The image of the erased canvas and Mandy Len Catron’s thoughts on falling out of love made me think of how act of letting go of a relationship is also “… an active creation of absence.” Replacing what was there with something else: a blank. a nothingness. Perhaps that’s why wide open empty spaces in nature appeal to me. Stark. Bare. Calm. The loss is transformed into a clearing.
I think I was ten or eleven when my cousin Eric broke up with his long-term girlfriend Dana. I loved Dana. She was willowy thin with poofy permed hair and a thick Tennessee accent. When we visited, she talked to my sister and me like we were her friends, though I must’ve been, at most, half her age at the time.
I remember standing in my parents’ bathroom while my mom was doing her makeup one morning, trying to understand why Eric and Dana were splitting up. “Sometimes,” my mom said, “people just fall out of love.”
I was familiar with the fickle politics of elementary school romance (when Colby dumped me because I wouldn’t kiss him behind the lockers, I’d ripped his school photo into tiny pieces and deposited them into a friend’s open palm to give back to him) but I’d never imagined an adult could love someone…
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