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Burning Bridges

The Pile

I will never forget burning your clothes. You left our apartment and ran to the arms of another girl, leaving me alone in a place filled with all of your things and nothing but memories of what was, could have been, and never would be. I was filled with so much rage and sadness when I created the pile of all the nonessentials you had left. I thought I could make that place my home, if I could just reduce you to nothing but a pile in the living room, but all the pile did was remind me that the place I WAS in that WE WERE in, was exactly that. Just a place filled with I and not WE. I hated that pile. That fucking pile that of failed love. That fucking pile proving to me over and over, that I was alone, had been left, that loving me wasn’t worth it.

After a few days of looking at that pile, I decided to do the only thing I knew how. I decided to fix my current problem by creating a new problem. Hiding one problem under another, like sweeping dirt under a rug instead of actually cleaning up the mess. I created layers of problems, constantly trying to bury the hurt and self loathing that were a natural part of my life. Some were buried so far down that they more closely resembled short stories I had read, than any reality that had actually been lived. I did this because I couldn’t imagine actually dealing with my own problems, it was just easier to “sweep them under the rug.”

The truth is that actually facing one of my problems is my biggest fear because it means that I may have to actually look at myself. Just the idea of facing my problems, no actual action required, and I am terrified.

Back to the pile, the problem that I could not unsee or escape, that you refused to come back and pick up because having your things in “our” home gave you a sense of control over me, even though you no longer wanted me. I watched that pile for what felt like an eternity, though in reality it was only about three or four days, and it filled me with anger, sadness, self-pity, and hate. The pile consumed me, and I began to think of nothing else no matter if I was in the house or across town. Until that fateful night when I came back to that place, after my usual get obliterated, so I could walk through the door and try to sleep, and there the pile was. Waiting the way a predator waits for it’s kill to be close enough, vulnerable enough to pounce.

I laid down next to and in the pile, sobbing and cursing the world for my broken heart. Finally, I lit a cigarette and instantly, smoothly as though the plan had existed for days, I began burning the pile. Putting holes into shirts, artwork, stickers, and anything I knew you still loved, even after you stopped loving me. It was like if I could destroy the things you loved I could mend the heart you destroyed, but no matter how much I burned the pain persisted.

After, I removed the burned items from the pile and stuffed them into a closet, creating a rug out of a closet, and sweeping my new problem under it.

Problem solved.

Pile removed.

The only thing left in place of the problem pile was the feeling of shame, my new problem to hide under some yet undetermined rug.

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