Manuel

The disks you took. Photo by gotafli on Unsplash

Manuel, ma’ man.

I see you’re gone; I see you took your things and flew away. This feels, at the deepest, expected, but ir hurts nonetheless. It’s like a family member has been in a critical health condition for some months and then dies. One couldn’t say it was sudden, by any means, but why should that make it wrong to cry? Now it has been my heart.

I would like to know what exactly was that put you off about me. What was it from me? Or my body? Could I have done otherwise? I don’t know but as I see to the few pictures and things you forgot to pack, I listen, and as I hear your voice and your breath, somethings become clear.

I don’t love often, it’s never been my thing, and the thing I love the least is myself. So when I love it feels weird and so very welcomed. A cup of warm tea on a lonely and cold night. So I tuck the cup close to my body to feel it’s warmth and smell as intensely as I can possibly. Then it spills and burns me. How ironic is it that the least you love the harder it becomes to love. It is somewhat of a snowball effect.

I know I pushed you. I know it all happened thanks to me wanting to get you closer. How fun?

I came home and took a sit at the couch; took my shoes off and left my things on the floor. Drank a large glass of water and became aware of how unusually quiet it was; you left the windows closed. Then I got upstairs to take off my shirt and then noticed your photo by our bed wasn’t there, as so was the rose you had bought me. I was disconcerted. The closet hadn’t many clothes, and I was still unaware they coincided to be yours. I started to breathe faster. I thought someone had robbed us and started shouting your name, perhaps you were hiding. Checked under the bed, undid the blankets, moved the sofas, the bookstand and the curtains. Also our disk collection had plenty of pieces missing. I started crying. It wasn’t until I was about to call the police that it hit me. No, you hadn’t been kidnapped. No it wasn’t a robbery. It was you, as it has always.

I stopped crying, I stopped feeling.

Next day I decided to not get our of bed. And so the next. They say the third is the lucky one so, as I’m not fond of exceptions, I bought a bottle of whisky. I find it funny how they corroborate your age before you bay a bottle but they care not about your mental state. I couldn’t wonder which is a stronger indicator of alcohol being a risk to you. I drank it during the next two days, always thinking about you, but not tearing a tear. I didn’t bother to see my eyes, but I bet they were empty. Empty as the house.

And as all this has happened I can’t stop thinking how arbitrary this all is. Why you? Why me? Why should I care? What was it that brought me to believe you would love me as much as I did? And, perhaps even worse, what brought me to believe that what I felt for you was love, and not just an aversion to loneliness? Why is it that your eyes tell me things other people’s eyes do not? And during all these questions something arises as recurrent and unavoidable: was it all my fault? Should I have done better?

I can’t stop thinking about it. Why is it that I feel sorry?

I see your face in front of me and I want to talk to you, about this and about why. And my first impulse is pathetic, I want to apologize. And I have no idea why? The fuck did I do wrong, Manuel? All but loving you feels a mistake on this night. But you did it anyway. Why can’t it never be your fault? Why is it always mine, even now that you’re gone?

Last week you told me — I vividly remember — you would leave with me; the bay area has always been my dream, and now it felt a shared one. I kept all this memories close to my heart where, I could basically smell the streets of the city and the grass of the fields. You were there with me, and anyone else needn’t matter. I felt fugitive while thinking about us, then, and you were my partner in crime. Now Manu, I ask you, why would you tell me that? For it cannot be much different what you felt then from what you felt the day you dragged the suitcase through the door.

Did you do it wanting to hurt me?

Manu, now that you’ve left and I can’t see you coming back, I can only feel that I wish you had left earlier.

I have always been quick to blame myself but now, Manu, I choose not to. I loved you and gave you all that I could. Or maybe I didn’t love you and didn’t give you as much but, needn’t it matter. None of us could say you gave much more, could we? And as I know myself far more than you might know yourself, I can tall you I am too old for self-pitty. I know that I am very unstable and border-line psychotic. I know I always try to excel beyond what I could possibly and see any misstep as a giant indicator of my lack of worth. I know that im simultaneity to that I have some sort of god complex. But you know what I also know, and only as of recently? That I don’t care and I don’t need to.

My life is mine and all I owe to you, now, Manu, is indistinguishable from nothing. I didn’t make you stay, and I didn’t make you leave.

You were always quick to run, but I was quicker. Who reached for whose lips, honey? And I will tell you this with no remorse: “You don’t matter.”

Manuel, it was your choice to leave you, and know it is my choice to leave whatever within me happens to pusillanimously believes it has been me who made you leave.

An empty chair.

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