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  • I tossed the tulips when you left. These oranges ones stayed alive until I left for Carolina. We never did learn the names of them before I tossed them in the compost. You left for California, and I was here in fucken Vermont.

    Things went worse than I expected. I fucken freaked, sweetheart, and I'm sorry. It didn't get bad until I left these flowers behind, and the house we were just starting to break in. It feels like home, now, but we were still in boxes when you left.

    I put away your clothes and unpacked your things each evening before I left. It was a distraction I needed – the focused required to make straight lines when folding your shirts, your pants. I would fold, and arrange until eleven or twelve in the evening, and pass out with my jaws clenched.

    But then I left these flowers and flew to see friends, and you drove to the desert to party, and my mind unwound and did all the things I feared it would, all the things my therapist and I had talked about the weeks preceding our respective trips.

    I don't cut myself anymore, darling. Two years since the last incision. But now my mind can do tricks it couldn't before, because it's tougher to slower it down, for me, at least, if there isn't a concussion, if there isn't a scar.

    The sad thing is, sweetheart, I mean it when I say things are better, when I tell you I'm healing, when I tell you that you make things better.

    The regressions, though, they discourage the shit out of me.

    Self discovery, darling, it's a rabbit hole, and we started all of this when I was halfway down or halfway up. For that I'm sorry.
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