He’s finally, totally gone.

Almost six years ago he came into my life and today, finally, he is gone.

I had an inkling that he had moved out a little earlier than the beginning of October like he’d told me this summer, but I wasn’t sure, so I took a little detour on my morning walk with the dog and found myself outside the back of his building beneath his balcony.

Gone were his bike and black and white patio furniture.  Could he really have moved out??

I don’t know what compelled me to walk up three flights of stairs, but I did.

The dog panted beside me and my breasts swung loose beneath my pajama top.  My hair was in disarray, no makeup, glasses on.  This was me at my absolute rawest climbing to confront the source of so much pain.

I don’t know what compelled me to turn the handle on his door, but I did.

Perhaps it was the many little carpet threads strewn about the hallway foyer, proof of new carpet installed somewhere on the floor.  Perhaps I just needed to see for myself.

And when the handled turned with no resistance and the door swung open I walked right in.  The door shut with a thud and my heart matched.

My chest felt tight, my breath shallow.  He was gone. 

New carpet was indeed being installed, evidence that it had been several days since his departure.  My breath continued to evade me as tears welled in my eyes.  I looked for remnants of him, any hint that he had been there.  I opened kitchen drawers, the refrigerator.  I remembered where we’d hung every picture and where I’d placed every piece of furniture and plate.

The refrigerator door was still on backwards and I laughed to think that he was just that lazy he couldn’t be bothered to call maintenance to switch the hinges.

As I walked into his bedroom I could almost smell the flavor of incense he preferred, sweet and foreign, see his cherry wood sleigh bed.  But it was just an empty room with bare walls and a new carpet smell.

In the bathroom the tears came.  This is where I took some of my favorite photos of him.  The one of him in the bathtub and the one that would later become his profile picture for many sex sites across the internet the summer after we broke up, the one of him standing behind his clear shower curtain, the striations on his naked body like horizontal pinstripes on candy.

I had bought little wooden letters for him – a T and an N – as a token of my love and of our little secret.  They had been on his counter.  I’m sure they had long since been thrown away, but I remembered them nonetheless.

There was nothing left behind, not even a scrap in a single drawer or shelf.  He wasn’t heree and so I left.

At the top of the stairs that once was the place of frolic and love I looked out and down below and remembered the last time I had been on those steps and felt another wave of emotion.

I had returned to retrieve the note on the bag of his things I’d put on his doorstep and left feeling triumphant.  Oh, how silly I was then.  But it didn’t feel right to leave just yet so I walked back in and stood in his kitchen at the island, a kitchen design nearly identical to my own, and looked out the windows still as a mouse, heavy as a mountain.

The dog laid down and waited as I put my head down on the island and cried.

I cried because I could and I cried because it was finally over.  I no longer had to brace myself when I saw him come and go or worry about running into him at the mailbox.  I cried because I hadn’t realized how much this would mean to me, this ending, this finality.

The last time I was there was the Wednesday morning he’d pulled me into his warm, sleepy arms, looked me straight in the eyes and told me he “Didn’t want to do it,” anymore.  “It” being us.

The last time I was in that room I had cried a river and raged and begged and fought and knelt down before him and admitted defeat.

The last time I was in that space he had ripped my heart out and shredded it with his bare hands and ever thoughtful words.

My heart was destroyed in that apartment on the third floor and I was transformed.  How could I possibly not come back and honor what had happened to me here?

I breathed in the air that was once his space, deeply and with much personal drama and quietly left.  Now this is the last time I will have ever been here.  With my dog, in my pajamas, fit only for my own company.  Real.  Healing.  Possibly better than before.

::

I don’t remember walking down the stairs, just that I thought, “Hey, he doesn’t have a mailbox there anymore,” as I walked toward the little house that represented each residence.  And then the other older black, fancy car just like his caught my eye and I thought.  “Well, fuck.” 

I suppose soon enough I will stop noticing that kind of car altogether.

 

 

I won’t be talking about it anymore.

It’s finally over. Thankfully. And I feel good about it. Strong. I’ve said my piece, he’s heard me, took it like a man. When I learned that he really is trying to date 4 am girl I told him I was out, that I wouldn’t fuck him if he was fucking her or anyone else, or even if he took another woman out for fucking coffee. I can’t handle it. I can do the NSA fucking, but only if I’m the only one.

