On Heartbreak?

I cannot say for sure if I have ever had my heart broken. I do not mean being disappointed, the way you would be after failing an important exam or not getting a long chased-after contract or job, or missing out on a piece of cake at your cousin’s wedding, after also missing lunch because you were running about ensuring the guests were comfortable. I am talking about the oft-mentioned in pop culture heartbreak, the one of shitty and also not-so-shitty movies and novels, the one that is exalted and placed on the same pedestal as the similarly oft-mentioned love, that great deep all-consuming intense love of shitty and not-so-shitty movies and novels.

There is the supposed pain that comes after, ahem, the one leaves, after the masterpiece that was your shared canvas gets tarred by life, or pride, or just plain boredom, or because you never took her out for that dinner even after you had walked all around town together looking for a dress in your favourite colour. It is not that I am unlucky in love or a social leper, despite my slight shyness around women. I think it is more that I have always been very guarded with my feelings. I cannot remember around what time it was that I built up these walls around myself, or even say for sure there was ever a time there were no walls. Even when I become intensely enamoured with someone, whether or not the feelings are mutual, I have always been able to rationalize myself out of it, to convince myself that what I feel is not important or worth feeling and that I have better things to do anyway.

I remember once having as my screen-saver a picture of a dead Cupid with an arrow in his back and captioned “Fuck love”. I smiled to myself when I saw it as I picked up my phone, thinking, in my naivete, how immune I was to that stupid thing. At the time, I did not realize how close to the mark I was. I am not so much as immune as downright terrified of intimacy. The thought of letting someone get dangerously close to me and having to let them become an integral part of my life, having to give up share my space and my time for someone else, makes me almost numb with fear. And, ironically, the thought of being completely totally alone for a very long stretch makes me equally nervous. It is a delicate balance I have always been searching for; the balance between my ingrained introversion and loner tendencies and the natural impulse to be part of a group, and especially to be with someone exclusively.

Often, I have thought that my relationships that did not pan out were because subconsciously I did not want them to, and this manifested itself in the selfish and destructive behaviour that alienated even the most mellow and accepting people. My behaviour. I have been let down, yes, as I have let those who were close to me down, hurt those who allowed themselves to get intimate with me, and who, in some return, I became intimate with. Aside from all this is also the realization that I might not be particularly romantic. The rigmarole of romanticism, and especially romantic love, makes my eyes glaze over and my mind drift irredeemably far. With all this then in mind, or heart as it were, maybe the events that were supposed to make up or lead to a heartbreak I did not recognize for what they were. Who knows? Labda siku moja nitapatikana.



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