the other night i had one of my recurring dreams about losing teeth. the kind of dream where your mind goes into unnecessary detail about how excruciatingly painful it is to have your adult teeth crumble inside your mouth.
with the events going on in my life right now, it makes perfect sense.
yesterday my family had to take my cat to the vet, where he was diagnosed with kidney failure. after 15 years of pretty perfect health, he just suddenly couldn’t take it anymore. he stopped eating, keeping food down, or even drinking water. it was heartbreaking to see his dejected body laying in the sunlight of our house.
his constant companionship while i was growing up is one of those things that i definitely took for granted. he was there through every major life event and every scrapbooked memory, and has always cheerfully greeted me at the door whenever i came home from college.
i guess the major cleaning that we’ve been doing to get the house ready for renting really stressed him out. since my little brother is finally going off to college in the fall, we’re cleaning out our entire house, which means sorting through 18 years worth of stuff.
so much stuff…
while i was cleaning out my room, i found my box of memorabilia from my high school relationship. man, was that a literal skeleton in the closet. though i still remember how intense and vivid the breakup was for me, it really took going through all of those letters and pictures to relive it all.
i’m not sure if that was a good idea or not.
among the dozens of prom pictures of me and my friends, the anniversary presents and the little trinkets i kept over the years, i found two folded up pristine white 8×11 pieces of paper.
these were the last two letters we wrote to each other before we finally broke up. god, i can’t believe i kept the letter, let alone both of them together. reading them one after another was just enough to open the wounds again.
in my letter i wrote winding paragraphs about how madly madly madly in love i was with him, and how utterly devastated and upset i was that we were breaking up. i remember furiously writing the letter while listening to sad music (much like i’m doing right now) and in complete shock that it was actually happening. i wrote about how much i was going to miss spending time with him, how angry and upset i was with him, and how ultimately i hoped that we would stay on speaking terms.
in his letter he wrote about how much i had changed his life; how he knew breaking up was the right thing to do (even though it seemed shitty at the time) because it would let us grow as people; and how even though we were broken up at the end of high school, there was still a possibility of getting back together after college ended.
he had one of those things right. it wouldn’t have been right to interfere with our growth in college by staying together.
in another reality, i would probably jump at the opportunity to rekindle whatever we had in high school. but in this reality, we’ve both changed so much to the point that current me and current him aren’t romantically compatible. we’re just such different people that it doesn’t make much sense to go back.
it’s like going back to your childhood bedroom and trying on your favorite moth eaten and stretched out blue wool sweater. it doesn’t fit, and you shouldn’t keep trying.
i was driving home from the peninsula at 2 a.m. and weaving through the empty streets of my hometown, blasting modest mouse (our song is by this band) and trying to keep the monsters at bay in my mind while a million billion memories came flooding back into my mind about every single thing we ever did in our short existence together.
every single adventure, every momentous date, every walk home, every drive somewhere new, every fucking memory from our time together came crashing back on me, washing over me like waves of goddamn nostalgia that i thought i had control over.
i guess what i’m trying to say is that there’s something bittersweet with losing something, even if you’d said your goodbyes years ago. i’m not sad anymore about the relationship ending. rather, i’m more sad about the fact that so many years have passed.