“You have an impulse, occasionally, to burn shit down.”
I say this to myself sometimes. In fact, years ago I wrote that line of Audrey’s, “I think you destroy things, people, just so you can grieve them.” Or something like that. Yeah, something like that.
But when she says it, she adds, “If I had a different kind of ego, if I were prone to panic, your impulse would have gotten in the way of our relationship.”
“How’s that?” I say, laughing softly. I see how worrisome this admission is, but I’m not sold on the worry yet. I’m still considering the purchase.
“Your whole, ‘You should just go’ thing. If I’d listened to that, I would have left. You meant it when you said it, but you didn’t mean it for long.”
No. I never meant it for long. And this leads to the crux. What do I mean for more than a moment? How many people have I believed—adamantly believed—I loved? Said it. Convinced myself and others. Only to find I didn’t mean it for long. Mercurial. Is that right? My mother used to say, “I don’t think you want to be happy.” When? Or did she simply forget to add, With this? Because I didn’t. I didn’t want to be happy with the various incarnations of “this” that she was convinced should have made me happy.
It’s a good feeling, getting rid of things. And sometimes the severance is essential. Sometimes it’s rash. I have no interest in grief now. Isn’t that strange? I don’t have to dismantle anything. I don’t need to take the engine apart and figure out why the oil is leaking. Maybe it’s faith. Maybe I acquired some, at last. Is it faith? There is a difference between wanting to be happy, and being happy. That difference is where I live.