Running From the Void

Dearest Rachel –

It’s two o’clock in the morning. Chompers has been silent for nearly an hour. And I am lying here, somehow unable to fall asleep, with a host of nebulous thoughts whirling through my head, none of which are quite concrete enough to set to text. But if I don’t do something, if I can’t release at least one of them, I feel like my mind won’t let me fall asleep – I’ll go mad from sleep deprivation. So here I am, talking to Siri in an effort to reach out to you, as I do.

I still sleep on ‘my’ side of the bed, you know. It’s just too big for one person to lie in the middle, and at any rate, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so. I keep telling myself it’s no different than days before, when I would fall asleep long before you and Daniel would wrap up for the night, and you’d prepare yourself for bed and join me here. But I’m only capable of so much self-delusion.

I find myself considering what Nightelf <> warned me about when we got together at Anime Iowa; the fact that I was running away from something (in my case, the loneliness of being single) as opposed to running toward anything. And I can’t deny it: I am.

The thing is, it’s not as if there’s anything for me to run toward at this point. However, there is clearly something – or rather a lack of something – that I’m desperately trying to escape. And at the risk of breaking the analogy by creating a whole new one, I wonder if running from might be a virtue in and of itself. Because I see myself as attempting to escape a void – a psychic black hole, that if I don’t escape its gravitational pull, will drag me backwards and crush me under the weight of your loss.

You were able to love me no matter what. Whether I was happy or sad, in good times or bad, it didn’t matter. You were at my side, supporting me in whatever I was dealing with. I didn’t have to prove anything to the world, because I had you.

But now I don’t.

And I don’t know what to do about that.

All I know is that at the moment, the darkness and emptiness are all I feel that I have, and that simply cannot be. Like the shark who must keep swimming lest he sink to the ocean floor, I have to keep moving or else they will consume me. But at this time of night, both my body and mind are in need of rest, and in order to get that, I need to be still. It’s a precarious situation to be in; although at least I have nothing more dangerous within reach of me than this phone.

Going back to Nightelf’s advice, while I acknowledge that I am currently more focused on attempting to escape a negative, ideally that process should ultimately lead me to pursuing something positive as a natural progression. Far from being mutually exclusive things, I’d like to think that the one should lead to the other as the direction I take becomes clearer over time. I need to escape the bad, in order to attain the better.

The problem is of course that I don’t know that direction yet. All I know is the need to move away; I don’t know what exactly I’m heading toward.

In some respects, I suppose the superficial changes I’m working on making to the house should be representative of what I need to do to myself in order to even have a “toward.” Just as the house needs cleaning and remodeling, so too does my own personality and nature. You might’ve been fine with me the way I was, but who’s to say anyone else would be? It’s not like that I’m perfect or anything like that – far from it. But what do I need to change, and how do I go about doing that?

And I suppose that once I decide the changes I need to make to myself in order to – to continue with the housing metaphor – increase my resale value, it’s than that I will have a destination to point myself toward.

But first I need to take evasive maneuvers in order to escape the pull of the void. And that’s easier said than done. Were you by my side, you might very well have an answer for me as to the path I should take. Then again, were you by my side, I wouldn’t need to.

As always, darling, wish me luck.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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