Maybe if I do this… this one Thing. Thing with a capital letter, to show that it’s very definitely Important. That one day he’ll look down at this book in his hands because he recognized the author’s name in a bookstore he’s shopping in with his… whoever. The cover will catch his eye first, perhaps something about the dog on the front reminding his subconscious of times gone by, and he’ll pick it up because now he realizes he DOES recognize that dog, and that name. He’ll flip it over, or flip it open, he was never predictable about doing one over the other, and start reading. In those words, he’ll see the past, and maybe some of the present, or at least, a Present-That-Could-Have-Been. And he’ll wonder. He might even buy the book and read it sitting on the sofa, or on his porch, with his toes resting on a grey-faced dog, coffee cup forgotten nearby. And while he reads it, he’ll think of the past, his past, and I hope to God it crushes him. Sometimes we want to utterly destroy those we love, or loved, just to prove to ourselves that we matter, we mattered, at some point, we were the world to someone. Sometimes, even during the happiest times with another, we can want to completely tear it to the ground, and set it on fire, simply to watch it all burn.
The moment passes, but the urge never really goes away. And so we invent things, platitudes to make us feel better about things we cannot control. The wise King of old stories, asking the eternal question of what could make a happy man sad, and a sad man happy. This too shall pass. Repeat that mantra, understand it, learn its secrets. It makes the deepest nights more bearable, you know that dawn will come, eventually. This too shall pass. One day it won’t be a knife wound in your heart, what feels like a tear in your very soul. One day you could walk past them on the streets and never even notice their face. One day. Still, though, it’s out of your control. What is in your control is the amount of damage you can try and inflict on someone you care or cared about.
“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”