• Tish Burns


I wish I could write this better.

I don't have any unholy inspiration today. I don't have a dirty story from the past to compare and contrast with today's fucking bad sad state of affairs.

I can't wear makeup on my eyes anymore because I don't know when I'm going to start crying. I have fat pink eyelids and I'm tired today. I woke up yesterday refreshed and at peace. Sleep didn't come as easy last night.

Of the many minds I have right now such as the righteous angry, the burning jealous, the mourning, the deluded fantasy, the guilty and responsible reigns supreme. I was writing yesterday about everything that's happened in the past few weeks that all culminated in the disaster that was Monday and it came out through my fingers on the keys that I fucked up. I fucked up so hard.

When I met Rob he told me everything I needed to know. He was fresh back from a relapse and newly diagnosed with cancer. But the part of my brain that should have said, "This poor guy cannot be anything but crazy and justifiably so..." (who possibly could be anything but crazy under those circumstances?) shut down.

I should have given him a hug and let him go like I should have given that Norwegian guy a hug and said goodbye as soon as he told me he was married.

Rob is not a bad fish and he's not too small but it was a situation that required catch and release. That was supposed to be what happened. I never make a second date. That would have been the kindest thing, the wisest thing to do. But we got along so well, it was so easy and comfortable, we have so much in common. It's hard to be wise when you get big ideas about being of service and about being in love.

My sweet sponsor is in her dotage, a woman of great faith, a practicing Episcopalian, a writer and a romantic like me. All I ever talk to her about is Rob. The first thing I ever really talked to her about was Rob when he and I were three weeks into it and I left him sleeping at my house while I went to a women's meeting. I shared about him. My heart was already half broken over him because I knew I was going to lose him. I thought then I'd lose him to death but I thought a lot of things that have turned out to be untrue. We talked outside after the meeting and she told me I couldn't leave him. She felt that I had a spiritual calling to be with him. And I thought, hell yeah. That's what this is. Spiritual. Then I bought him two heart-shaped mylar balloons at the 99 and made him a copy of keys to my house.

I don't know if those first few weeks of utter bliss have been worth all the pain and harm that's been done since then. I really have not felt happier than I was then in maybe ever.

I've used this platform to take a lot of Rob's inventory, I texted to destroy on Monday. But I am eight years sober. I know, I KNOW I'm not supposed to date newcomers. If I had let him go after our first coffee date, if I knew how to say goodbye to someone as handsome and endearing and dying as he was none of this would have happened. Disregarding anything he might have done wrong I am wholly to blame. Because he couldn't have done anything wrong if we never saw each other again. I put myself in a position I knew was going to hurt me. And I lost my damn mind when it did because it didn't hurt me in the way I expected.

Sometimes I build bridges with burning wood.

I want so much to be able to talk to him again, to see him again. But I am still in love with him, I would not be able to keep my hands off, I can't do anything but cause us both more harm. There isn't really any way to make it up except to do us both the favor of staying out of his life. Sorry isn't enough. And neither are pushups.

I'm going to pray so hard. For him I'll ask that he gets everything he wants and that he gets through the ordeals he's facing with comfort, grace, ease and all the love there is available to him. For me I will pray to be truly of service and not in self-serving service, to be more capable of loving unconditionally, to be more generous and less of a selfish, insane brat.


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