The first thing I did after he left was to walk slowly into my room and take all the sheets off the bed. I carried them ceremoniously to the washer, poured in the soap, closed the door and pushed the button to begin the cycle. I stood there watching the sudsy water overtake the inside of the machine, churning the sheets into an unrecognizable mass. I stared uncomprehending. I didn’t cry. That had happened earlier that morning when after several hours of discussing I finally asked: “Does this mean we are breaking up?” I already knew the answer, but I needed him to say it. “Yes.”
I can survive this I reminded myself. I have done it before.
After I put my son to bed, I tried to coax myself to wash my hair. I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready for him to be completely gone.
I took a shower and put on fresh pajamas and got into my giant empty bed alone.
I remembered that someone had told me once that the key to surviving the heartache of a newly empty bed is to not have a side. There is no one coming to fill the other half of that bed, so you are just torturing yourself by leaving it open. I moved my pillow to the middle of the bed and stared into the dark.
I remembered how glorious it used to seem to be able to stretch out over the entire bed for a few brief moments in the morning once everyone was up. I tried to tap into that feeling, sprawled like a starfish taking up as much surface area as physically possible. It felt vulnerable, and I quickly retreated to my previously coiled position.
Tonight is the first night where I am alone. I do not have my son. I do not have my honey. I am sitting in the kitchen typing because I cannot even bear to look at my bed. I don’t know how I will be able to sleep in it.
I know I must wash my hair. I know I must let go of this token of evidence that we were an “us.” I know but I am not ready. I am not ready because I don’t want to let go of “us.” And he is everywhere. In our tiny apartment there is nowhere I can rest my gaze without something reminding me of him.
Pictures of us are waiting for me at Walgreens. I ordered them before we split up. I haven’t been able to bring myself to pick them up. I was going to do an art project. I have no idea what to do with them now. I have no idea what to do with myself now either.
Nothing makes sense.
Except I had a very vivid and disturbing dream last night where all my teeth fell out. I woke up panicked and decided to look up what dream analysts think it means. I read that teeth falling out symbolizes change and fear of losing something important.
That makes sense.