Last Place

Dear A,

I don’t even know where to start. I don’t think anyone could possibly understand exactly how I feel. The last few years have felt like I’ve been running a race waist deep in water while everyone else has the advantage of dry land. The truth is: I’ve always hovered over an infinite ocean. And there was always something or someone that kept me above the surface that maintained an even playing field. I was never truly out of the race.

A — You were my bridge. You kept me going; encouraged me in ways I could not find anywhere else. Hell, with you I even felt like I was winning most of the time. I was always ahead of the demons against whom I compete. I know you were bruised and broken most of the time, often quite literally. But we complemented each other so beautifully that our goals were never out of reach. You have saved my life countless times figuratively, and even once quite literally.

And then I had to fuck it all up, like I do with everything. I didn’t just burn the bridge that you were. Out of my own insecurities and twisted frames of mind, I planted explosives, detonated them, and then jumped overboard into that ocean you were protecting me from. I hurt you…. I broke you…. and then I made sure that I left no way of ever getting back to you. Even if you were able to be repaired and made whole again, which I am quite sure you were, I cannot reach you from the depths to which I descended. You are still a bridge — a beautiful, expansive bridge that can take you anywhere you want to go while I flounder here waist-deep in this ocean of despair, running a now-pointless race I have no hopes of ever finishing, let alone win.

It’s been a few years now since I destroyed the only relationship that truly kept me sane and made me feel worthwhile. I’ve fallen lower, so much lower than I’ve ever been before, even when you saved me from myself. And not a conscious hour goes by where I don’t think about you and what you meant to me. I’ve completely lost myself. The enemies in my mind are taking over and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I’ve been trying to just live life, take care of my family, and feel some semblance of importance or value, but ultimately I have none. You were the only one who understood me and how my mind worked. You were the only one from whom I had no secrets. I could speak openly with you without fear of judgment and you could provide actual emotional and mental support and stimulation. Even in my marriage — hell, especially in my marriage — I can’t even come close to the level of connection you provided.

I’m not asking for forgiveness, because I deserve none. I’m not asking for reconciliation or any sort of amends. You have your family to provide for and yourself to care for. I would only get in the way in all forms of being. But I am sorry for all I put you through. I’m sorry for shutting you out, putting you down, and essentially demolishing our entire friendship that kept us both going. I was the epitome of an asshole, and even that phrase should be awarded “Understatement of the Century”. My heart is and will continue to be heavy with regret every waking moment for the rest of my days. The only reason I am still here is because of my daughter, and I fear one day even that may not be enough.

And if that time comes, you won’t be there to save me again.

-E