Love is an addiction, and I am not good with addiction. I’m writing this post so I do not send a text: it’s that simple. I sit here at my desk, legs crossed on my office chair like I know I really shouldn’t because it’s bad for my back, and I press the buttons on my keyboard that will keep my hands busy so I do not send a text to my ex saying ‘hey, how are you? I was wondering if you fancied hanging out?’ Earlier this evening, I pressed other buttons – on the microwave, to heat up my dinner, so that I wouldn’t send a text. Later, when it’s reasonable enough that an adult might call it a night, I will brush my teeth so I don’t sent that text, go for a pee so I don’t send that text, roll my mattress out onto the floor and take a sleeping pill and have a wank and put on a podcast so I do not send that text. I will do all this extremely mindfully. With the focus and dedication of a powerful woman who will – under absolutely no circumstances – send that fucking text. Love is an addiction, my friends, and I have no willpower.
I’m drafting this post at my ex-boyfriend‘s flat. There’s something pleasingly empty about his flat. It’s tiny: his choice. It’s neat and clean and there’s hardly anything in it, besides a fridge full of treat food and drawers full of soft pyjamas and hoodies to which he encourages me to help myself. When I’m here, it feels deliciously like I’m on holiday from the rest of my life.
So this guy and I broke up, and I’m sad that we won’t get to play the bracelet game any more. Does that make me an arsehole? That upon breaking up with a good, kind man the thought which burns brightest in my mind isn’t guilt or soppiness but horny nostalgia? I don’t know. But as he said to me at the end, with characteristic grace: at least we were honest with each other. We were. I honestly wanted to shag him and get drunk and play Magic: the Gathering, he honestly wanted something more. I am, honestly, a bit of an arsehole right now.
It wasn’t that my body was wrong, for a start. Over the course of our relationship I changed a lot – sometimes I looked fucking spectacular and other times I looked crap. Same with him. I fancied the fuck out of him, always, regardless of what shape or size his body was or how he’d chosen to dress it today. We lived, we grew, we changed: our bodies could never have been the reason why we broke up.
I don’t sleep in our bedroom any more, I decamped to the spare room months ago. There are too many ghosts in our bedroom now, I do not like being in it. The room in which my ex-boyfriend used to work (and play, and sleep, and live) has long since been closed off: I use the space for drying laundry, but the door to it is firmly shut unless I’m hanging socks. This house is riddled with shadow-versions of him, and most of them congregate in there.