I had my first encounter with my ex-friend on Friday. She was at the Hirshorn with several people who I was once very close with. I don't think I have to tell you that it was pretty awful.
Shortly after the encounter, I left the friends I came with and went upstairs to explore the Morris Louis exhibit. This particular painting caught my eye as I wandered through the gallery, blurry-eyed and trying to hold back drunk tears. I plopped on the bench facing it, staring at the negative space in the center.
My chief complaint with modern abstract art is that it often distances itself from the viewer, letting form take precedence over content. But this painting spoke to me on Friday. It reminded me of something that I rationally know, but have a hard time believing: that being in a liminal stage can mean you're on the rise to something greater. I felt myself in the empty air, felt the effort it takes to leap to a platform I didn't plan for, at least not yet.
I know that I'll get through this stage just fine. I've gotten through it before. More importantly, I'll get through it with dignity, which is not something I've always been able to manage. Traditionally, when life hands me lemons I make lemon drop shots, heavy on the vodka, which I then throw back in life's face while telling life to fuck off. It occurs to me now that this is not the most mature way to handle rejection and disappointment.
So I won't say the unforgivable but true things I could say, I won't defend my actions or try to show why I'm right and other people are wrong. I won't make the accusations that a big part of me wants to scream out loud. Because none of it would change anything, and in the end, it's not like I'd feel better about any of it. I'm still trying to not be angry about all the wasted time and that one will take me longer. When I think of all those years, I feel raw and exposed.
But it's already better than it was. And the simple passage of time has a way of healing even the most brutal ravages.