The Deal with the Devil in the Details


The hardest part of all of this after the initial barrage of psychological baggage hitting me right in the face was ridding myself of the addiction to you. I won’t lie to myself. I was addicted to you. As far away as texts to another state and as close as a kiss on the back of the neck, in those rare occasions I felt like I had gotten something right. And I loved that feeling that it kicked in my instinct to protect myself from losing it because that was a situation I was far too familiar with and far too high-strung to handle again.

The sick and sad part was I think you knew that. And you didn’t have the courage to own up to the distance you created and I was left to swallow my panic.

Oh, well. I’ve stitched myself up before.
If you crack open my ribs
You can still see
where they stuck the needle
weaving in and out.
Out then in.
They stuck the needle in
and closed the hole
where your fingers
dug themselves in.

And after all of that. All of it I struggled. I didn’t want to talk to you because I didn’t have anything of importance to say but I told myself it would be worth it to get off my chest. Yeah, what if I just unloaded on you or sent you at text telling you how horrible a person you were and that I wished you nothing but the worst.. But there was a searing ambivalence to those feelings because I am not, by nature, violent or aggressive. I do not pick fights anymore because there’s no point. I argued with myself that I would feel justified and vindicated when, in reality, I knew that losing my temper would only make things worse. I was feeling forgotten, deleted. A gap in the text. And so, I mustered up the courage to send you one word. One.

noun \lə-ˈkü-nə, -ˈkyü-\
: a gap or blank space in something : a missing part

I struggled for days as to whether or not I should even send it. Was it worth the effort and did you deserve any sort of connection with me after you ripped us apart. We had a year and a half and it felt like such a waste to throw that away completely. Maybe we could coexist, maybe we could get along, despite the knife in my back. I tumbled these thoughts in my head over and over until I mustered up the courage to send it and received no immediate response. I breathed a sigh of relief, hoping I’d heal quicker if you left me alone.

Do I contact her
Do I not
Do I put myself back out there
and risk the damage I might incur?
You said it might hurt
it might be painful
You’re damn right.
I dealt with the devil in a card game
went all in,
showed my hand
and lost it all
And in the vibrant pain of total loss
I questioned whether or not to ante up again
Do I dare
Do I dare not
Don’t know
Damned if I do.
Damned if I don’t.


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