Burden of Yesterday (Time’s Up)

There is a deep satisfaction of white paper filling with glossy inked truthfulness. The tension releases from my body as my heart throbs against the carpeted floor. Notebooks gather in peaceful piles, reminding me that glossy inked truths need to be written. 

The sweetness of wine fills my veins slowly until it reaches my heart, which is now drunk with the burden of yesterday.

In a way, I am sorry I have to write these yesterdays down. And yet, I am tired of holding them close to my chest. I am releasing these yesterdays as I type them, one by one: 

It was yesterday when you pushed your hand against the door, refusing to let me go. I cried on your bed for an hour as you scolded my anger and my desire to leave. 

It was yesterday when we rode the shuttle back from the state fair. I giggled and called you “stupid,” in playful jest. You did not understand, drunk and angry you erupted. The filled in seats around us staring uneasily. I got up, walked a short distance away but your heated breath followed, ego wounded and my heart quickening, sobering me. The spill of fairground light and laughter mellowed and disappeared altogether. 

It was yesterday when a man followed us back to your apartment because I was literally running away from you. He held you back as I called an uber, refusing to walk with you into your home. “That is my girlfriend. I can say whatever I want to her!” You raged. The tears that fell were like no other I had met before: wet, heavy droplets of fear. My uber driver was kind, concerned. An older man, my father’s age: “Do you have someone you can talk to? Please, take my card and call me if you get into any more trouble.”

It was yesterday when you told me you loved me, that I am the most beautiful and wonderful woman in the world. And yet, each time your ego bruised, I had to set my own heart aside to tend to yours. You had an idea of what I could be for you, could bear for you — but I am too strong for that. I won’t be a docile woman on the sleeve of an insecure man. I refused to look at you and I said goodbye. My social worker friend gathered my things from you and you cried on her shoulder, grieving that I was gone. 

It was yesterday when I was swollen with the need to be held and I fell back into your arms, not knowing what would result from your grip on me. I went back, thirsty from my loneliness and aching with compassion.

It was yesterday when you threatened to steal my car with the extra key you had at home. I told you what I thought of you and your manipulative ways and you condemned me for having an anger problem. “I gave up my dignity for months because of you,” you told me and I physically had to shove your delusion out of my apartment door with a second and final sweep of goodbye. 

It was yesterday when you said you had a bag of my things and I agreed to meet you at the coffee shop. You were sitting with a smile and a crossword beckoning me to sit and scribble like old times, with steaming mug in hand. As though the tears had never fallen, words not spoken, dark nights gone undelivered. 

It was yesterday when you followed me from table to table with that paper in hand, refusing to respect my request– my demand– of NO. “You are being so mean,” you told me and I was trying to keep my cool. When we finally did retrieve my bag of things there was nothing inside truly mine: old tupperware and a cutting board I had gifted you but a month or two before.

It was yesterday when, in disbelief, I took the bag and walked away, your body behind me like a shadow. You followed me back to the shop and laughed that we would be on the same flight to New York City. A  trip back to the east coast to meet my family. I stopped dead in my tracks: No. Fucking no. If you are on that flight, I am going to report you to security. No, fucking no. Get out of my life, I don’t need you, don’t want you, you can’t have me any longer. 

It was yesterday when I realized, in all that “love” and laughter you gave me this summer, you were incapable of respect. Yet, I respect myself too much to fall prey to the ways of egomaniacs and narcissists, the insecurities of jealous, fiery men. No one can take your dignity from you, you see. No fucking, no. Not you, not me. 

Yes. There is a deep satisfaction of white paper filling with glossy inked truthfulness. The tension is fully released from my body. These words sit in peaceful paragraph piles, encouraging me that glossy inked truths need to be written.

Doses of laughter, no matter how large, do not outweigh outright disrespect— in any way. Chose to walk away for a better, brighter, healthier today.  

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