write where it hurts

I read a playwright’s bio because I want a reference for my own. Hers is a page long, spectacular. Award winning. Artistic residency. Mine is a paragraph.

At my most masochistic, I scroll through a theater’s “Past Playwright Fellows” section to see if any of them have blonde hair. They don’t.

Obviously that doesn’t matter. Everything relies on the writing. Regardless of what’s happening or how you feel. Did you write it down? It is a muscle and a meditation practice. It is blissful catharsis and maddening frustration. And you show up for it, always. Look at whatever is felt and write it out.

After work, he comes over and reminds me of my masochism in other ways. It looks scary but is consensual. Pain on my terms.

Then he let me in on darkness from his past. Traumas that bubbled up when he saw a play. Memories that he can only start to process now. None of my words felt helpful so I just listened and wrapped myself tighter around him. Closeness.

Do I write a play about the healing power of getting my hair pulled? Do I want to turn a spotlight on something so raw?

He went home and I fell asleep at 9:30. Woke up feeling clear.

Then this morning my ex revealed that he is also polyamorous. This wasn’t a surprise but it did set off a lot of sparks in my brain. Questions. Curiosity. Anxiety (because of course).

When we were together, I was so scared and jealous at the end. I shoved all of it away because my heart was bruised. I was scared of that pain.

But why did I act like that? If we are the same, then why couldn’t I have let him do what I also wanted to do? Why did it take pandemic loneliness for me to lean into this?

He asked me if I was dating multiple people. I really did not want to know if he was. The old fear bubbles right back up. Dating people does not mean you are not available. But tell that to my primal abandonment terror.

And anyway this ex is now in a completely different state so what’s the point, what are you even feeling?

It’s mostly just the ego not wanting to be hurt again. Especially not by this person who has accidentally hurt it so many times already.

Oops sorry I didn’t know how to communicate and neither did you so we left marks and scars on each other’s hearts.

I grow and make choices. And I still get hurt and skitter off like a frightened animal at times. I guess none of this was meant to make those feelings go away. But at least we’re still in each other’s lives, even after all of that.