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I saw you in that coffee shop

You didn’t notice me

Just like it always was

Those years before.

I saw you in that coffee shop

And I felt nothing

I did not even want your attention

After all those years of beating myself against your iron clad heart

Trying to get you to see me

To feel anything

I do not want your attention anymore.

I felt sad for you, staring down at your computer screen as always, missing life as it walks right in and out of the room.


There was a coffee shop chain Mac introduced me to and I was craving their food one day but didn’t want to go to any of the ones he might attend, knowing he sometimes has his friends pick him up there. The last thing in the world I want right now is to run into Mac somewhere. So I found one somewhere he would be very unlikely to go, and headed there. Walking in, I immediately saw Nandi head down in his laptop in front of me. It wasn’t his neighborhood either, so no idea what he was doing there. I thought about walking out but then thought, “Why should I?” I walked right past him, up to the counter, ordered my food. I sat as far away from him as possible, but the place is small so no way I could escape his range of vision entirely. I drank my coffee. I ate my food. He did not look up from his laptop once. I came, I ate, I left, with him never noticing me at all. Felt like old times. Except I felt no sadness, no desperation or despair. I actually just felt bad for him, still stuck in the same pattern after all this time. It gave me hope – that someday I may feel the same nothing in the face of running into Mac.

iStock-837440074.jpgSometimes I find myself reaching inward, trying to touch that need for you.  It’s only curiosity, an interest in knowing whether it could be rekindled even if I wanted it to. I don’t want it. But I wonder – could it ever claim me again? If I were to see you tomorrow, what would I feel? Sometimes I feel I hate you. Sometimes it’s only pity I feel. Underneath it all, I do feel a love, but it’s like the love of a sister to her brother.  And only that this time. There is no passion. No desire. When I think of us together, the intensity we once felt, I cannot touch it. I remember it like I’m watching a film with different people, just actors, not us. It doesn’t touch me. Sometimes I think it’s my own psyche protecting me from the memory.

Someone who is recently sober said they realize they will never again feel the highs they got from being on drugs, that nothing in the natural world will ever come up to that intensity, but that it’s worth the loss of that high to never again have to feel the incredibly unbearable lows that always came after. I feel the same when I think of you, of our relationship. I will never feel that rush again. Because it was unnatural – like addiction to a drug, not love.  But I am happy to let it go, never to be felt again, for the simple peace of your permanent absence from my life.

I felt like this through most of 1999-2006. It was a feeling very specific to that relationship. Sucks to have to sit through the ad first in this version of the video, but the techno version on the “official” video just doesn’t do the feeling justice.

Our relationship endured, on and off, for 8 years. During the entire time, he had another, and he had many others. He would come sometimes to me right after one of them – I could tell because it would be more difficult to inspire the physical evidence of his excitement, and sometimes there was the residual smell and taste of the condom on him when he came to me. I didn’t care. At least, I told myself I didn’t care. We weren’t about monogamy, after all. He was engaged in an incestuous relationship that may as well have been a marriage. We were about sex. Yes, I was in love with him, but it didn’t mean we were in love. Remember, I am not the kind of girl men fall in love with :). I never looked him in the eyes – it would have been too much vulnerability. One day he said he was in love with me – but he couldn’t leave her. And then he tried to bring her into our relationship – make us a threesome. I did not reject her, I even felt badly for her, and in fact it was the moments sitting downstairs with him, caressing him and seeing that lust in his eyes, while I knew she was just upstairs, drowning in pain of what was happening in the next room, that made me unable to continue. In the end, I tried to break it off with him, but he seemed destroyed, so I came back. We engaged in a strange little dance for a few more months – he moving me further and further away, slowly. I let him let me down the easy way – easy for him – and one day I realized it had been over for a while. I had the conversation with him walking around the streets, crying, but begging him to let me let him go. And so he did. This is what I wrote just afterwards – things I never said to him:

You say one thing and then you say its opposite. I once thought you an innocent, and then I thought you a liar, and only now do I realize the depth of your neurosis. You change your mind every moment and forget what you felt yesterday because you are allowing others to choose your feelings for you. Your love for me was pure for as long as it was unknown by any others, for I never told you how to feel and no other knew well enough to try. Then you made the decision to end our relationship – whether you knew it or not, involving her was ending us. You have learned to believe that what she says of you is the truth. She governs your feelings on anything within which she is involved. Before her knowledge of our connection, you wanted permanence, not I. And once she became involved, you became certain that I wanted permanence, not you. And nothing will enlighten you, for your thoughts are her words. I did not before understand, but I believe I do now. You said things, walking around the block, as though they were just occurring to you then – old thoughts about what our relationship was. One moment asking me,, “What is over, anyway? We had nothing,” and the next telling me we treated our friendship like a monogamous relationship, that there was never anyone else for you. And I had though you confused, but now I see. Your will has been destroyed by your own decisions – decisions that you made when little more than a boy, but the consequences of which you must live with for the rest of your life. The decisions that you made will forever scar you – you can never evolve from them or change the direction of your life, for you made such permanent decisions, not realizing the terrible risk you were taking. A narcissist, you fell in love with the reflection of yourself, and now you are forever chained to that reflection. Even when you try to look away, to admit you feel no love, for it is to admit you feel no love for yourself, and that is unbearable. To betray it is to betray yourself, and to abandon it is to abandon yourself, for it has become you. You had to make it so in order to face what you had done. And worse, you cannot rest on a decision because you cannot face yourself, your true self and its desires and thoughts and wants, for long enough to really understand your feelings. Because to look at yourself is to see these horrible decisions and to view the cage within which you’ve placed yourself. The sad thing, darling, is your belief that I would claim you, another prison for your soul were you to finally break away from the one you’ve made. But I would never do so, for you are too scarred to love another and I cannot bear the neurosis. Your fear of entrapment by me is unfounded precisely because of that decision you made which created it. I wish that I could want you, but I know that the person you have become could never be the one I want. You should have been, yes, I believe if anything was ordained from above, it was this – but you have destroyed all possibility of its realization. And my situation, which once I believed a prison, I now realized was placed in my path to save me from hope, and to save me from this desire to possess you – to make it possible for me to live without you. For difficult though it is, though I think of you every night and every morning, cry for you when I’m alone – I can, and will, live without you.