How do you handle a break up?
-Lost And Not Found
Dear Lost And Not Found,
I lost my voice when he walked out on me. Not even Adele could save us. I was in an oral relationship filled with heavy kissing, day drinking and shit talking. I remember seeing the snow as he walked down 4th Avenue, shivering in a crunchy wool coat, and that plaid scarf I hated.
Recounting a failing relationship can ruin romance. He didn’t like me writing about him, or the clothes I chose to wear. I loved a leather kilt or skirt paired with boots in the afternoon. Of course, I’m writing about him wearing a kilt.
We just broke up and I didn’t know if I could handle it. I walked around Union Square and got lost in people watching. The snow and crowds went on for miles. How can a place so busy feel so lonely? I sat on a bench and peered at the street like a homeless woman wearing lipstick—forgotten and left behind. I watched the misty snow dancing around, lifting up abandoned newspapers and McDonald’s cups. Winter in New York City was brutal.
I didn’t know if I could ever love again.
After losing myself for hours, I gathered the strength to ride the train. I followed the white tile that lined the halls of the subway. I watched a group of guys dressed in sweats and sneakers breakdancing to trap music.
I escaped the noise and entered the L train to Brooklyn. Adele was my go to girl for all matters of the heart. The verbal and physical abuse had us rolling through some deep shit.
One transfer and a replay of Adele’s album later, I arrived in my shitty neighborhood, but at $500 a month for a room to rent, made my place home. I went to the liquor store to cope. I felt empty, so naturally filling myself up with empty calories was a great idea. The little Latina hid behind the register texting on her phone.
“Honey, I need Hennessy.”
Two blocks and a shot later, I tossed my stuff on the bed while I poured myself a drink. My phone rang.
“Walter, where are you?”
“I’m in the house.”
‘“I need you to come down to Harlem Food Bar. Ray is crying telling me ya’ll broke up.”
“What am I supposed to do? He dumped me.”
Not happening—I’m not leaving Brooklyn. He doesn’t get to be the victim. He doesn’t get to be in tears when he cut me deeper than cocaine after a weekend binge. I drank some more, blasting Adele like she was at my own personal concert.
“But, rumor has it.” I sang. “He’s the one I’m leaving you for.”
And for a moment I was relieved. He may have been the only person I knew in NYC. But without him, I’m still standing. I’m still breathing and yes I’m still drinking.
Two hours later, Ray sent a black town car for me. I put on my Sunday’s best to access this mess. I settled on a black kilt in a leather jacket with white boots. I arrived at his townhouse in Canarsie where his grandmother lived.
I hopscotched my way through the snow to this house. A cool breeze caressed my legs blowing up my kilt, while the Hennessy warmed my heart.
His grandmother was the last person I wanted to see. She was a mean woman with thick hips and lips, and a dry wig covering the gray afro hiding underneath.
He opened the door in a white t-shirt and basketball shorts. He placed his finger over his lips and whispered, “She’s in the bathroom.”
I rushed passed the kitchen and tiptoed up the stairs to Ray’s room. I don’t understand why there was a pile of fresh laundry every time I entered his room. I noticed an open bottle of Absolute on the dresser in front of the mirror.
“Really,” I said. “You’re going to summon me here. You know she can’t stand me.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t know what to do.”
Bullshit, I thought to myself. You weren’t saying sorry when you were cheating on me. Slathering that penis with his saliva like the dude was paying for your student loans. No, you did it for free. My lips blocked me from saying it out loud.
“I heard you were at Harlem Food Bar crying,” I said. “I don’t remember you crying when you called me an ugly, skirt wearing b—h.”
A break-up can break your spirit. Maybe we were born to die. And we weren’t the people we dreamt of being. Where do we go from here? Am I supposed to put my life on hold because he’s not man enough to deal with his choices?
He cheated on me and left me after I forgave him. F–k him.
This is best thing that ever happened to me. I found my voice and it’s powerful. I went through all five stages of grief in one day. I loved him, but I loved me more. I left that night enlightened and determined to find love again.
Got a question? Email your letters at [email protected] His advice column will appear on Wednesday.