I spend my hours—God knows how many hours—fast-forwarding and rewinding through that day, as if I’m watching from behind a screen. It’s like a movie I’ve seen time and time again. I see all of the characters. But I don’t particularly identify with any of them. I know all of their lines.
I think of that day as only a play that I know really well. I’m sitting in the audience each time. Sometimes, I daydream that the overhead lights turn on during the middle of the play and the cast of characters all look up, confused, waiting.
I can see most of them clearly from my seat:
The actor on the left who sits on the couch.
The actor who is trusting after a sensitive conversation.
The actor who has another drink.
The actor in a strange person’s bed, saying, “Remember our conversation earlier?”
The actor whose face is always shadowed, whose face I can never quite make out from my seat.
I spend my hours—God knows how many hours—determined to find where I went so wrong.
I daydream about leaving my seat, turning on the overhead lights myself, running through the auditorium, climbing on the stage, and handing the cast the perfect lines to sabotage their play, so I don’t have to keep watching it in my head.
I wish it had been a play and not my life. I wish I could have slammed open the bedroom door, held my hand, applauded me if I told them courageously “fuck you,” driven me home.
I want to get out of repeat. I want to get out of self-blame. The only way I know how to turn it off is to think that nothing happened to me, to believe that I’m overreacting, that I’m just being stupid. It’s easy to believe; it hurts a lot less. I don’t want those to be the only options. I want to love me again.