“I love you”. Followed by “farewell” were the last words I spoke to my former love. The sum of the last words she spoke to me were “goodbye”. It was a very clear charge to never contact her again. John Steinbeck broke it down beautifully in, "The Winter of Discontent":
“Farewell has a sweet sound of reluctance. Good-by is short and final, a word with teeth sharp to bite through the string that ties past to the future.”
My send-off was full of longing with that perpetual air of pathetic need, regret, and lament. Two days later, her’s was in a text - full of antipathy and a curt sense of loathing, finality, and satisfaction.
Without giving you all of the graphic details of the past two years, you might think, “Well, what the hell did he do to make her harbor this much disdain for him?” I would guess that my version of the story would have you sympathize with me. Perhaps her side of the story would make you sympathize with her. I just don’t know.
I do know that she was done with me 10 years before it ended. That added to the deplorable nature of my existence for the next 15 years. As I withdrew more and more I chose to ignore her blatant signs: No kissing, constant criticism, no appreciation, lack of interest in me, secrecy, discontent, and so on. But, we remained a great team. She was seriously my best friend. I know...it sounds so ridiculous and crazy in type, but that’s how it was - extremely dysfunctional. I suppose I just longed for what we had when we first gazed into each others souls and discovered something wonderful. I was still willing to fulfill the 'for better or worse' contract. She was not. There was nothing I would not have done for her and she knows it.
It is the last day of the year so, I’ll take the risk of overloading you:
William Ernest Henley, “A Love By The Sea”
Out of the starless night that covers me,
(O tribulation of the wind that rolls!)
Black as the cloud of some tremendous spell,
The susurration of the sighing sea
Sounds like the sobbing whisper of two souls
That tremble in a passion of farewell.
To the desires that trebled life in me,
(O melancholy of the wind that rolls!)
The dreams that seemed the future to foretell,
The hopes that mounted herward like the sea,
To all the sweet things sent on happy souls,
I cannot choose but bid a mute farewell.
And to the girl who was so much to me
(O lamentation of this wind that rolls!)
Since I may not the life of her compel,
Out of the night, beside the sounding sea,
Full of the love that might have blent our souls,
A sad, a last, a long, supreme farewell.
With all the drama, unresolved arguing, cold stares, and nights alone on the couch - I loved her through all of it. It was a privilege to know her. When it was good, God! Was it good! We were a pièce de résistance. We were Plath and Hughes, Rauschenberg and Jons, Charles and Ray, Stieglitz and O’Keeffe, Bonnie and Clyde, Cleopatra and Antony, Carter and Cash. Her gifts, talents, and insight were my balance and oh, how I miss it. Life is tough without her…Winnie the Pooh said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Indeed, how lucky was I.
Farewell, my friend (Dennis Wilson)