Have you ever felt pain?
Not the one you feel when you bleed, when you bruise an arm or you hit your toe on the corner of the chest you keep in your living room…not that kind of pain. I’m talking about the one that doesn’t go away with doctors, and ointments and medicine…the pain the lodges itself in your head, but mostly in your heart. That’s the one I’m referring to.
I did. I do.
I have had my share of heartache or heartbreak (as songs and books so often call it). But never had I thought about it as much as I have been doing lately.
I’ve always prided myself on being rational, as much as emotional, on being able to step out and have a look at the bigger picture without really detaching myself from the situation. Of having an optimistic view on life and the chances she presented me everyday: be it a person, an object, a situation…anything!
Because, how could I let my life be ruled by the only wrong thing in it, if there were so many more to put a smile on my face? It wouldn’t be fair for me or for anybody else of my acquaintance.
But what if everything in your life collapsed at once? Would you be able to feel the pain then?
A friend once told me I had a very noble way of dealing with pain. I told her it wasn’t noble. It was just the only way I knew how. And where she might have yelled and slammed the door, I smiled and very quietly cried myself to sleep, once in a while (when my bedroom door was closed and everybody else had gone to sleep). Then I would wipe my tears and blow my nose, and I would stare at the ceiling for a very long time…I would think about all my lost chances at happiness and the “what ifs” kept piling up.
Till this one night, when I got a clear image of what I thought my love life had been so far.
Ok…after this you might find my idea funny, I know I laughed at it the first time it came to my mind, but it couldn’t have worked better. I’m an actress and director after all, I’m bound to be a visual person!
Picture the heart as a house. You own house. A place where you feel safe to be the yourself the most.
Now imagine you had some visitors. People you may or may not know so well (you guessed right! this is the part where the boys come in…literally).
I would open the door, we would greet each other, I would invite them in and we would sit in my couch.
Like a good host, I would try to find a TV show they’d like and turn the TV on; or maybe find a song they loved and play it on my stereo; a book they cherished and discuss it; or simply sit down and have a chat. Simple things. Friendly things.
Some of them had to attend their own businesses afterwards so they left. But there were some who stayed for lunch or dinner. Those got to know a bit more about me as I did about them: they discovered my mom’s wonderful cooking, my dad’s delicious coffee, my brother’s wine collection and my passion for baking! Like the tiles on the kitchen walls, everything would start to fit together.
Next came the corridor: photos of family and friends. Stories caught in a single click. Babies, smiles, birthdays, dances, tears, hugs, children, holidays, graduations, grown-ups, all spread on the wall in beautiful wooden frames – memories.
At last the door to the bedroom would appear. Sadly, some excused themselves even before I placed my hand on the doorknob, but for the few who stayed the door slowly opened. Don’t ask me what they saw inside…it is my room after all, I wouldn’t like to show it so freely to everyone…nobody does. Besides, this is actually the place where I can be myself the most – with all my flaws, and quirks, and singularities that make me a person different from all the others you have met.
Good friends would jump on my bed and sleep over a few times. But they had their own hearts to attend to, so they eventually left.
But when it came to that one person who would say they wanted to spend each moment of their life in that room, with only you, there was no one left.
That’s when the pain started. And I lost the will of asking anyone to stay. They would come and go and with every click of the front door lock, my heart clenched and it stung. Each time it did, a sigh with leave my lips and I would go to sleep and wait for the next day.
Three visits, three friends, three boys, three chances, three pleas, three runaways, three heartbreaks.
They say “three is a magic number”, but will four be able to stop the pain?
I don’t know and nobody else does, I guess…when the time comes we’ll see.
Until then I’ll stay still and let the pain get in once in a while. Let her roam the halls of my small house and maybe enter my room for a few minutes, a few hours, a few days.
After all, we don’t always have to feel okay, right?