A few months ago I received a deeply shitty text message. I won’t get into specifics, but the sender reminded me that I could have something I wanted, if only I could change something about myself that I cannot change.

The thing is, at that point I wasn’t even sure I wanted it. Still, I cried. I listened to “Silver Spring” a bunch of times in a row, because the situation seemed to warrant it.

And then I moved on.

Sort of.

I’m inclined to say I’ve been deceiving myself, not reading the writing on my own walls. But I don’t think that’s it. I think I’ve just changed my mind.

“I feel like I’m always trying to figure out what I want within the context of what I’m willing to give to you,” I told you. Always walking the line of wanting to give you something, yet not wanting you to have it.

I keep telling myself that what I like about this is what’s useful for me. That this is what I needed to get through a worse situation. I can assign a million backup purposes to you. Liken fucking you to cognitive behavioral therapy, when it’s really more like a shock treatment.

What I like about this is you.

And my internal monologue for the past two days has been: Acknowledge the thing. But don’t create a story around the thing. Don’t get attached to it. If I call it something, it becomes real. Takes up space in my brain. Manifests as drama.

Where drama is just a sanitized word for heartbreak.

The day I got that text, I had this thought: It’s possible to realize you love someone and that you’re done with him on the same day.

But the joke’s on me, because I wasn’t done with you. And I’m not even sure I love you. I just know that I could.

If I let myself, I can feel victimized by this. Wonder about the thing I can’t have, feel angry that it’s been stolen from me, as if it existed in the first place. Think about the “if only” you’ve dangled in front of me like a carrot.

But sometimes what looks like a carrot is actually a stick.

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