Tuesday, June 28, 2011

in the depth of summer

We were talking today, in the car, after getting froyo outdoors at some late night place open by the university in town. Everyone there was home for the summer or at summer school. College kids. High school kids. Kids. We're not kids anymore. Too much has happened.

And we got to thinking, another summer, endless goodbyes. Summers always seemed to be about letting go, either the beginning of an end, goodbyes, or knowing an end would arrive soon enough, when autumn arrived.

And I got to thinking, '03 was a good one. It was the summer after high school, when we didn't know better. We used to stay up late, never go home, break into pools, light illegal fireworks, drive around town simply 'cause we could, cause we could afford it, before the price of gas mattered, that summer was hot, sticky, and we created friendships we never bothered to because it was going to be an end, to the life we'd known in our youth.

And then I remembered the summer of '08, when I met you. And we'd be on the phone most nights, in the depth of July. You were so frustrated with me.
If you miss me, then say that you miss me. But if you don't like me, don't say those things to me.
And I didn't have a reply then.

I was in the car with my cousin's husband the other week. And he asked me, why didn't it work out, how did I know? And I replied, it was just a feeling. And he said, that's such a girl answer. 'Cause guys always could list reasons. A guy friend of mine once had a slew of reasons why he'd broken up with the latest girl — she was messy, dirty, crazy, young, really he couldn't believe what a slob she was, she was still in undergrad after all, couldn't really blame her for the morning after, weekend from before beer cans littering the trash can, the kitchen counter.

Anyway, what that guy, that summer, had said to me, resonated. He'd noted that I was stubborn, and I refused often, to simply say how I felt.

And I'd sent him home that summer, left him at an airport terminal, got in my car, and sobbed all the way home. And I promised myself, I would never hurt anyone again. I mean, in retrospect, it was probably more so his pride that I'd hurt. He should've known better — fly halfway across the country to be with a girl he barely knew. That's nuts, isn't it?

At 26 years old, and I'm still astonished when a guy decides he's taken a liking to me. Not because I'm not wonderful, but because I often feel they make that judgment before actually getting to know me. But then again, I only feel a very small fraction of people actually get me.

It'd just be easier, easier on me, if it was my feelings that got hurt, if it was my heart that was breaking because I can handle that. I know how to do that. I know how to get over someone, and I know how to let them back in my life when the storm's passed. But one of the worst things in this life, is hurting someone else. So I don't know how that story goes. It's the part I have no control over.

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