Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm Going To Be Honest . . . With You. I . . . HATE This Place

"What was it like when Shannon left?" asked Marley.


The question confused me. "Why would you ask me that? She's in past, I was over that a long time ago, you know that."

"I know," she said, "I'm not asking because of you, it's for my latest assignment. It's a guy who went through a breakup. I've never had my heart broken, I think it might help to know what it's like."

"Like you even need any help," I answered. Nervously, I continued, "And . . . forgive me if it, you know, offends you, but . . . I know you've been hurt."

With a calm detachment, she said, "Oh sure, but I was abused. Not heartbroken. It's not the same."

I took that in, and said, "Well, misery kind of defines you. As positive or upbeat as you try to be, it doesn't change the place you're in, and as long as you're there, no escape can ever completely take you out of there. Smile all you want, people can tell, because when you're stuck in that place, you're a different person. It was like, I wished so badly to be out of there, because I knew it was ruining my life, and I didn't want to be that person. But I was trapped. And still, I kept thinking, 'This is where I'm supposed to be right now, I guess 'cause I figured you belong there after a breakup. Looking back, I can't believe I tried to justify things like that."

"I remember," she said. "I recognized your turmoil when I first saw you."

"You recognize everyone's everything."

"This was different. Even though you were being so nice to me, I could tell that you weren't quite you. Yeah, I just knew you were sad about something, but there was something else. You were friendly but you didn't smile. Something didn't add up. You know, you can have the best intentions of turning things around and still fail, and it's not your fault. Even though people might tell you it's a matter of personal strength, it's usually not. They might say 'get over it,' like there's a switch you just won't bother to flip. But even if there was, if you're stuck in the bad place, it's like, the switch isn't there, it's somewhere else. How do you get there?"

"An angel takes you," I said.

"Sometimes. Hopefully."

"Was I helpful?"

"Yes," she said, "even though, in a way, I wish you weren't."

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