on why we do this over and over
It’s hard not to think how things can go wrong-- When you’re wearing a shirt from an Ivy League school you didn’t attend. You uncover that necklace in the bottom of your jewelry box. And you use that Pyrex dish with the nice lid that you somehow ended up with. When you’re looking for your number-six, double-pointed knitting needles and can’t find them or need that little sewing kit you never returned.
Promises break more often than hearts, and you forget why jokes were ever funny. You’ve left a tell-tale trail of toothbrushes.
You change, he changes; maybe it was this way always. And there’s a Christmas gift, purchased for you, but never delivered. Or a birthday travel easel you never collected, perhaps lingering, in the corner of a closet, reminding someone else how wrong he can be.
When it’s over you can never quite remember how you ended up all alone again. You can’t remember what you said or what he said, only that you can be amazingly accurate in your meanness. You can’t remember why you ever liked him in the first place, only that annoying thing he did every time you yawned or the time he stood you up on Valentine’s Day or when he would wear that pink shirt with that red tie or the idiotic thing he said that makes you think he probably still thinks about you. And when you walk down 5th street three times one day, you realize you can’t even remember which building was his.
Sometimes you remember the way he’d answer the phone when he knew it was you. Or the way it felt to fall asleep on his chest. Or that night you were both pretending you knew how to salsa. But not usually.
And you still wear the tee shirt, but you have better necklaces. You never learned to salsa, but that’s never stopped you before. And you’ve found someone new.
You quite like him, but your official stance is “cautiously optimistic”.
Because it’s hard not to think of how things can go wrong. You’ve been here so many times before. Maybe not here exactly, but in the general neighborhood, the suburbs, maybe. You made him dinner in that Pyrex with the nice lid.
Remember this. Remember. Remember. Remember.
Don’t forget to remember the good parts.
And you raise your glass or bow your head. ’Cause here’s to hoping.