“MAY THE BRIDGES I BURN LIGHT THE WAY”
My past is lined with burned bridges and collateral damage. I am not an easy person to get to know or to even love. Damaged, yea you could say that. My life its a beautiful disaster and those closest to me end up being the ones I hurt the most.
Never in a million years did I think Gopher Guy would become my collateral damage. I have no idea what made Gopher Guy fall for me, I am far from perfect and the complete opposite of him. It became clear that he wasn’t going to see the light and that his new found love is faker than imitation perfume. Old habits die hard, he still acted like there was a chance and he made me feel like he was still interested. Our friendship was built on witty banter and flirting. Deep down I knew I couldn’t be stuck in some weird emotional love triangle and for him to be fully with her I had to let go.
I only know how to let go one way and that is by burning a bridge. He met me by the now dry government center fountains. Part of me was hoping that he wouldn’t show, but he did. In that moment I wanted him to hurt as much as he hurt me. As my words flowed into his mind, his kind eyes faded, his expression went from nice to nothing, and he was shaking. I did exactly what I set out to do and in that moment he let me go.
I’ve burned more bridges than I can count, this time it was different and instead of feeling nothing, I feel a tiny bit of regret. Yet, on the same coin I know that his feelings for me were not real. Gopher Guy never got into the deep with me and he only knows a piece of me. He met me when I was broken and saw me at my worst, but he never got to enjoy my best. He spent the past 3 years chasing me and I ran like hell. I told him I loved him, it was on April Fools day and 19 days later I said I can’t deal. His friends, they hate me because they had to deal with the aftermath of that burning.
But did they really deal? No they didn’t they just kept on checking his pulse to make sure he was alive as he drowned his sorrows in a bottle of liquor. Real friends, take the bottle out of your hand and make you face your shit. Your friends just let you hang on to that bottle and stood by and watched you fall. You cannot blame me for that night because I didn’t put the bottle in your hand, I didn’t tell you to drink your pain away. I’ve heard your recollection of April 20, 2012 more times than I can count. Did it ever cross your mind that someone did exactly that, except they got into a car, and took charlie away from me. It wasn’t you that did it, but someone just like you did. Life is hard liquor does nothing to cure the pain it only numbs it until the morning comes.
Your friends they still hate me. You had three years to clear my name and never made that attempt. You never told them that my fiance had died the day before your birthday party. That I only came because I made a promise. I am a woman of my word, even thou I was dying inside I put on a smile and tried to deal. Being in a bar that night was not the place for me and meeting your slightly intoxicated friends was a bad idea. I knew the moment they met me that they didn’t like me, I nursed a glass of water the whole night instead of throwing back beer and shots. I was physically there at your table, yet my mind was trying to remember if I grabbed everything I wanted for Charlie’s casket. Dinner was over, you went to the strippers and I went my separate way. That was the one and only time I have seen your friends. I got one shot and if I had known that they would be petty bastards, I never would have come to your party. Tell your friends to grow the fuck up and not to be so judgmental.
You failed me. As my friend it was your job to vouch for me and to defend me. You never did that. For three years you let your friends hate the ground I walk on. Hell, even today they probably still hate me. My Daddy tells me that “hate” is a disease and that only a tormented soul has room for hate. So your friends must be broken. Yup, they are broken. They hide behind their mental health, sex therapy, and who knows what else degrees they have to make themselves feel all right. I am human, I am not perfect and I cannot be fake. What you see is what you get. My opinion is never quiet. I may be small but I will use the voice God gave me and I will defend myself.
They say it takes a broken soul to know one. When I look into your eyes I see someone who has been discounted and passed up their entire life. Someone who was judged by the size of his waist line and not his wit. Girls, they never gave you a thought and you were always the friend never the leading man. When I first met you I shook your hand, you looked me up and down with a smile. I knew right then and there that you had fallen. I don’t know why but you did and I was ok with that. When I looked at you I didn’t see a large man, I saw your heart.
Gopher Guy I never paid attention to your outside, your kindness, dedication, unwavering work ethic and wit is what attracted me to you. Your heart is what won me over. You are someone I could trust, you dared to put me in my place, only to apologize minutes later for doing so. You constantly challenged me, made me laugh until I cried, kept me from face planting into mud puddles and you believed in me. For some unknown reason you believed in me with all of your heart and I didn’t know how to deal.
I thought you would always be there. It’s partly my fault I encouraged you to date and to put yourself out there. Orchestra hall, that night I felt the pull and I knew at that moment I had to go for it. Yet I didn’t. I was going to but over dinner you told me about Goodwill and preacher girl. (2 girls at once?! Whoa I created a monster!) Always know that Orchestra hall is the night I fell in love with you all over again. That was the night that sealed the deal. That was the night I realized that I still loved you.
Fate kept the manhuman in Minnesota. He was suppose to leave in July. The job it fell through and he moved in. (Bad idea I know) Someone was looking out for me as it didn’t work and I asked him to leave. I didn’t want to be that girl who leaped into another mans arms right after she left the arms of another. I had to let the socially acceptable time period expire. You, you put on the full court press the moment you found out the Manhuman was gone. You invited me to dinner more times than I can count, told me that I meant the world to you, and that I was the one you wanted. I eluded you and gave you half answers. I was afraid of letting you down and mostly I was afraid that I wouldn’t live up to the woman you saw in me. In my mind you deserved more than a broken surviving heart and I, I sold myself short. While I was waiting for the expiration date Goodwill girl stepped up her game. She grabbed you the day I was going to lay my cards down.
My steal, went down in flames. I fought hard for you and you didn’t want anything to do with me. 3.5 years of history meant nothing to you. I wasn’t shiny and new. I didn’t desperately chase you like she did. Goodwill girl loves beer, going to games and music. That is what you are building a relationship on. Take it from someone whose been divorced, that’s not enough. The shiny will fade, the beer you can only drink so much before you bank account dips, and when that runs out she will be moving on. Fairy tales tell us that you go for the one who fights for you and not the one who loses her shoe.
I fought hard for you and you didn’t care. You said things, did things, and crossed lines that should never have been crossed. You never once apologized for your actions and words. In your mind what you were doing was all right and you said a prayer to make it all better. Yet, you hurt the one girl you never thought you would hurt. I needed you to feel what I was feeling. I needed you to feel deceived, mislead, and used. Then and only then would you understand what you put me through. The difference between you and I is that I own my shit. Only apart of what I told you was true. Play you I did. The bridge I burned it and the answers are on my side of the river. You can fester and pray all you want for the answers, they won’t come to you because only I know what the two lies and one truth are.
Hurt? Yes I am and you, you are hurt too. Neither of us are clean in this. I did what I had to do to protect myself. I don’t do well with weird love triangles and attachments. The pin I pulled it and the bridge that lead me to you went down in flames. I didn’t completely close you out. It takes a beautifully broken heart to understand a fellow broken soul. I have been through more than you could ever imagine and I know that life hasn’t always been kind to you. Just know that you are worth more than you will ever begin to understand and that you, you made a difference in one small town girl’s life.