The Hiatus

Write a personal essay about your response to an ending, or endings, in your life that you consider significant.

( I sat down to write a practice essay for my English exam and this came out. My writing has been absolutely infected by the blog. I really should have just linked the url to my blog in my personal essay for the exam. Mark my blog, please! Instead, I pulled out my soapbox and channeled my inner preacher. My ending sentence was “If you can treat breakfast time with reverence, you can be happy”. I guess that can give you a good indication of how that’s going to be received. Hopefully, they like to be brutally lectured. There must be someone out there.)

I thoroughly dislike change. Therefore, it would make sense that endings don’t sit quite right with me. What comes with an ending? The dreaded change. Thankfully, my life is not built on a rocky foundation but, unfortunately, that leaves me at a disadvantage writing this. I won’t be able to write about a spectacular ending.

My hand has been forced. I will have to resort to the cliché.

The pitiful ending to a relationship. The sputtering end to something romantic.

 

Distance and anything romantic do not mix. No, your heart does not grow fonder. Do not listen to the propaganda! You can have the best intentions going into it but I am here to warn you that they will fall flat. How did I wind up in something long distance then, huh? Well I didn’t have any intentions at all.

I didn’t know that she was from Waterford. A Waterfordian.

Let me tell you, I didn’t even know where on our little island Waterford sat. I just knew it occupied a quiet corner with it’s “W” brother, Wexford. This, of course, wasn’t her fault. You can direct your complaints to my primary school. Her place of residence didn’t quite matter when we first met anyway,

Why?

Well, she was eavesdropping on me. 

I remember it clearly because my friend and I were best discussing how to detain and farm revenue off of our choir conductor. No, we weren’t actually going to do it. You haven’t uncovered some serial abductor/leaving cert student. Sometimes the abstract is more enjoyable than the realistic. She seemed to think so as she wandered around the outside of the conversation, looking for a way in.

 

That ‘way in’ came in the form of a small question from me that pushed open the doors. My friend saw her entrance as his exit and this new ‘we’ began to talk.

Minnie Mouse tattoos. The musical royalty she had descended from. The abstract (a favourite of mine).

We talked with an ease that seems almost improbable coming from two anti-socialites. The seed was planted here. Was it going to be a beautiful relationship tree or some of those stagnant relationship vegetables? I had no idea. We swapped details at the end of the week. I guess we wanted to see.

Welcome to the long distance portion. Get comfy. Unfortunately, this is the majority of the tale. I have to preface this by saying that I am an overthinker. As a hobby and as a terrible habit that I should really shed. This makes conversations with any undertones a pain.

An undertone? Oh, that’s when a person says something but they don’t mean exactly what the say. It’s a mystery game. It’s messy.

In person, I am usually aware of them and can pin exactly what a person is trying to get across. This does not translate to text. In the slightest. I delve into non-existent meanings and wallow in them. This works both ways as well. I’m on the backfoot as both the interpreter and the speaker. I constantly feel like I have to be diplomatic and straight-forward. In essence, I don’t feel like a genuine person when I text. That bothered me way more than it should have. Did she like the super witty “text-me”? Well, I had ten minutes to think of that quip. Don’t sing my praises too loudly.

These analytics led to problems. Every single time I met her, I was almost paralytically nervous.

Would she still like the genuine, clumsy me?

It didn’t help that most of these dates involved a three hour bus ride for these thoughts to ferment and manifest themselves. During these reunions, we really became experts at walking through and around dull cityscapes using cafés as waypoints. These meetings obviously sparked something in me. Fuelled me for my journey  treading through the no-mans land of textual interface and frustration. Of course, this wasn’t sustainable. An ending was looming. I looked down and trudged on.

The Debs was a crux in our relationship. She had asked me to hers almost a year in advance and I felt like I had to be perfect.  Bring the best me to the table and, of course, you can’t be your best when you don’t have a suit. It’s the only way to function.  It didn’t help my confidence that the suit wasn’t sorted out until the week before.

Allow me to break the fourth wall as I enjoy doing to tell you that meeting her relatives in an enclosed house was the single worst thing I have ever had to do.

New faces, new names, pinched cheeks, forced smiles and, to top it all off, my sister and my father had stumbled out the door with a tap of their watches and a mumbled apology. We made our way to the venue where I stood outside and failed to stand comfortably. The one bit I had practiced. That night was magical and terrible. I am a hopeless romantic so I could see the romance in a plate of spaghetti but don’t let that take away from the magical side. We spent most of the night looking at the stars while inhaling a dangerous amount of smoke. That is to say, we spent most of the night in the smoking area. I let my dumb lungs deal with the smoke (what have they ever done for me?) and I loved the world and her.

The downhill begins. Without the Debs to hold the fraying edges together, the relationship sputtered and stalled. I became more and more disillusioned with her cookie-cutter replies and my stupid, analytical brain. She could not see my changes because there were none on the surface. It was a change inside me. Wow, I’m honestly so profound.

I did, however, find it harder and harder to maintain easy conversation . As I promised, the ending was a whimper. A gentle escape into that good night. We talked it through during a meeting. A strained one. We called it a hiatus. That hiatus has gathered dust as it sits there. It was not a hiatus.

No.

That is what I like to call an ending.

 

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