We spent some time talking yesterday afternoon. Tears leaked down my face as I explained to him that the biggest lesson for me out of this is that I am drawn to those who reject me and that my life’s work this time around is to try to learn how to let someone love me and accept me and actually want them back. He said his biggest lesson was that he realizes that his actions don’t always match his real feelings and he now sees how confusing it can be for someone. We’re going to be ok.

I told him he’s now allowed to take out my trash again and keep vacuuming for me. He said it was a deal only if I’d take him shopping again sometime. We shook on it. He wants desperately to keep my friendship and I his. We’ve agreed on a couple of hang out sessions a week and an occasional outing as friends. I have resolutely refused to accept her and I have been nothing but clear on my feelings.

He wondered why I was so mad at her. “We were imploding anyway. You were going to dump me on the 20th.”

“She made it 10x more painful for me. She sat in my house and said she was going for you, said hurtful things. You ran right into her arms. I’ve had no time to fucking process! It was a shit show. Or a piss show rather.”

“Hey, that was below the belt.”

“You’re damn right it was! It was all over the crotch, too!”

He’s fatalistic about this relationship he’s embarking on and I told him to be more optimistic. He agrees that she has a drinking problem, but he admires her for other things and thinks he’ll benefit from this with her. I don’t get this guy. I also asked him, one last time for clarification, why it was he didn’t want to be with me. “You’re not the right person for me. Is that a good enough reason?”

“Sure it is. Is it because of all that deal breaker stuff you said in the beginning?”

“Yeah. Age, kid, marriage.”

“Marriage? You mean because I’ve been married?”

“Yeah.”

And then, just like that, all my angst, all my pain, all my wounded confusion dissipated like a cloud of smoke. I did a happy dance, smiled more, beamed, really. His life is so about “The Plan” that he really can’t see the forest through the trees and finally realizing this frees my heart. He’ll never get it. He’ll never get me. I have to move on.

We hugged again and it felt good. I teased him that now she could shave his back for his laser hair treatments. He made a painful smile and rolled his eyes.

He came back over around 8 and vacuumed for me and apologized for his hardon the second he came through the door. I was braless as usual and I smiled. “Pavlov?” was all I said.

“Yeah, something like that,” he murmured back as he adjusted himself.

I bounced on the couch with glee as he cleaned my floor and he complimented my tits. I wondered if he was going to tell 4 am girl that he’d slept with me last weekend. “No, because we hadn’t had the exclusive discussion, yet.” Ah, gotta love hair-splitting.

We watched a movie on my couch then and I whimpered about my back pain. He went and got my vibrator and curled behind me and massaged my back with it. I clutched the couch and twitched as he rubbed it deep into my muscles. He said it was hot. I iced it for a while longer and then he massaged it again. I could feel the tip of his cock on my buttock, but didn’t move.

His hands replaced the vibe and could feel it in my jaw and my ankle. The pain was exquisite, his ministrations kind.

After the movie, I smoked a cigarette and he kept me company. He had to go get 4 am girl at 2 am from a bachelorette party. They have plans on going to an amusement park today and it’s easier than driving all over town, he said. I wondered if that was such a good idea to be hungover on a rollercoaster. I told him to be careful of the drunks on the road, “And in the car!” He’s not loving my sarcasm, but I seem unable to help myself.

I walked him back to my door and we hugged again. I’m going to miss this motherfucker inside of me like nobody’s business, but I don’t want him anywhere near me so long as he’s sticking in her.

I woke up at 2 and thought, “He’s on his way to get her.” At 4:30 I thought, “She’s next door.” Now I’m on my balcony waiting for the inevitable run-in as she feeds her Parliament addiction. But maybe I’ll luck out and she’s too goddamned hungover to be up at 10 am on a Sunday.

So, this is it. This is my final post about my relationship with The Neighbor. This entire blog has been a chronicle of our affair and it’s painful and bittersweet to say goodbye to him. If we ever have sex again, I’ll post about it, but the inner workings, my thoughts and feelings about him and us, they are now private.

