When you’re young , or maybe not so young, and you fall in love for the first time– the hard fall, the first doozy– you think that’s it. Nothing else in the world could ever match this. And maybe, to an extent, you were right.
But then that ends and the first layer of your heart slowly peels away like dead skin– the vestiges hang like stubborn strings: there, always there. But suddenly, everyone in the world becomes a possibility. And you realize you’ve become one of those ever-emerging characters in books and films who proceed down the line of lovers. So you proceed. And life becomes a juggling act– a dangerous, sometimes torturous, one at that. And by now, you’ve parceled out certain sectors of your heart and there are people walking down the street, going to their jobs in different cities throughout the country, possibly the world, or maybe even in the same small town, who each have a piece of you tucked away in a pocket in their skulls.
And all the while friends and coworkers and family members and friends of friends are getting engaged and having weddings and throwing baby showers. And you go to their engagement parties and ceremonies and receptions and showers– you go stag or with a plus one or with someone you might like to sleep with. And you have an okay time, or a good time, or maybe you’re nostalgic or filled with some overwhelming sense of longing. You think to yourself, this could have been us–
But maybe you only think that because you don’t know what else to think. Because the possibilities have now been overshadowed by a mess of unsatisfying sex and forced feeling. Or maybe you’re being over dramatic. Either way, there’s some part of you, perhaps tiny, but there nonetheless, that believes there’s someone who will get you again. And the voices in your head that say you’ll be alone or that you’re a lost cause fall away with the kickstart of drums or a swell of laughter or a bite of chocolate mousse.
And somewhere, at another reception or party or shower, or maybe the same one, there’s at least one other person thinking all of this too. And you’re not alone.