Stretch Marks

It’s raining today, out there and in here. It’s not, you know, downpouring, but rain boots would probably be smart. An umbrella, too.


A walk in the rain can go one of two ways. I was stupid, this time, and headed off into the heavy fog.

I’m hoping that it’ll will pass — this feeling of not brave enough. It’s almost thick enough for me to wrap around myself, this morning. The rain isn’t cold exactly, but it isn’t warm either. Relentless — I guess that’s what it really is.

I don’t know if I’m really brave enough to pack up, to find another apartment, to take a new job. To try again. How many times have I started over, since you? Sometimes it feels like an every morning sort of thing.


It went back and forth between drizzle and torrential, when we broke up the first time. Do you remember? There was rain on my eyelashes and a protest on your lips. We sat in your front seat for a long time. Watched the windshield wipers try to keep up.

The second time, the last time, it was almost obscenely bright out. How could it be so sunny, I remember wondering. We averted each other’s gaze. Or you did, anyway. Your eyes were carefully shuttered. Mine were burning — I don’t know if you knew. We didn’t linger long.

Every time I’ve started over — in a new place, or with a new person — I’ve ended up a little further from you. I have a feeling that I’m still maddeningly close, in reality, but then again I don’t really know. Nobody has ever disoriented me quite like you. But this time, if I go any farther, I’m afraid I really won’t be able to find my way back.



“I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.” -John Green

“The relationship ended with the same feelings one has on waking from a nap on a very hot summer’s day: confused, grumpy, and still exhausted.” -Jonathan Carroll

“Nostalgia is a dirty liar that insists things were better than they seemed.” -Michelle K.

“Most of us ask for advice when we know the answer but we want a different one.” -Ivern Ball

“I love you and it’s getting worse.” -Joseph Morris

“I want to care, but I don’t. I look at you and all I feel is tired.” -Elizabeth Scott

“I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem.” -Diana Gabaldon

“I have a strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy — it’s not giving a damn.” -Leo Buscaglia

“‘It’s good you’re happy,’ she said. She said the word happy as if she were looking at it from a great distance through a telescope.” -Richard Brautigan

It’s not ‘clever lonely’ (like Morrissey) or ‘interesting lonely’ (like Radiohead); it’s ‘lonely lonely,’ like the way it feels when you’re being hugged by someone and it somehow makes you sadder.” -Chuck Klosterman

“Everyone, at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with the feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them now and that nobody will ever love them, and that they will never have a decent night’s sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting, in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake somebody else up, so that they can feel this way, too.” -Lemony Snicket

“My story isn’t sweet and harmonious like invented stories. It tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.” -Hermann Hesse

‘“Just tell me the truth.’ You don’t want the truth — you want an old favorite sweater knitted out of lies as soft as cashmere in a neutral color that you can be comfy in every day.” -Jonathan Carroll

“When you understand that what you’re telling is just a story. It isn’t happening anymore. When you realize the story you’re telling is just words, when you can just crumble up and throw your past in the trash can, then we’ll figure out who you’re going to be.” -Chuck Palahniuk

“Just to be clear I don’t want to get out without a broken heart. I intend to leave this life so shattered there’s gonna have to be a thousand separate heavens for all of my flying parts. In the end, I want my heart to be covered in stretch marks.” -Andrea Gibson

(More quotes here and here.)


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