Finite Feelings and Hurricanes

by jamesmerolla

There was nothing wrong with Anna. She made the same mistakes we’ve all made in relationships. She was a little more adept with some mistakes, but I don’t begrudge her that. She, like all of us, is imperfect, and oblivious to certain errors in her ego.

We all like gratification. We like what’s ours, from material objects, to ideas, but one thing that will never be ours is another. That’s why we hurt each other, because ultimately we are alone. That person sleeping next to you could believe they understand everything there is about you. But, they don’t.

There are certain corners of you that they’ll never see. There are streams of thought never tapped, whispers between ideas in a crowded mind. It is the very outline of our perceived existence, and no one will ever touch it. It could be an instinctual act of self-preservation, but we guard it with everything we do. Someone we love will see flashes of it in our most vulnerable times, but no one will ever drink from it.

This whole bloated self-serving thing I’m writing is a perfect example of how we are ultimately selfish, narcissistic, animals. We do what feels good, and with our dulled survival senses we think what feels good, must be what’s keeping us alive. So, we always want to feel good, and feeling good sometimes involves hurting someone we love.

That’s why I’ve forgiven Anna, and with hopes she’s forgiven me.

There is a sad resignation in her eyes, the kind that gets handed down from generation to generation. It is the kind of look that slithers up from the coal mines and seeps into the veins of everyone in that one street town she grew up in.

It’s a place very few escape, and the ones that do are always looking over their shoulder. She is waiting for that little mountain hollow to call her back, back to a mother who never knew how to love her, and where the boys never bothered to learn her name.

After a while with me she didn’t have to look over her shoulder to see the fate she feared, creeping up behind her. It was staring right back at her when she opened her eyes in the morning.

There are only so many times a girl can hear you tell the same, slightly exaggerated, stories about the handful of minor conquests you’ve had in your life before she’s pretty sure you’re an asshole.

But to be honest, I wasn’t happy either. At some point, for reasons beyond my simple understanding, Anna started to slowly slip from me. Silence started to pool up between us. At first we hardly noticed, but by the end we’d blurt out anything to avoid it.

As our love wound down, we still had our moments. She could still make me laugh like no one else, but she had to try a little harder. And she’d still remind me of how handsome she thought I was, but she had to strain her eyes a little to do so.

We had become a habit. We no longer listened to a word the other said, we just followed the rhythm of the others voice and guessed.

The last night we spent together a hurricane Sandy was destroying everything around us.. By then we knew it was over, but for a moment, with only the dark, and the wind around us we found each other again. We fumbled and twisted in our bed, teased and giggled as if we had briefly slipped through a key hole and into the past.  It was a fitting end to what was once a roaring example of love.

When the storm finally past we sat alone in each others company and waited for the end to come