In the beginning, we had a storybook relationship; it was beautiful, magical. I would think about it all the time, write page after page, fantasize, visualize, spend every waking moment daydreaming about it, working and reworking on our relationship. I set aside time, hours, every day to work on it, cultivate and nurture it, trying to make it as real as it felt in my head. I studied it. I needed to know everything about it, every nuance, every cranny, every secret. I thought, believed, there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for it, that no sacrifice was too costly…for our love.
I was in Love with my Story. I was in Love with the Story in my head and what it could one day be in the real world – powerful, tragic, gigantic, romantic, beautiful, Great.
I dreamed about it almost every night. I would fantasize, creating situations, scenarios, meet-cutes, passionate embraces, and risky encounters. It felt like my friend, like it would sustain me until The End.
But, then something happened, like it invariably does. The thrill dissipated, then the rose cracked and fell away. The magic was gone and also was any passion I once had for it. I started missing days, then I started missing days, and not caring. I drug myself back into the relationship, tossed anything I could find – a writing quote, a story, and old idea in my notebook – onto the embers of my once ardent passion and huffed and puffed until it sparked again. And it was good again, for a while. My eyes were bright, my heart was light, the words flowed like sweet nothings under the covers.
…for the blink of an eye. And then we were back to trying to find a way to make it through one more page. We have the occasional connection. More often than not, I approach it with a sense of dread and sadness, not knowing what to do with or for it.
And now? I have to make myself think about it. I have to drag myself to my desk, force myself to stay in my chair, not to let my eye wander to something even slightly interesting. We spend hour after hour just looking at each other. I’m sick of it. It has all these needs I haven’t fulfilled, that I may not even be able to fulfill. And, it makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel like a failure, like a loser.
The thrill is gone. All that’s left is duty, habit, and the nagging eternal poke (“Write!”) that you feel when you don’t give in to it. I tried running away from it, starting something new, but it stays on my mind (at the edges, in the middle), at the front and dulls whatever fun I’m trying to have.
I don’t want to see or think about my story again, ever. I’ve looked at it enough, and I can only vaguely remember what I saw it in to begin with. But I remember how it made my cold heart leap; I can still feel it. The only way to get out of the relationship is to stop writing altogether.
Or finish the Story.