where it goes when it goes, or, a helluva July 4th.

The man who unknowingly encouraged her to stay in Buffalo simply by betraying true creative originality over a glass of wine one night with a coworker and her friends turns out to be the object of the coworker’s seven-year crush. Ah well, she thinks, there will be others. Meanwhile to avoid recognizing the ruins a rough timeline has left her in, she focuses instead on the boy she can’t have. Let him go, you know you should let him go. Her words release him but her heart refuses to, looking around her town in dismay. What am I doing here, what am I doing.

Sleeps with a stranger and lost in a kiss find she is also lost in thoughts of he-who-is-not-here. Not good, so not good…

Crawls home to recover with her cat, sleeping until two in the afternoon, whispering into her comforter, Let this afternoon be my entrance into something I don’t yet recognize or understand.

Acceptance of the pain I have not faced. The surprise and the change. All of this loss. Some give, and some take. Love, and an empty room.

Let it in so you can let it out.

Thursday we all go home early, the coworker to take her artist friend to a 4th of July fireworks show, me to sleep with a stranger because, honestly, that’s kinda what I do. Monday we stagger in, reaching for the chocolate. She says, no, the artist is flirting with every woman I know, I just want to stay friends with him. I say, I stopped aching when I admitted I was angry, but writing an angry email to someone who’s not going to do a damn thing about it was the most rational thing I did all weekend.

Maybe the flirty artist can flirt with me. Maybe I can keep it in my pants next weekend. Maybe a little less booze, a little more honest love. A little higher and deeper and more raw.

Even when it hurts and I say it with a loud exhalation, I still say Let’s keep this real. Real, real, real, until reality shifts, the circles overlapping in their lilac gold and gray, shift out of focus, into focus, away from focus, all the suns shine, and we are left in a garden, exposed, and saying, “Ah.”

Now I see what I could not.

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