While I was still covered in face paint from the night before, I went running. And then this song came on. It came on again while I was writing at my favorite pub.
The song of relationships past it seemed to bellow from beneath the staccato “Ho’s” and “Hey’s.”
Sadness tried to grab me. My inner self-beast tried surround and shake me. This is your fault, the beast growled. You did this to you, the beast roared. He actually doesn’t love you. Sucker.
It was easy to believe the beast a few minutes. He’d told me as much. I was a nice person, but he was going to go a different direction. At some point he’d have done anything for me; now, he wouldn’t.
But then my inner best friend showed up.
Hold your horses, she said. Would you want to be with someone who let go that fast? Who didn’t love you for you, but loved you for something else? Would you really want to love someone who couldn’t love you unless that love meant they would do anything for you? Being willing to do anything for someone is kind of dangerous, and a great way to lose yourself in a relationship. It’s basically the reason you’re single and figuring this all out.
My inner best friend was making some sense. And I would even gamble he cares about you. It takes a lot of time to sort these things out. Besides, you know how you feel, and in some ways, it almost doesn’t matter what he feels. You still get to feel this way.
Your fault, the beast said. Horrible. Worthless. He can do better. They all can. You don’t deserve someone to love you. You don’t deserve anything. And you won’t have it. You should rot in a hole. Crawl under the couch with the rat droppings and dust bunnies, the carcinogens and the butter.
Was the beast even making sense at this point? No way.
Yes, this song was allowed to make me feel bittersweetly melancholy. As well it should. If it didn’t, it would mean I didn’t care. But this song was not empowered to make me hate myself. Who the hell was that beast, grumblecaking away? Where did she come from? Why did she even get a say?
Please return to your porridge, my inner best friend said to the beast. I think you’re just hangry.
I was doubtful that hunger was the beast’s issue, but thankfully, she realized she was roaring a losing battle. I didn’t deserve to be beaten up by her, and frankly, I figured she had better things to do, porridge or otherwise.
And frankly, so did I.