Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Goodnight Neverland

I lie in my queen-sized bed, tuck myself in under the comforter and sheet set from Target. The sheets have a green, black and white flower print; one of my best friends has the same set. When I first described the print to her on the phone --I had just bought the set to accompany my new apartment bedroom decor--we both laughed at how, out of all the comforters in the world, we had bought the same one.

Now, I move my legs tighter to my chest, darkness wrapping around me like a thick blanket. I blink a few times, my eyes adjusting to the night. My bed has always felt too big for me. I never used the whole space; something seemed to keep me from sprawling my legs, stretching my arms out wide like those Stretch Armstrong toys they made in the 80s. Instead, I slept on the side closest to the door, the other side staying cold and untouched. As I lie there staring at the ceiling, things begin to take shape: the frame of the TV screen, the oak dresser next to my bed, the outline of Mr. Hersheys-a teddy bear I received as a gift a few ex-boyfriends ago.

My mom always wanted me to throw him out, that teddy bear. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I liked his matted fur, found comfort in his bulky shape. Sometimes, I would position him so he would be laying next to me, my head on his teddy bear chest. Because of his size, it sometimes felt like he was an actual person instead of a stuffed animal. I sometimes laugh at myself, thinking about what I would like to an outsider, a 24-year-old grown woman clutching onto a teddy bear.  I move Mr. Hersheys next to me now, lay my head on the cloth of his tan belly. I close my eyes and the thoughts come.

It isn't fun, missing someone, missing many someones. It can sometimes make you feel like your entire heart is breaking. With each person that leaves my life,  whether its because they physically move away or emotionally move on, it is always hard on me. That's one of my faults as a person: my inability to let go. I clutch on to Mr. Hersheys harder now as I think about those who have come in and out of my life, faces circulating around my brain, memories leaping out to me. I turn and look at the pictures on my dresser, the metal of the frames now glowing from the moonlight coming in from the window.

Many of my friends have moved, scattered across the country like sprinkles scattered over a vanilla ice cream cone.  Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina. Nebraska, Washington, DC. Those who still are near me sometimes feel far away because of our jobs, our schedules, our lives. 

It's a strange time. For once, things are aligning for many -getting a job, getting a house, marrying, having a baby-but yet it causes a separation. Lives are moving in different directions, literally and figuratively. Relationships end. They begin. They end again. Its the relationships with people that often define my life; a give and take cycle of love and inside jokes that can turn against me. Sometimes, you get tired of doing all the giving. Or you feel guilty that you may be doing all the taking.  Sometimes, its both: both taking, no giving. I know I have done it...been less than a good friend, girlfriend, family member. Nobody's perfect.

I look out the bedroom window.

I wonder what's next for my friends, for me. Relationships are a funny thing, whether it be a romantic or not. It's always...complicated. Especially when you need to make a decision whether to hang on or let go.  And even if you decide to let go, the memories aren't always as easily deleted as a cell phone number, the feelings not easily as blocked as a Facebook profile.

I stare at the glow of the clock, it's red numbers glowing like greedy red eyes. I need to go to sleep.

 That's the thing about missing...even if others are missing the same person, they do it in their own way. Missing is something you own all on your own.

I turn back towards Mr. Hersheys, close my eyes, and wait for sleep to come.

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