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thanks helen

on being alone.

A bit about this last few months.

It first hit me the night she left. The quiet. Before, there was rustling in the house, subtle signs of her presence, affection in the same space. Now, the night was too quiet, her form did not move with breath next to me. I was alone. My cats tried to fill the void. The wandered, and meowed, and looked for her in closets and cabinets — or so it seemed to me, as I projected my sadness onto them.

We were together for 6 years, and that never gets easier to say. We married. We are still, as of now, married. We are lesbians, but we didn’t start off looking like that. We both moved fast, without asking the questions that may have avoided the heartache. It’s hard to ask those questions when you’re having such a good time. When I looked at her, I saw someone that I could spend my days with — could grow old with — could sit in silence on a long journey with or excitedly discuss one of our new projects. This soured.

Near the end, when I looked at her, I only saw pain. I was reminded of the anguish and agony of being unloved and unattractive. I didn’t know, I would say, what I did. But it was immaterial. There wasn’t one thing at all, rather, there were myriad difficulties and decisions and micro-agressions that led to our parting. I thought I would be willing to work on these problems, but she spared me the need. She just moved out… while I was on a video podcast. There was the briefest acknowledgement that this would be difficult, and then, as if she’d never been there, she was out of my house.

She said she’d never felt attraction for me, and that she probably had never been in love. It’s impossible for me to know if this is true, or just the result of years of cohabitation and the daily chore of partnership. I fear both the aloneness this made me feel, and the gaping maw of quiet and inner-dialogue that her leaving put me into. For me, I didn’t leave the partnership in time. My recovery will be a slow one.

The entire breakup happened at an incredibly inopportune time after a huge number of life changes were still settling. My relationships, even outside of that one, were in turmoil and freshness. I had experienced one of the most significant experiences through coming out as a lesbian, and as a trans woman, and many of my friends didn’t call so much afterwards. I found a new community, or at least other people I could relate to, through twitter. They were spread far and wide across American and Canada, and the flight miles I will rack up visiting them are immense. I don’t know if we are on twitter because we’re all alone together, or if our shared experiences and hurts are just too much to not have the 140 character pressure-release valve. Ultimately, I don’t like to question it too much. My friends are amazing now. I feel, finally, like a person that might be ok, someday.

The loneliness of a breakup is a special kind of bitterness. Nothing removes that taste, that tang of regret and sadness, except time. My apartment is filled with friends on occasion, but I still need someone to also call it home. It took months for me to be ok with the idea, but I am finding a roommate. Not a lover this time, or a girlfriend, but an actual roommate. This will be my first in seven years. This was also the first time I’ve lived alone. I hate it. I crave quiet and space at times, but in this void, I’ve sought nothing but noise and other living, breathing people. I want to crave quiet again. I want to argue over who does the dishes, and watch the worst shows on Netflix because we’re bored and lazy and maybe a little too drunk from brunch.

This quiet, this space, will be filled. My life will continue, and I will meet someone. I will meet someones awesome, possibly. We will talk and romance and date. Someday they will move in. I fear the cycle repeating, but it is a human cycle of death and rebirth. Of beginnings and endings. I am at a beginning.

brook is a noted sapphist who lives in a forest with her cat snorri. she loves travel, food, and satan.