The Bridge

Late at night I was sitting at my desk. Rain fell outside, otherwise it was quiet. As often I had this feeling that just in a very few moments the telephone would ring and she’d be on the line. It’s a feeling of my mind opening itself, somehow like an unexpected tiny noise that, right outside my conscious awareness, draws my attention, raises it, and makes me listen.

The opening of the mind is like marveling into the dark. You feel closed, then something opens up. It’s not you who does that, it happens to you, opens you up. These episodes of astonishment and listening set in very quickly and fade equally fast. They last a few seconds, I guess, although the time-span in between is not measurable. 

When I feel you nearby, I sense a kind of whispering, talking. It opens me without you being here. The strange thing is that I know, or least a part of me knows, that you are far away, gone for me, in a new life, yes, but still …. it’s as if I could sense you rudely awake from a dream, staring into the dark, feeling alone and looking for me. It’s as if I could feel your eyes wide open from afar. 

When lovers split, worlds crash. Guilt and sorrow leave their devastations in the souls of those who are left behind. And in all the rage that a breakup may bring with it, sometimes it feels the only goal in this carnage can be to be the first who does the split up, the first to disavow the connection, to be the prime mover if not of the relationship than of the disaster, the end of the world. It has benefits to be the first, to actively kill a relationship. You won’t feel the pain as much as the other who longs for the thing to keep going, who can’t believe that this shall be the truth, that this agony has to be right now. To survive, we beat our lovers till blood streams like rivers. Not literally, no, but in order to split up and survive, we try to unload all the suffering on the other person, telling her that it’s her fault, her mistakes, if she only had done things differently ….

And when the one who first left the relationship enters a new one, the one left behind will feel everything: not only the rage, the sorrow, the hate, the pain, the tears. Not only his own, not only those of the other, or those of the relationship. Furthermore he will feel the new emotions as well. He will feel when the ex makes love with the new person, the one who took place, got a place because the other moved ahead and by that opened the possibilty. That’s one of the most awfull parts of a breakup: You feel your love making love with somebody else. At times in exact the same moment. You feel that the connection is still there, even as the other turned to somebody else. And yes, it is indistinguishable — your fantasizing it or actually sensing it. That’s simply another stone in the backpack. You can’t distinguish your fantasies from the connected reality that still exists due to the entanglement of your souls.

When these doors open it feels perversely like coming home. I’m near you again, I can feel  you, touch you, listen to your breath, feel your hand on my breast that always made the pressure go away, moved the stone aside. There is a reason why there is this scene in Matrix in which Neo touches Trinity’s heart, gets the bullet out and her back to life. It’s a common experience. That’s what lovers do: Get the bullets out. Touching the breast and offering the healing that relieves.

After all those years these openings became rarer and less intense. But for several years I felt them constantly and they hit me directly. Took my breath, made me ache, brought me to tears. I felt huge bodily pain. And I had these openings where I knew how she felt and how we were. That she had decided to love him. That she had closed something off that she had only shown to me. Those openings, painful as they are, remind me of the better parts of me, long gone in this wasted land.

There is a clear distinction when it’s me fantasizing about her and the feeling that she is thinking of me, looking at me from afar (that others may call fantasizing too). It feels as if those openings of the mind and heart come into being for a moment …. and, hush, they are gone. As the wind blows from another direction. And you hear the rain again. Quietly, as the night is still on. The world closes again. And you’re back here. 


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