Remember the physical pain you felt the very first time your heart was broken? Of course you do, as though it happened yesterday. Even if it has been ten, twenty, or thirty years. A broken heart does not discriminate with respect to age. It is an equal opportunity destroyer of happiness and the excuse to devour an entire bag of peanut M&Ms.
As teens we believe no one can possibly understand the depth of our despair in the aftermath of our first heartbreak. Our best friend is forced to listen to us rant endlessly as we vacillate between plots to recapture the heart of our beloved or envision their demise in scenarios that are too unladylike for our young imaginations. And then we promptly fall desperately in love again after a week.
I grew up, got married, and divorced after twenty-two years. My perception of despair was no different from that of a teenager. My solution? Call my best friend. As an adult, I could still rant and rave endlessly, sipping a glass of cabernet (instead of a Coke), envisioning his demise in ways that shall remain in the collective imaginations of my readers.
It’s been nearly a dozen years since then. My heart has been healed and broken more than once, most recently just a few months ago. The pain was fueled by countless text messages, voicemails, emails, and phone calls that kept us in touch, preventing a clean break. One evening during a self-imposed pity party, I found myself reading all of his old emails from the last four years. Unable to sleep, I took half a tablet of the latest and greatest prescribed sleep aid. Trust me when I say that the good old days of drunk dialing have been replaced by the equivalent of pharmaceutical truth serum. Rather than speed dialing, you can simply type those thoughts (best left unsaid) on your computer keyboard and promptly send them off courtesy of the information highway while you are essentially asleep.
The following morning I began receiving text messages from the old boyfriend telling me that he really didn’t know me at all. He likened the change to transforming from a silk purse into a sow’s ear. Wasn’t it the other way around? I was clueless. So I went to the computer and looked in the “sent” messages box. Whoa, who was the 2 a.m. computer hacker writing that venom? It wasn’t even my vocabulary. And he was texting because I had blocked his email addresses, again, all while I was asleep.
I promptly apologized, by phone since he lives 650 miles away. It did put an end to the possibility of friendship, although I did unblock his email. My sleep aids are now a hot bath and a good book. Just in case, I think I’ll turn off the computer before bed tonight.