In other words, Laura and I have broken up. It gives me some comfort to be able to say that I put the relationship out of its misery - in retrospect, I should have seen that the end was coming quite some time ago.
Without going into the gory - and no doubt very one-sided - details, I have spent the past few months in an increasingly-constant state of stress, quick to anger and - for the past 6 weeks or so - very often dreading to come home.
But I said I wasn't going to go into details. Suffice it to say that I felt ill-used and disrespected on a number of levels, increasingly cut out of Laura's life and - at the end - betrayed.
And so, on Tuesday night, I told her the relationship was over. She left on Wednesday, which day I spent in a self-medicated haze, watching 6(!) episodes of Battlestar Galactica (the best television science fiction it has been my pleasure to encounter - but that is probably a topic for another entry) and doing very little else. I neglected to even contact the office to let them know I wouldn't be coming in, but I seem to have been forgiven; people seem to understand that losing one's parner, with whom one had (however naively) hoped to spend the rest of one's life, is a higher-order trauma than, say, breaking up with one's girlfriend of 6 weeks.
Meanwhile, of course, life goes on. In my nerdly case, part of that means a return to blogging (along with, apparently, my capitulation in the face of that hideous neologism's unstoppable popularity). Looking back, I think my long (dear god! 3 months!) absence from these pages was due in large part to my deteriorating relationship.
Angry at Laura, hurt by Laura, frustrated with Laura, she was close to all I would have want to blog about. And yet, I was too confused about what was going on to know just what to say - not to mention that some things are simply nobody's business but hers and mine (and whoever we choose to confide in over drinks).
So. Yes. I am very sad and a little bitter. In time, I will better remember the many and intense joys Laura brought to my life than I will the painful finale. For now, though, the hurt, anger and disappointment have the emotional upper-hand.
And meanwhile, I am single again, and determined I will not repeat the mistake I allowed myself to fall into the last time I suddenly found myself dealing with the end of a relationship. Over the course of nearly 2 years, I had (if memory serves) 4 dates and got laid precisely once, after something like 18 months of celibacy. In other words, no wallowing in self-pity this time around, no giving in to depression.
I am self-aware enough to know I need some time before plunging into the risks of another serious relationship (though: never say, "Never," Young Geoffrey), but I won't play the hermit again. That means putting myself out there, on the internet and in life.
An unpleasant truth I have learned about myself recently, is that I too easily let people drift away from me, letting email sit for ages unanswered (another apology, Sean, and John) for unconscionable periods of time, almost never being the first to call, &cetera. More, I tend to dismiss people for what they are not, rather than appreciating them for what they are. I can too easily get impatient and - apparently - am sometimes rude and arrogant.
Not the sort of person I thought I was; not the sort of person I want to be. (With that consciously in mind, I went to a part recently, and quite to my surprised spent a good chunk of the evening enjoying the company of a man I had previously thought of as an idiotic bore. Change really is possible.)
Anyway, I digress.
I am heartbroken, but I am also relieved. The fact of a conclusion is infinitely superior to the stress of a drawn-out, painful coming-to-a-conclusion - especially when one doesn't realize what is going on is an ending in progress.
I will miss Laura, but we had reached a point where we were making each other unhappy and that isn't what I want to do to my partner, nor have done to me.
In other positive news, I am writing again - last week, i completed the first draft of a 7500 word story, to be re-written on the keyboard over the next few days. I will either submit it somewhere, or post it somewhere soon. If the latter, naturally, I'll let you know where to find it.
In yet other news, I "suddenly" find myself in possession of an extra ticket to the Peaches concert at the Kool Haus on Tuesday night. If any of you locals would like to accompany me, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sort of first-come, first served, but I reserve the right to discriminate based on whatever criteria I choose.
Finally, I am somewhat surprised that so few of you have dropped me from your friends' lists during my long silence. Thanks, and I'll definitely do my best to reward with more (and better) entertainment in the future. Special thanks to stolen-identity and to fadefromnothing for your kind words over on myspace.
I guess that's it. I'm back, I'm hurting, but life is a marvellous adventure and I'm far from through with it yet.
Oh, one more thing. Not only have I not been writing on livejournal, I haven't been reading it, either. I am not going to go back over 4 months' of journals, so if I pop up with a comment in yours with a question or comment that seems naive, forgive me, for I am out of the loop.