It all comes down to a boy.

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?

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  It can be rescinded with a simple whim.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.