Friday, January 4, 2008

Romeo is some other where

So often, when you’ve been living with a lover and the relationship ends, one of you, inevitably the one who can afford it less, ends up scrounging for some place to call home. Lesbians, independent types that we notoriously are, should know better than to get caught without a place to call home, indebted and impoverished. Certainly we should have been listening when the women’s movement tried to teach us the supreme importance of financial independence. And yet . . .

And yet, one understands so well the old adage, “A stone in the oven keeps the wolf from the door.” Or, in other words, What you don’t have, no one will steal.

After the love and the sex and the sharing of a home are over, it’s natural to feel ripped off. If nothing else, your expectations of the relationship and love itself have been dashed. You feel cheated. So often, you’re not ready to accept having screwed it up again.

And then, if you are the one scrounging for a place to live with too little wherewithal, finding yourself thinking, "Some trailer parks aren't so bad,” or "Wow, a lousy studio apartment in a converted garage is really expensive!” or finding yourself living with strangers, you may feel an impending sense of failure, panic, or doom.

Maybe you’ve lived in a lot of different places. On a good day, you feel like a world citizen. You’re bigger than any one town or culture. You are footloose. Should you stay? Should you return to some old haunt? Should you go somewhere you’ve always wanted to see?

Other times you are in danger of realizing that everywhere you go, you will always feel homesick for somewhere else. Stay or go, it won’t matter.

Because, immediately after a break-up, there is no home. You are a woman without a country. Your heart, where your home supposedly was, is a fist, or a fractured vessel leaking broken roses, or at best, a wonky pump shunting oxygen-poor blood along reluctant veins. Your sex has lost her lust. Or, she has detached from your TOTALLY LAME heart and is free-lancing. And she’s talking like some college boy or sports bar patron about every woman who looks like she’s never been through what you’ve just been through.

The fact that you’re about as appealing as road rash to those women only occurs to you later. They can see you’ve been through the mill, but your sex is a study in obliviousness.

Good for her.

Someday she’ll come straggling back, assuming your heart gets its act together.

Someday, maybe, you will make a home for yourself that can survive the bad weather of love.

Originally published in Weird Sisters.

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