What happens when two like minds become separate?
When the last hangover is sweated out, the bottles are thrown away, the edema has subsided, and the last "I'll never do that again" actually has an honest ring to it. When enough really is enough and we make our first heartfelt attempt to put down what we love for all the wrong reasons, pick up the phone and call a number that we know means at the very least the end of denial, and at the very most the beginning of a life we actually can see liking.
What happens when we decide for ourselves, because we know the person closest to us never will?
Can we survive the shock of disquieting disillusion?
Can we live, work, and play together after our common bond is dissolved?
I'm not so sure, and it scares the hell out of me.
I feel like I have it easy, though. I'm not married and I don't have a girlfriend. Hell, for now I'm staying as far away from ulterior dealings that entail an expenditure of emotion as if my life depended on it.
Which for all intents and purposes, it does.
Like I said, for now.
No, I mean, what happens in a situation where two people have been together for a long time--long enough to feel like they really know each other? What happens when one of the things that they do together--the thing that sort of makes a lot of the other things they do together more of a good idea--is to drink. It could be anything, really. It doesn't have to be booze. But booze is the most common connector as it is legal, easy, and everywhere.
So, what happens when one of these two people comes to a realization--be it voluntary or not--that they need to stop doing what they're doing? What happens when they start to rearrange their thought processes and reevaluate their priorities? What happens when the life they are beginning to get a taste of--a life they have, together, always poked fun at--starts to become more attractive than they could have ever expected?
What happens when that life starts to become more attractive to them than the person they spend (and spent) all of their time with?
What happens when they change in all the ways their partner had wanted them to, but because of this, the seemingly inextricably connected ingredient is now being brought out and laid on the table under a microscope and confirmed as a big reason they were together for so long in the first place?
They feel alone.
That's what happens.
If this seems like a lot of questions for question's sake, you may be right. But if you can't ask a question or two, how are you ever going to arrive at an answer?--any answer. And that, of course, is another question.
And just like the person who watches from a distance as their friend throws his life away one ounce at a time--wondering if he'll ever change--there are still yet more questions.
They wonder if it can ever be the same between them ever again. They wonder if all the time they spent together and all the plans they have for the future can stand up to the scrutiny of the clarified eye. They begin to run back through their minds all of the times that they let things slide and put up with a shitty situation--be it a concert one of them liked but the other didn't, and so that other person got by with a flask, a pill, and a fight no one won--and they try to envision that situation happening now as a practically different person.
Many times the answers don't seem to be so encouraging.
There's the threat of obsolescence.
What happens when one person starts to find happiness within themselves and not from outside achievements, monetary gains, or dependent companionship? When the tangible and transferrable takes a back seat to the cerebral and spiritual, and all of the 12 hour days and the overtime and the worked holidays aren't as necessary anymore because that "extra" money isn't needed to facilitate the gorging of the nervous system with additives from any number of sources, the end result producing a secondary, and thankfully imperceptible effect of momentarily allowing us to forget that we just worked so hard for such miniscule returns in the first place?
What happens when the person who wakes up dreading the process of surviving the unattractive hours before sleep comes again, looks at their partner only to see the face of hope and happiness, knowing full well it didn't involve them, and they can tell that something is going on and it is not friendly, nor does it have room for them; not like this.
What do they do?
They become jealous.
They become confrontational.
They become antagonistic.
They become desperate.
And then they stop talking.
For each one of them, if they remain this way, feels as if the other is brainwashed. They feel like there must be something someone said to them to make them turn against each other; something sinister and cancerous that is growing and mutating and taking hold; something that could easily spell the end of their union if an agreement is not reached.
And they are both right.
Because that growth is awareness.
Be it clear and concise, or fuzzy and unsolicited, the awareness that there is even less in common now than there was before either of them knew anything about the other, grows and becomes strong. And now, as this awareness develops and thrives it has two distinct halves: the half that can withstand the dissolution of a union; and the half that is now causing it. It becomes top-heavy on one side from the jealousy, suspicion, spite, selfishness, and resentment; it becomes buoyant on the other from honesty, humility, contentment, understanding and wisdom.
But yet, each of these two disparate halves of the same awareness have a commonality. Each half of the same two people who know they can't go on living like this anymore, pulls the other one closer like two blown soap bubbles that find each other falling in a drafty room. They find each other and cling to each other because they are made from the same materials; they have the same design; they have the same characteristics. And they have the same eventual destination: to be but a memory.
But before this conjoined bubble hits the floor, leaving scant record of its existence, there is a chance for the wand from which they were born to come and rescue them in free-fall. It will require a snare that is partially comprised of the same elements that both bubbles possess. It will require a deft sense of timing and pressure. And it will require patience and determination.
It will require a common bond.
And it will, without exception, require much the same ingredient with which the words we use to understand why we love each other so much is made of: a breath.
A breath can say the word, please.
A breath can say the word, no.
A breath can say the word, yes.
A breath can say the word, goodbye.
A breath can keep us afloat for what might seem like forever.
And a breath can stretch our common borders to the point of destruction.
But a breath has a finite length, and then it is over and we have to inhale again.
But we must, if and when our breath becomes labored, and the expenditure of our energy starts to show cracks in our own selves, and the good we do becomes put at jeopardy, we must be willing to resign. We must be willing to let go.
We must let the bubble drop to the floor.
And often we will see, for a time, it survives.
But only one half.
And then too, it is gone.
Thanks for reading,