We said our goodbyes and I dropped my clothes on the tile and got into the shower. Sat down on the linoleum, let the water pour over me, hugged every part of me that had been touched by hands that aren’t my own. I sat in the silence, let the stale echo of my bathroom walls bring me to the place. The dark place. The dark place that I’m not afraid to sit in. I know it so well. I know better than to resist it, so I invite it in and feel it surge through me and push sharply into all of my edges.
I thought of how brave it was to let myself feel the pain that arrives in a time of such immense heartbreak and aloneness. There are so many things available to us to numb ourselves with. But I wanted to feel it. I wanted to reach the deepest parts of sorrow and pain inside of myself. I know where these parts live inside of me, so I stick my hand into my flesh and dive in, pull out the rot and examine them, discover them, make art with them.
I wrapped my arms around my body and decided I would never be with somebody who can’t hold themself in the way I can hold myself. Who can’t let the room get so silent that it’s borderline unbearable and sit with their deepest wounds. I thought of all of the men I had been with who numbed and numbed and numbed through various escapes—alcohol, drugs, other women. Those who went from one relationship to the next, those who lost themselves in the bottle when things got hard. How can we expect others to meet us fully when they can’t meet themselves fully? How can we expect someone else’s patch of earth to hold us when it can’t hold them?
Then I thought of a lion. A deep roar in the night. Bleeding carcass in between jagged teeth. Dragging bloody prey under starlit skies. Calloused paws and wild mane.
Shower water scorches and tears fall and I decide that any love less than a lion is not a love for me. Any love less than a love that cannot meet themself as deeply as I’ve met myself is not a love for me. Any love less than a love that cannot surrender to their aloneness as shower water scorches and tears fall is not a love for me.
Bring me back your bloody prey and I’ll wash your hands with my sugar. Roar boisterous and raucous into the night and I’ll reply with my soft song.
I’ve worked too hard to settle for anyone that is not the King of the jungle.