A bit wobbly today. In fact, majorly jittery and wobbly. I couldn't even concentrate properly in yoga -- the one sure way to get me on my feet again. Getting over a love affair gone awry takes time. This is what I'm told. I'm in the driveway sobbing, great rivers pouring down my face, and my ex-husband is on the phone walking me through it, step by step, gently and kindly. "I've just been through this," he said. "It's natural to think that this was a cynical move by the guy, but people really do their best. It's not you." I sob a bit more. Sniff. Look in the mirror at my hideously red, grimacing, wet, goblin-like face, look down and realizing I'm wearing my engagement ring -- a beautiful diamond and sapphire ring that I put on yesterday for a meeting because it matched my dress. It's on my right hand, not my left, but I like the way it looks. It makes me feel weirdly safe. My ex-husband is kind. "We're in this together, you know" he says, and the humanity makes me sob even more, like a truculent, hyper-ventilating two-year old. The sweetness is too hard to bear. I am so very, very grateful for this kind, kind man and not being in a husband/wife relationship with him means that we will always be there for each other, until we are both old and incapacitated and sitting in chairs in the garden, wrapped in blankets, him and me, old, old friends, against the world. It makes me hiccup with emotion. The hiccuping makes me cough and splutter. I am amused at my own miserableness.
But it's hard not to make the other person (the ex boyfriend, the LDR, the charming, adorable, messed up man (I feel a Sarah MacLachlan song coming on)) the villain. It seems to be the only way to get over this stuff. Oh Lord, I am so very naive and unused to this. Dear Lord, for an injection of sophistication and elegance and cold-hearted meanness. I have NO idea what to do in this territory. I fluctuate from being fine and jolly and happy and myself, to wanting to roll up in a ball with Thistle, in bed. Applying myself to my work, or writing, or walking seem to be the only ways to assuage it. But I just don't understand (she wailed, plaintively). I just don't understand.
The great thing about crying is that your face becomes so indescribably screwed up and hideous and contorted and beetroot like and awful that if you catch a glance of yourself in the mirror that way you can't help but laugh. No-one looks good crying, except perhaps the actresses who have been botoxed within an inch of their smiles. No-one does. And we cry like children, even as adults. First you feel sorry for yourself. Then your bottom lip starts to wobble, then you sniff a bit as if you're going to somehow, miraculously stem the flow, and then you just give up, and the wails start, loudly, inelegantly, sometimes bubbly, all kind of bodily fluids appear, even ones you didn't know you had. And you become stiff with it, stiff with misery, like a character from Dickens. A caricature. The weeping ladies in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, whose crying wouldn't stop till the horses stopped.
This duk, of whom I make mencioun,
When he was come almost unto the toun,
In al his wele and in his moste pryde,
He was war, as he caste his eye asyde,
Wher that ther kneled in the hye weye
A companye of ladies, tweye and tweye,
Ech after other, clad in clothes blake;
But swich a cry and swich a wo they make,
That in this world nis creature livinge,
That herde swich another weymentinge;
And of this cry they nolde never stenten,
Til they the reynes of his brydel henten.
You have to laugh, right?
And then there's this:
And of course, this:
Enjoy it. Seriously. It's cathartic. And it makes you hungry. For chocolate.