Heartbreak in the Modern World



Heartbreak is just a ball of loss coated with nuts.

In the beginning I said, “You erase the past for me.”  Now I’m erasing the past for myself, tossing photographs of us in the virtual trash on my laptop.  In this modern world nothing keeps two people together except their own desire to stay together.  While all the technological artistry and sheer inertia of the fast moving earth are overtly conspiring to drive people apart, I find myself caught in the repetitive trap of serial monogamy.  The slightest ripple in the safety of the monogamous bond and it’s obvious both parties are eyeing the multitude of exits and quick fix start-up romances.  We can bounce repeatedly to the next partner who will inevitably turn out to be human and fallible.  When does it stop?  When do I get to see that the flawed partner in front of me has the perfect style of flaws?

Break-ups are never easy, but with all this new technology it plunges the traditional break-up into depths of despair normally reserved for people with chronic pain.  Let’s start with the text.   That simple text with its telltale factory preset chime, brought goose bumps to my flesh every time it beckoned, while now inflicting a Pavlovian punishment with its deathly stillness.  When two lovers part, there is a crevasse carved into the grand canyon of communication that makes even AT&T mourn the loss.

Perhaps, even more emotionally devastating than the text, a technology based fault line adding a deeper layer of bad to an already excruciating experience is the Facebook dilemma.  How do two people publically end their relationship, divide friends and family as if they are merely property, on Facebook?  Hopefully, I won’t have to experience seeing the proclamation that the person I loved for years, has just become extricated from a relationship, with me.  How does a couple save face on Facebook?

This new world would not be complete without the Whole Foods market conundrum.  If we break-up, who inherits Whole Foods?  “Oh fuck it,” I would say, “it’s too painful shopping there without you.  Seeing your ghost on every isle.  Really though, you’re buying more Bio K?”  What the hell is so important about probiotics and intestinal cleansing?  No, I don’t need to Google it.

If we do run into each other out at a club or a party, let’s not let it be awkward, (awkward.)  Just hand me your plate, or your almost empty glass because I might be working there, and we’re allowed to drink in the back.

If we part permanently the force to seek out someone new begins with a whisper and eventually starts shouting.  I revert back to the childlike belief that someone new will be perfect.  It’s only a child who could think that someone new will not also bring with them a new set of problems, expectations, and non-negotiable criteria.  New people are just shiny old partners who haven’t tried to control you yet.

A new partner looks good on paper, knows how to communicate, and get’s along with their family.  And then something curious happens.  They have problems.  And their problems interfere with, or exaggerate your own problems.  I haven’t yet met a partner who could fit in my life like an animal.

Why did we take it so seriously?  We could have laughed more.  Yes, done everything more.  We could have loved each other more.  Memories are such cruel narrators.  They tell you to be angry until you’ve lost your true love and then they convince you it was the best thing you ever had, and in case you missed the nuance, it will suddenly remember things you overlooked the first time.  Memory is a traitor, hired by a liar to make love it’s enemy.  After all, memory is not like a hard drive.