It does. It all comes down to a boy. So many of our problems as women come down to that, don’t they? Or maybe they are just the tumultuous reflections of the inner inertia.
It all comes down to a boy, with me.
I woke up this morning in the quiet of the darkness, as light began to peek through the blinds and there was a stillness. And I remembered you were not asleep on the couch in the living room. You were not in the living room of my now 1 bedroom apartment, since I can no longer afford two bedrooms. And there was such a sorrow that overcame me. It is a sorrow that I thought 10 years after the fact would have healed even a little, but it hasn’t.
You’re gone again. The separation begins yet again. And nothing I do between now and until I see you again can fill that emptiness you leave behind. It’s like living with a ghost who comes to visit, and calls sometimes. And in the interim I am left to fill my time and thoughts with distant memories of a happy child; one that I longed and prayed for. Or I fog my brain until I can’t think anymore. I can’t think of all the moments I’ve missed, and how I worry you don’t have a place to be yourself. The guilt over this consumes me. What would we have been like if you had been raised by me. What if?
It all comes down to a boy.
You can call me beautiful a thousand times a day, and I don’t see it. I can never hear it enough, and I will never see it. All I see is the wretched childless mother. And I loathe myself for not being able to be more grateful I am not a childless mother. I loathe my selfishness in wanting you with me even though it would be more of a struggle for you and for me. I loathe myself for wanting you to myself. I loathe that I wasn’t strong enough to fight for you when it mattered the most. I was too young and naive and blindsided by the whole thing. I loathe myself for not having bounced back better. Sure, I have a Bachelor and Masters of Art (masters soon enough), but I still struggle to keep my head afloat. I loathe myself for not having my shit together better than this by now.
I loathe myself.
Our time is so fleeting, and yet easily snatched away. It can be rescinded with a simple whim. I feel abandoned anew each time and worry you sees me as the one who abandoned. I worry you see me as they do. I worry I see myself as they do as well. Maybe that’s why I surround myself with others who speak the same shame into me- to punish myself for not being stronger.
It all comes down to a boy.
And some days I just can’t breathe, uncertain I can make it through the next minute.
The next hour.
The next day.
I feel his absence everywhere.
Everything that confuses, exasperates, enrages, or makes someone give up on me…
It all comes down to a boy and a sorrow so much a part of me, I don’t know who I am without it.