the apology letter you will never send.
Yes, putting it on the internet instead of sending it seems like a brilliant plan. My challenge for the week went to AngieM357. I’m not really sure what I’m going to say, but I’ll just write until I’m done and publish it even though I’m certain now that I’d rather not. Let’s do this.
Greetings. How’s the weather? I bet I could guess. Here, it’s gross-hot, as it typically is during this part of the summer, though that doesn’t stop people from actually saying “Hot enough for ya?” as though that’s not the most stupid question, to which I usually respond with that not-really-laugh and say “Yeah,” even though I want to say “No, I’d prefer it just a touch warmer, so that when I walk outside, I have a better chance of bursting into flames. Shut up.” Though I suppose it might be difficult to burst into flames while sweating. I wonder what science says about that.
That was supposed to be a polite opening, but I think I missed the mark.
So. Here’s the thing.
I was walking down a street in Ann Arbor yesterday, and I thought of you. I’m not going to lie. It irritated me, walking down the street, and there you were, drifting to the forefront of my thoughts (isn’t “forefront” a bit of an oxymoron?) because I had other things to think about. But this was a stubborn thought, and it dug in its heels a little, refusing to drift by like most of the thoughts I don’t feel like entertaining. It was a memory, and I was inside it for a moment, walking with you down that same sidewalk on a different Saturday when the air was cold and clean. I snapped myself back to the present, let myself miss you for a moment, kept walking. Then this morning, I got my writing challenge for the week, and it was to write an apology letter. Ha ha, universe, stop being so heavy-handed. And writing this on my blog is the equivalent of not sending it: you don’t read here. You never really did.
I tried before to apologize to you, but even though I don’t really remember my words, I don’t think I was exactly apologetic. I’m good at blame shifting. It’s one of my more endearing qualities, I’m sure. I was never good at being vulnerable, and I’m still not, to be honest, because it’s a lot easier to be the opposite. That’s always been my own way of being a coward, but in this one instance, I pushed myself past all my usual bullshit and left myself open. I got hurt. It happens. I can’t see the end of us with any clarity, because I was too busy then, falling apart and lying about it. There was a lot going on, and I wasn’t dealing with any of it, because I seemed to think that if I just kept going, I could pass it all. (It didn’t work.) You were in the middle of your own shitstorm, and I didn’t have any patience for it. I was not the martyr at your altar that I said I was: lord knows I am good at crafting a narrative, though. You offered apologies and reassurance, and I said I accepted those things, but I didn’t.
Before I head too far down this path, I want to say that I’m not going to re-frame everything to make you a victim of my villainy. It didn’t work that way. You weren’t exactly great. Or honest. Or, you know, available. You hurt me. And though I like to believe in my own kindness, when I decided to trade the misery of our relationship (such as it had become) for the misery of a fresh breakup, I made sure I attacked exactly where it would hurt the most. Back then, in my haste to keep everything neatly categorized, I forgot that love is messy. You weren’t fitting where I wanted you, so I got rid of you. Liking things to be just so is not always cute.
For that, for my lack of kindness, for my lack of patience, for my lack of honesty, I apologize. Regardless of everything else that was going on, you still deserved better from me. Hurt is no excuse for being a bitch. I’m really sorry for that. Really.
I don’t know what happened to you since the last time we spoke back in January. I don’t know where you are. I don’t know if, um, all that stuff with the people (see, I’m still keeping your secrets) worked out the way you needed it to work. I don’t even know if you’re okay. I hope you are. I’m not angry at you anymore (I really even mean it this time), and have forgiven the fact that oh hey, you aren’t perfect after all. Maybe you’ve forgiven me, or maybe you haven’t. Since we don’t talk, and likely never will again, I’ll never know. If you haven’t, perhaps someday you will. Writing this has to count as some kind of penance, not that you’re keeping track.
I thought I was over it months ago, but I’ve still been secretly carrying it around, which I realized yesterday when I missed you so thoroughly it almost knocked me over. It’s like you died, you know? I know from experience that losing someone so close that suddenly and entirely leaves emotional wreckage to be sifted through, and I haven’t been patient with myself, either. I guess I needed to admit that, too. I’ve found it’s easier to get over a guy when I realize that I actually hate him, but I don’t hate you. Never did. (Praise indeed.)
Anyway, I hope you’re well, which is a genuine hope I’ll send out into the world without any caveats attached. I wish it hadn’t been quite so completely stupid there at the end, but alas, it was. Again, I’m sorry for the hand I played in said stupidity. It didn’t work, but from here I can see it was worth it.
Oh, you. Thanks for everything.