Liner Notes on Leaving a Lover

Accept that everyone is angry. This is what happens when you leave someone who doesn’t cheat, drink Jack, or give you a bloody lip. Fill pillowcases with bones of contention, and start schlepping. Light a wildfire in the woods. (There ought to be a moon.) Use his old Bic. Burn Baby Burn. Chuck it all in—love letters, photos, books. Toss in a squirming Anaïs Nin. Blame her for screwing everyone. (Where did all that pulp-porn leave you? I declare: these lips will no longer be moved when reading.) Finally, in goes Uncle Mark’s Christmas card: This probably won’t be a great season for anyone. Just make the best of what there is. God help you.” Dance a little. You know, for the sake of drama. Heartbreaker… Love taker.

If the fire works, you’ll be left stranded on a single bed, smoking weed. Follow up with a bottle of wine and a baptism in the amoeba-filled hot tub. (You had warned him that Craigslist was no place to buy filters.) Finally, you will be born again (or catch dysentery). Say goodbye to the wraparound porch you dreamt of. It was a dependable place. Try not to mix up men and houses again.

Pretend it is Christmas morning, without the tinsel stuck to your pajamas. After all, you have a new Samsonite in hand now, lead-based luggage, guaranteed for a lifetime. Understand your heart has a reluctant valve and will feel nothing like muscle when you meet your ex in the diner. Prepare to hardly recognize your reflection in the cherry pie-smeared window, which will give the illusion of a dark mustache slashed across your face. Know then—you are the villain from every wrenching wistful song.

 

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