing there, mutually, it’s not a torch I’m carrying, it’s just a constant glow and reminder that real things, real feelings, real love…they don’t all just go away.
And I don’t want them to.  

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