On a day like any other, acid spilled all over my life.
And it wasn’t spilled accidentally or inadvertently. You saw this moment on a shelf and amidst all of the options, you chose this one. You carried it down and dropped it in the middle of my living room. You chose to dissolve us.
You did this. But it’s my burden. My problem, my “issue.” My life, once a relatively neat pile, is now a mess for me to clean up.
It is my puzzle to solve. The scattered pieces are for me to find and painstakingly glue back together.
One by one.
My bizarre feelings are for me to reconcile—hating you, loving you, needing you and not wanting you. Wanting you, despite myself. Pieces that do not fit, I will need to somehow cram together.
My present and my future, devoured in one bite.
And my past. A loss that I didn’t think was possible. Naively, I considered the past safe, untouchable, immutable. One second the past was a permanent scroll locked up tight. Finite, absolute. But in an arbitrary click of the clock, the scroll unraveled. Each word, look, touch was once protected, securely encapsulated within each of the minutes that we spent together. You managed to break them all open. And all of those moments and minutes have spilled out, taking on new shapes and meanings.
My head is spinning with the impossible task of stuffing each one back into its capsule. Deciding what was true, what was bullshit. What was real or an illusion. Things a person can never really know.
I didn’t know that time could run backwards like this. That a person could look back and see that everything was different, that they were fooled, that nothing was/is what it seemed. Even the past is not safe from revision, destruction.
A persons life can be undone and re-done in one tiny, lousy spec of time.
We became something else that day. I became less of a someone and more of a something. A victim. A weakling. The unwanted. The betrayed.
You, too, became a something—a cold, callous stranger. A betrayer.
But anger, useful for a time, has overstayed its welcome and settled in, finding a home in my throat, on my back, on my shoulders, on my chest. It has become a boulder, a burden that I carry. A weight on my body and not yours.
This has nothing to do with you. This boulder, this burden is mine. Mine to take, to bear, to leave. And it is mine to name.
I decide whether to call it a lesson, or merely a memory, or just some stupid shitty rock some jack ass gave me. And I decide when to lay it down.
And when I do, it will not mean that this was okay. It will mean that I’m moving forward and a person simply can’t get very far dragging around dead weight.
Eventually, with each new click of the clock, I will become less and less this, a something, and more and more me, a someone.
Time can heal as well as hurt.
It can destroy and re-build.
It can help and it can harm.
And as time slowly sheds this wounded skin, I will start to see myself in the mirror again. I will start to see you again, as you are. All of you. Including the part of you, the one part of many, that betrayed me.
~ Once, the betrayed. Eventually, just me.
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Author: Jenny Spitzer
Editor: Emily Bartran
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