I dreamt about you the other night; it’s been exactly 20 months since you left. Nothing has really changed. I’ll give you the advantage of the pandemic; who could have thought, right? It’s been a year since I got your last message, asking for a permission for me to be out of your life completely. Intercontinental boundaries of sorts.
I wrote a play. I was playing “Orpheus” by Sara Bareilles when I wrote it. I’d like to think I didn’t write an autobiography. I wrote a tragic play. I wrote it that way not because that was our reality. It’s the alternative to what I would have wanted for us. We had a pretty decent way of saying goodbye and that’s the thing: I wish it were as tragic as my imaginative story. It could have given us more dynamic. It could have not been a mere acceptance of our circumstances.
We could have been better lovers.
My play is about a tragedy that could have been if we paid more attention. If we gave more.
In two weeks, the world will have access to it and people will ask whether that was our story; it is not. We had a better end, after all. But my characters had a better understanding of each other, of things they wanted. We just accepted things given to us, never fought for anything else.
I remember when I first played “Orpheus” for you. It was the day you told me you got an interview for New York. I’m not sure if you listened well. I think you did. She sings “We did not give up on our love today,” when we obviously did. I did. We both chose the easier path. I wish I didn’t, though. I wish I pushed further. I wish I fought for you. I wish I had given it more complex thought.
I wish I left with you.
I like to tell myself I do not miss what we had, that I do not miss you. I still sometimes see your face when I sleep. I still hear your voice when I hear “Emotion” by Destiny’s Child. It’s easier to admit I haven’t moved on — I have. I just haven’t forgiven myself for letting you go.