half-empty drawers and sparse shelves.

I find myself packing his things with absurd care and attention. Smoothing his jeans after folding and then refolding, stacking his books more neatly than they’ve ever been with the bookmark’s tassel settled just so, untangling his necklaces and wrapping them through his rings so he could not possibly lose them. Then, I move it all out into the hallway like airing dirty laundry so he does not have to ransack my half-empty drawers and sparse shelves to find them, then cram them all into a too-small, ill-fitting box. I keep asking myself why I am doing this. Why am I doing this to myself? And I find that it’s not because I’m regretful. It’s not because I’ll miss him, nor is it because I’m nostalgic for what has been. I find it’s because I’m hoping I can set him straight, place him on the correct foot before he walks out the door. I’m hoping next time he’ll do it right.


17 thoughts on “half-empty drawers and sparse shelves.

  1. WOW. This was powerful. So brief and so powerful. I must admit that had you not commented on my blog today and said what you’d said I wouldn’t fully grasp what was happening here. I had no idea. I haven’t read or commented much b/c it has been all I can do to get my daily posts up. I feel badly about that. So I’m sorry if I missed something critical in your writing. I’ll have to go back and look again. I had no idea you were married let alone going through a divorce. I have been there. You have my email and Facebook if you ever want to “talk” some more about it or just have someone to listen.

    1. Thank you, Joanna. You have no idea how much that means to me. Yes, he and I had been together since I was 16 years old, so 10 or more years. But I found myself seeking connections with other people, as this blog somewhat cryptically details. He and I never had much in common, and for the past couple years I’ve known that we weren’t meant to stay together. It was a relationship where only one partner can grow from feeding off the other. I suppose I was finally depleted. I’ve never had much of a sense of survival but over the years I grew exhausted, and something told me I needed to get out before I sought permanent solutions to temporary problems. I miss being charming, vibrant and optimistic. Sometimes I’m afraid that I’ve already given all the best parts of myself away and I have nothing left to offer.

      I’m kind of shocked with myself, as I’m never that forthright or honest about my feelings to anyone – poetry world or otherwise. But since it came out, I figure I should click “reply” anyway.

      1. I’m truly glad that you did. That in and of itself…. what you’ve been through is a deep WELL from which to draw for your writing and SO MANY of us have been or will be there that you might as well openly explore it in your writing. I would love to write more about my divorce journey but do not b/c of my fiancรฉ. Out of respect for him I am careful how deep I go in the soul-searching and such, even though I too know that the creative well is deep. Who knows, maybe someday I will use it under the guise of fiction and make a ton of money and then he won’t care ๐Ÿ˜‰

        What I really meant to say in this reply though is this: You ARE vibrant. You WILL be vibrant again even if you don’t feel like it now. You have not given the best parts of you away because you are always growing, always changing, always evolving into a better, richer more complex person each day and oftentimes heartbreak is what enriches us most… especially creatively. So when you’re ready… go out there and practice your charming and vibrant and optimistic… because it IS there… even if it is just a little rusty.

        In a shameless attempt to plug my own blog (just kidding) read this entry I wrote awhile back… it fits your situation I think: http://womaninthrisis.com/?s=Colorful+Despite&submit=Search

      2. That was truly beautiful, Joanna. Reading your post gave me a hopeful feeling I’ve been missing the past few days. I’m going to try and remember your tree when I start to feel empty. Thank you.

  2. I am so glad. You are the second friend I have shared that with because it just felt so appropriate to the situation. This too shall pass and you will feel new again. I understand that overwhelming feeling of drowning beneath circumstances but you will find yourself being “rebuilt” again. I promise.

  3. In conjunction with “on bagels, breadboxes and laundry baskets.” I’m getting the feeling it seems order/lack of order might have always been a pivotal thing with you two (though not necessarily acknowledged). Even separation is to be orderly, or at least as orderly as you can manage. As for its message? There are several possibilities of course, but I’m sure you are as capable as I am to read them.

say something to me.

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