I think back to the times I spent waking up in a space that wasn’t my own. I woke up in a relationship that was filled with tolerance and resentment, and absent of love. Our address led one to a space in Kingsville, but her insecurities and feelings of abandonment were my true home. She would call me out my name. In moments of anger and frustration, her fist frequently found themselves being reintroduced to my face. One day she arrived home from work; me and my neon NIKE bag of items were gone.
My pride wouldn’t let me go back to either of my parents homes. Like many of this cities unkept and wandering souls, I found myself sleeping on the train. 56 hours later-she found me. Sitting in the grass, sweaty from a run I just finished. Tears in my eyes; not from feelings of embarrassment or shame. I desperately wanted to be found. I had asserted myself, only to crumble and stubbornly wait for her to come rescue me back to our misery. I felt like I was being saved by death. Who was I?
I remember not being able to contribute much to our relationship other than listening to her vent about her family, and providing her with orgasms of the finest variety. Oh, and I cooked and took out the trash. One time, in a way she only could, she told me with a smile: The sex is bomb, I just don’t like you afterwards. At least one of us liked something-right? How miserable it is to feel like a transaction. I would rather be sleeping on the train. At least there I felt like a person. Sleeping on the train alone was better than sleeping in a bed with woman who made me feel worthless.
She would say things to me like: One day you’re going to get that good job, and we’re going to have so much fun traveling together-but each time my mind wandered to thoughts of a better life, her presence was nonexistent. I always felt like she’d “love” me once “I got my shit together”. How naive I was to think that securing a stable career would fill the voids in our entangled web of cold pain and dark fears.
The person whose idea of love is connected to the amount of commas in my bank account; that’s not the person I envision myself with. That’s not my idea of love. However, that’s the person I felt obligated to be with. Suicidal thoughts;that’s what she shared with me. So I compromised my own life-my own peace of mind, in an attempt to “save” someone who (like me) was just afraid of dying alone.
These days we don’t speak; it’s for the best. We’re not friends; we never were. When I see her friends…I don’t see her friends. These days I live rather comfortably. I wake up in a positive space that’s filled with peace. These days, my bank account has a permanent comma in it. These days I deliberately place myself in spaces where the energy is fruitful. If it isn’t, I simply remove myself. The only obligation I have is to my happiness, and my peace of mind. These days things are much different.
I ride the train knowing that it will never serve as my bedroom again. These days I look in the mirror, and the person I see is someone I love. The women in my life, friends, mentors, big sisters, romantic interest, family alike, all understand me. I know love, but most of all, I know and love me. These days I don’t simply have dreams, I live them. These days things have changed.