Hop along.

We spent a year getting to know each other.Falling in love. Building a life together.

Intertwining.

Abandoning our separate lives.

I pushed myself so hard to make it work. He pushed himself even harder. My relationship with my family had fallen apart; I'd stopped seeing my friends. Writing was harder than ever; physical activity was nearly impossible. We worked ourselves into a frenzy to take care of each other; we forgot how to take care of ourselves. Everything fell apart.

And just like that, he's out of my life.

A wave of sadness — kind of an undertow, really — hit me this morning when I realized we just…hadn't talked. Because that's what happens when a couple breaks up. They stop talking. It's bizarre, this not talking. Despite my life's recent frenzy, there's just…this quiet. Partly because I'm still a little afraid to listen to music. I listened to an online radio show last Friday night, after he dropped off one last load of my things from the old apartment. I knew there wouldn't be any Rolling Stones, any Led Zeppelin, any soul or old R&B. No Otis Redding, no O.V. Wright. The DJ played me a song that night.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu9gbEf3aPQ&w=560&h=340]

It's all mine now.

I'm actually doing fine. I haven't cried since Friday night; the next morning, I woke up and went to the laundromat. I treated myself to an iced coffee and a doughnut hole and dragged my cart back home with my clean clothes. It's time to relearn how to do things for myself. This damsel in distress is on her own now.

Because this man is no longer my Knight. Now he's just…John. John, my ex. Ex. Two tiny letters jammed with meaning. He's another broken heart, another shoebox of lovely memories. Like that little word, the box is filled to bursting; the top barely stays on, stacks of beautiful cards, love letters, trinkets, streaky color photos I printed on the touchscreen machines at Target push against it. The dollar-store bunny-ears headband I was wearing in my profile photo when we first became Facebook friends — those are in there, too, right on top.

I traded the rabbit ears for wings, I guess. Time to fly.