Damn you for bringing up "the brown."
You know I have a thing for Newcastle Brown Ale, the way it reminds me of home and sitting on the porch and deliciousness and despair.
We used to drink it on the little spit of dirt we called a lawn until 6 am and watch the dorks wake up for work. Things weren't going well with us, but at least we weren't those people. And we had each other and our brown and we didn't want to be anywhere else because there was nowhere else to go.
You know that's where my soft spot is, how that tiny detail can bring me back to that place in time you know I never want to go. Which is why when you texted me out of nowhere, after I hadn't heard from you in a year, a year after you said you'd kill me if I tried to text, a year in which we couldn't have grown any further in different directions, and you said “I miss you” and “I'm just really sorry for everything and I miss you in my life'...
Just know it made me want to chug a six-pack of brown and then chuck the empties at your eyes.
You're the one who left, Wendy. I may have pushed you, I may have had it coming, but you're the one who began burning my shit in the street and threatening to call the police. You were the one who decided our fire had burnt out, and you were the one who tossed cold water on the entire thing.
You lost me, but I also lost you, and now you're waltzing back like it's all supposed to be OK. It's like I'm just supposed to forget the hell we went through and the hell losing you was.
I know I'm not supposed to say these things. I know I'm not even supposed to feel this way. And I know I'm definitely not supposed to be admitting it. Which is why I can't – not to my friends and not to my family or anyone really, besides you and this page.
Because I don't care what you think anymore. I don't mind being vulnerable if it means not backsliding into your warped little world, where good means bad and bad means good and every minute is an explosion waiting to happen. And I'm not naïve enough anymore to understand you weren't what I needed.
You were just what was holding me back.
Consider this my "girl power" moment, but I don't want you anymore. I don't care who hears it.
I did miss you for a minute. I thought about you for a while. I compared every new girl to you, and didn't find any of them worth it.
For a long time, you had this hold on me, whether I said so or not, whether anyone knew or not. Knowing this diluted my clear thinking and dictated an unhealthy amount of my actions.
For a long time, the thought of you came latched to this inkling of a feeling of should. I realize this was just a creation of my own mind, shaped by the collective consciousness of our always-reminiscent, always-self-hating culture.
We should be together. We should work things out. We should try, because it's what's best and maybe we needed each other.
I know that's complete bullshit.
Quitting you was like quitting smoking (except easier, since I actually succeeded in doing that).
Every few minutes or so I'd get the urge, and I'd resist. Those minutes became hours. Then, they became days and soon, days turned to weeks.
We have a tendency to want to fall back with the people who know our habits, because we so often have the tendency to confuse our habits with our actual selves. But all it took was a series of small resistances, and a little time before the urges ceased.
Now, I don't need you and I wonder how much I ever did. You are very much a fixture of the past. I once clung to that dearly. But as I get older, I can't help but feel life taking me from day to day with this sort of rhythm I can't control, this forward momentum that won't be denied, and won't stop, and keeps going on and on without you.
And now, I'm finally getting used to it.
So do not text. Do not call. Do not Facebook poke. And definitely don't write this, like you did:
It was an awful decision by me because you were so important to me and I realized the extent of that the second you weren't in my life anymore. If you are ever back home, which I know you will be because you can't stay away, call me. Otherwise, I can trek out to whatever far off world you've moved to and we can drink all the Newcastle brown ale we can handle.”
Frankly, you have no idea how much I can handle now.