My plan is to go off of cock for 2 months and recalibrate. We’ll see if I can do it. I want it all. I want a kind, loving, funny, smart, man who’s a master in bed and has a loaded weapon between his legs. I will be patient. I will be diligent. I will be true to myself and open about everything.

I think I may have to change my About page now.

I don’t want to be alone.

The pain is worse than when I left my husband.  With him, I knew it was because we had no future. This time, I know there’s a future and it’s being denied me.  It’s like the death of someone who hasn’t yet lived their life.

He came and got his things just now and the look in his eyes — so ice blue and shut down — nearly took my breath away.  I choked on words.  Asked him how he was doing.  “I’m doing ok.  How are you?”

“I’m doing horribly, actually.”

He’d let himself in when I didn’t answer.  I’d fallen asleep and awoke to him entering my bedroom.  I asked him to stay and chat for a minute.  We sat down on our spots on the couch.  I told him how furious I was at my best friend for abandoning me and laughed sadly that normally he’d be the one I’d complain to about such a thing.

I asked if there was anything he wanted to say that he hadn’t already.  He said, “I pretty much said everything I needed to.”  I agreed.

He admitted he wasn’t doing all that well.  He was burying himself in work and video games.

He was wearing board shorts.  I asked him if he was going swimming.  He said he’d just gotten back from kayaking around downtown with someone, who, I didn’t ask.  I silently wondered if it was 4 am girl, but tried to push it out of my mind.  He’d told me he had no interest in her, they are only friends.  And really, it doesn’t matter anymore.  He can do what and who he likes.

Then he stood up to get his things.  I was hoping to touch him one last time, to feel his arms around me, to smell his sweet scent.  He gathered up the bag and movies before I could move into his arms.  “And you still think this is the right thing to do?” I asked.

His face was pained, slightly irritated by the hurtful question.  “Yes.”

“Ok.  Just asking.”

“I’m going to go back into my hole now.”

He moved to the front door and I opened it for his laden arms.  He walked out and looked back.  Our faces a reflection of each other.  Sad.  So sad.

I quietly closed the door and began to sob.  My body is betraying me.  My heart feels like it’s going to stop, my hands shake constantly, I burst into tears when someone innocently asks me how I’m doing.

I cut off 10 inches of my hair today.  He didn’t mention it, but I know he knows why.  It’s ritualistic, like the angry red gashes on the white undersides of my breasts.  Stripes of pain, a show of loss.  I have to feel this. Last time I stuffed it all away and it ate at my core.

Tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of my father’s death.  A bad man who hurt me, molested my sister, died alone and in utter misery.  It’s easy to remember the pain of his death because this pain reminds me I’m capable of being alive.  I am going to breathe this fire and cry and sob and do whatever it takes to expunge it from my depths because I don’t want it residing in me.

I texted him asking him the name of his softball team; I don’t want to play that night. He’s pitcher, I’m 1st base.  He said he’d bow out and let me play.  I texted him back that I regret nothing, but will miss everything.  Thank you for loving me in all the ways you could.

And then I texted and called everyone I know.  No one answered. My best friend has been too tired to come over any of these nights and today she decided to go swimming with another friend.  I’m struggling not to tell her to go fuck herself.  Internet “strangers”, people who have never laid eyes on me, heard my voice, or felt my hugs have provided more support.  Why am I so alone?  If I’m such a great person like everyone keeps telling me, then why isn’t anyone here with me??

This is the ugly side of a secret relationship.  I will be mourning and no one will know and my cries for help aren’t taken seriously.  What have I done?  What am I going to do?  How can I possibly handle more loss?  I feel extended to the max, stretched tight.  I have responsibilities and people who rely on me for support.  Can I get through the next few weeks without a ripple?  I will do my fucking best.

The outpouring of love and support from you, my sweet, secret friends, is my lifeline.  I don’t know what I’d be doing right now without you.  You keep me honest, you keep me present, you keep me from slipping away to numbness.  You are all so loved by me.  I hope you can feel it.  You’ve helped a lonely woman in great pain with your words.  I know you’re helping another woman through her pain.  You are wonderful and brilliant and are reminding me that relationships can be a fortress of love, not just an attacking army.  I don’t have to know your faces to know your friendship.

I don’t want to be alone.