Hope Restored

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Dedicated to L.L. & K.L.

The song “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” is dated, cornball, and a bit lame. Yet it is accurate, especially if you are old enough to carry an AARP card.

When the RELATIONSHIP EVICTION notice is nailed and mailed to your heart you are in disbelief. You patiently wait for Allen Funt to make an appearance and explain this was just a misguided joke gone awry. When you regain your composure you realize that Allan Funt is dead and apparently so is the relationship you valued and counted on.

You frantically transform into a forensic accident investigator. You measure the ghastly tire skids leading to the jagged guardrail. You naively attempt to interview the other party but upon advice of counsel, they clam up. That frustrates you to no end.

Your friends reach out to you and they hear hours and hours of the same drivel. They are on the brink of calling a suicide hotline, not for you but themselves. Your poor 86 year old aunt had to invest in caller I.D. for her pink, princess dial phone. Even the Native American wooden statue (guarding the tobacco store) winces as you turn the corner.

You try to heal but you can’t help but notice all the landmarks of your relationship. They dot the landscape like roadside memorials. Adding insult to injury, this pain-fest is happening during the NFL offseason.

You create a morose soundtrack for the misery you are wallowing in. You play two hauntingly beautiful songs – Warren Zevon’s “Who Moved The Moon” and Dave Matthew’s “Some Devil.” The lyricists clearly traveled the same path you are trudging through.

Time heals, but the hands of time seem to be moving painfully slow. Maybe that is because you are hanging on to memories and the clock hands just as frantically as a dangling Harold Lloyd. Mercifully spring follows a bleak winter. Flowers bloom and that Zevon track doesn’t have the same sting. You’ve come to the realization you’ve squandered away much valuable time, energy, and emotion. The folly of your nonsense is starting to dawn on you. You’ve patiently and loyally waited at the arrival gate for a flight that will never ever arrive. Your ex is three time zones away and left you behind in their wispy contrails.

In the spirit of moving on you reluctantly re-enter the murky waters of online dating. You feel like an escaped aviator taking a bumpy ride back to the stalag. Three years later you see the same faces naively waiting for their utopian prince (who doesn’t exist). Their profiles don’t reflect any urgency. They are still walking the beach and cuddling on the couch with a good movie. Not a one likes rap music either. You want to scream!

You shake off the rust with a few dates. Then you run into a serial eater (not dater). She is more interested in a square meal than square you. As you yank the feeding tube, you realize dual ambivalence is not inspiration for a memorable love song. On your next date the chemistry set is working in overdrive. A short “meet and greet” turns into a marathon date and not once did you think about “what’s her name.” Things progress so well that you can’t believe your good fortune. Ultimately circumstances dictate that the time you shared under the sun was short (but ever so sweet). You felt like you captured a shooting star with your bare hand. You didn’t want this or the Sopranos to end but you were happy you experienced both. As it turns out, this messenger was a registered nurse. She delivered the medicine you so desperately needed. She graciously administered a transfusion of what every broken heart needs….hope, glorious hope.