The Potomac

Written By - Tessa Cash

In an amalgamation of probing questions, advice and facts that came to light, it became abundantly clear that his words were full of fantastical light that had no grounding, no future and no reality.

In Washington DC the lights turned out for me in a real, despairing manner that was completely devoid of hope. It felt different to what the last six weeks had tortured me with. It felt like the answer I’d feared the entire seven months since we’d met had finally come to pass.

This was bottom. And it felt strangely peaceful. I was on my own again, nimbly floating in a still, glassy river that was chilly on the outside but generating it’s own self warmth. The future looked like the barren trees that grew along the Potomac River. It was unknown what the Spring would bring with the bloom. But it was entirely beautiful precisely as it was in that moment.

Oh metaphor how I love you. You are the answer to life’s great unknown. Silent, calm and peaceful tears welled up and fell from my eyes. I don’t believe you Florence and the Machine when you sing:

Sometimes I wish for falling
Wish for the release
Wish for falling through the air
To give me some relief
Because falling’s not the problem
When I’m falling I’m at peace
It’s only when I hit the ground that causes all the grief.

Falling had been the very worst part. Maybe because I fell from my own self constructed tower that had been built not on love but on the hope of the empty promise of it. On a promise I’d fancifully decorated, with help from him granted. I wish he’d shut me down. I wish I’d had the strength to shut myself down. I guess that’s where my insane sense of hope, will power and strength originated.

So perhaps I’ll keep that and try wisdom for a change. Wisdom does indeed come with experience. Maybe all the love I’d been giving away needed to be channelled into myself for a little while. The problem was, I didn’t know how to do that.

I watched the waiter cleaning the Qatari cafe table in Harrods like his life depended on it. Was that what mattered? This shiny department store with all the shiny beautiful things? My heart was broken. What was this pain that left me gutteral crying in stitches of desolation on my woven vinyl floor? That left me walking the streets of London numb and cold inside? I was out in a boat, drifting away, crying out to be loved. Why did I allow myself to accept tiny crumbs and subsequently aggrandise them?

Life is so devastating fleeting when you love someone. Life becomes precious, special, full of hope and possibility. Love empowers. It sets you free. I didn’t want to look back in forty years and wish I’d had that extra year. That the love was worth fighting for. That when we die and part, you’d give anything for even an extra hour together. That cancer and car accidents and horrible things happen and my heart that I wear so vehemently on my sleeve can’t help reduce the meaning of life to a belief that love exists to make life worthwhile. That it covers all the hurt and pain and anxiety. That the cracks wounds leave are meant to be places meant to be filled in with love. I guess I couldn’t love someone who’s heart was so damn guarded by a plaque of pain that hadn’t been dealt with. Who couldn’t see or understand what love truly was because of fear and insecurity and past hurts. I couldn’t keep giving until I was empty to try and prove and teach that to someone either. So as painful as it was, I had to accept that my love just wasn’t welcome there, and somehow heal myself and move on.