I Feel Like I’m Still Paying For Hurting You


Summer in Seattle is not the grey, misty, overcast that the media depicts it to be. It’s actually bursting with sunlight, energy, people just wanting to soak up every bit of the heat before November comes and we’re back to bundling up in flannel and scarves. But every now and then the clouds hover and we’re greeted with the familiar grey we see for eight months out of the year.

It’s the grey that makes me think about you. It’s the lack of sun that I know you’re constantly surrounded by that makes me wonder if you’re finally happy now that you’re in a city where Seasonal Affective Disorder cannot be an excuse. It’s the grey that reminds me of you and makes me miss basement apartments and staying under blankets because it was too cold.

When we were over you put everything that was mine into a plastic bag and my roommate played the middleman to get it back to me. You took it very seriously; you must have picked up 22 bobby pins from every nook and cranny of your apartment and stuffed them in there with my bra, a book, and various t shirts. I imagine you picking up the pieces and tossing them into that Safeway bag and it makes me hurt. It makes me hurt because you were so focused on making sure that nothing of me was left behind. But I deserved it.

I never forgot about you and I never, never will. I still think about you, wondering if she kisses your dimples while you’re sleeping and if you get jealous when she plays a character and kisses someone who isn’t you in front of an audience. Are you as defensive over her as you were about me? Do you still see it as a weird way of defending your girlfriend’s honor? A part of me thinks you don’t anymore because you’re older, wiser. A bigger part of me hopes you don’t because she isn’t me.

I don’t think I deserved you. I wonder what your mother said when you had to tell them I was gone. I bet she stroked your hair and looked into your eyes and told you that you could do better. I hate that she was probably right.

I think about you when bad things happen. A boy calls me a slut after two nights and I say, “This is karma.” I get stiches in my hand from a busted door in an apartment you never saw and I decide, “This is what I get.” I crash a car that isn’t mine into a cement beam and I think, “I deserve this.” I broke your heart into a million little pieces so I have to keep breaking my own until we’re even.

I apologize even though there’s no one to hear the “I’m sorry” that I keep declaring. I think about the play I went to a little drunk and I apologize. I hear they’re making another Spiderman and I apologize. I watch TV shows I once hated that are now off the air and I’m saying I’m sorry over and over again. I think I’ll spend the next ten years apologizing to you.

The constant joke when you’re a writer is the “Who is that about?” line. But I rarely write about you. I rarely even talk about you. You’re too precious, too personal, too mine. Maybe she does kiss the dimples on your cheeks while you’re sleeping and peel your hand from your neck to hold it but a part of you will always be mine.

It’s raining. I can’t go out onto the Sound because I’d probably get hypothermia and no one is there to wrap me up and warm me to my core.

Serves me right, huh?