Last weekend I decided it was time to ultimately pull the plug. Already brain dead over the last couple months, it was the kindest thing to do. Make it final. Tidy up loose ends. Say the last goodbyes.
After four and half years of rotating through friendship, romance, FWB, repeat, we had reached the point where there was no life between us at all. It hurt more to keep wondering why he stopped caring even as friend, if that was really what was going on. It hurt more to realize after all we’d been through, he felt I deserved—he could get away with—a wimpy fade into the woodwork. That I somehow wouldn’t notice. Or even worse, that he didn’t care if I did.
I knew he would think I was just being a drama queen about the whole thing. Why must she insist on talking about feelings again? But I wanted to make it very clear this time.
I would not take the bait two, four weeks or even four months from now when he sent out a feeler text: How doin’?
I would not give into my concern and sympathy, periodically texting: How’s Chuck? (Chuck, AKA Charlie, being his 16-year-old cat who is ironically also going through chemo, but who the V-Man is naturally standing by and taking care of through the very end.)
This was it. La fine. Not just an end of a chapter. An end of a book with modest highs and lows, strange plot twists, but—in all—relatively little drama, comedy, romance or high emotion to hold a reader’s interest through to the disappointing ending. It was time to insert the last period.
Ever the artist, I also wanted my symbolic ending. I wanted the last gift I gave to him back. It was a handmade statue fashioned of wood pieces and dowels, an electrical switch and outlet and curly yarn. When I saw it at an art exhibit I was covering over the Christmas holidays, I knew it was the perfect thing to symbolize us.
We were a couple that had done much of our bonding over remodeling his house, doing more than our share of electrically wiring up the house. This couple, literally plugged into one another through “electricity,” epitomized its title “Staying Connected.”
At the time, I felt like it also epitomized us. Even though we’d had our break-ups, misunderstandings and disagreements over wanting different things for our immediate lives, somehow we maintained a connection. Even after weeks, even many months out of touch, somehow it always came back to him and me.
After Christmas, I shyly gave him the statue. I explained to him why I felt it was perfect for the DIY couple. He seemed to really think it was cool, wondering if it was functional, or if he could somehow make it so—if the electric switch could be connected to a bulb to turn on a light. And then, for the next couple months, it sat in the corner of the living room floor getting dusty.
As he and I became disconnected, I thought of that statue. Sitting there in the dark, with no one to appreciate it for its simple beauty. I thought nobody puts my baby in the corner.
Last weekend, I told him I was bringing it to its proper home. I’ll be picking it up while he is at work tomorrow. I told him to leave it under the carport.
I know it sounds ridiculous to make a fuss over an inanimate object. But I think there are better things and places ahead for “Staying Connected.” And I know there are for me.