I’m fresh single. My dude broke up with me at the end of May and I haven’t seen him since. This summer we’ve talked three times for a total of about 10 minutes and most of our text messages have been all business: shared bills, returning apartment keys, and scheduling times to pick up belongings. We started dating in 2006 — and minus about three years of a long-distance friendship — have been together ever since. The struggle is real. My heart interprets his silence as a comment about my worthiness. My brain, says Bitch, get a grip!

I have a vivid imagination. It just lays dormant under business needs at the jobbie, and life minutiae like: grocery shopping, oil changes, and house cleaning. After the breakup my imagination erupted, and in what felt like my new dystopian life, I took solace in my daydreams. I envisioned a mature post-breakup discussion in some trendy little restaurant. We would sit at a small round table across from each other, sipping whiskey cocktails, tears slipping down our cheeks as we shared our mutual gratitude for the years we had together. Clearly I’ve watched too many romantic-fucking-comedies because that’s not what happened. He stopped picking up the phone when I called. His text responses were a study in brevity. In one of our brief post-breakup convos I quoted Friday and said, I feel like I got fired on my day off. It wasn’t until after he ended our relationship with the, I think my feelings have changed statement, that he decided to finally tell me what I’d said or done that bothered him over the last year. I never had a legit chance to address his hurts or see his position, which has left me asking what happened on an almost daily basis.

Three months later I’m still smarting from the way we ended, but I’ve also reached that grief stage of anger where I’m looking for an anthem and want to break shit. While on vacay in LA I found out that people rent rage rooms where you choose your weapon of choice — mine would be a baseball bat — and wreck shop in a controlled environment. This seems a bit self-indulgent but I can also see the allure. Here in Baltimore I would just grab some Dollar Store dishes and a push broom and hit an alley.

Enter music and comedy. I can finally listen to music and am ready to go lemonading (see above wreck shop reference), as Titus Andromedon called it on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, referencing coping post-breakup in his spoof of Beyonce’s, Hold Up/Sorry/All Night songs from her Lemonade album. Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman album has also been in constant rotation. During my weekday commute you can find me in my car shouting, I’ma glow up! Sunday nights find me perched on the couch watching Insecure and feeling Issa’s pain as she obsesses over every detail of what Lawrence is doing. People keep telling me to feel all the feels and don’t hold back. Eventually I know I’ll get over it, and be able to let it go, but until then I need to get through it.

5 things I’m grateful for post-breakup:

  • It happened on the cusp of summer when the days are longer, the sun brighter, and outdoor activities abound.
  • My college reunion. It occurred two weeks after the breakup and allowed me to take a mini-road trip with my Mom to New York. It also allowed me to be in a place he never was, and remember me before him — I was dope.
  • The pool in my complex. I worship at the altar of sun and water, which bring me peace. I spent every non-rainy weekend poolside.
  • My vacay to L.A. Going to Cali, visiting old friends, and getting in some beach time is just what the doctor (Mom) ordered.
  • My first laugh about my relationship’s demise. While in Cali I met up with a college friend who — when I told her about my ex gifting me a cat this past Christmas — said, “He knocked you up with a cat and then left you?” I count that laugh as progress.

Cija (pronounced Kia) | Baltimore-based writer | author of Sonic Memories (personal essays) available now: https://cijasquips.com/sonic-memories/

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