I’m keeping your shampoo and conditioner in case you ever come back to Texas, wind up staying in my bed and showering in my shower the next morning.

I’m keeping the soft, worn hospital blanket your mom “borrowed” from Fort Sam.

I’m keeping the David Yurman ring you gave me one Christmas. It was never really my style but you said it was the first ring you ever bought a girl. You were 28 years old when you said that.

I’m keeping some Skillets in the freezer in case you come back and maybe just want to come over for breakfast. This is your favorite breakfast (besides Eggs Benedict).

I’m keeping my hair long in case you come back even though I really want the Rihanna haircut. You always told me to keep it long. Anyway, it’s so cliche for girls to cut their hair post breakup.

I’m keeping the smiles/sea/drinks/sunset picture of us in Cabo on my bookshelf so you can remember the trip when we fell in love in case you come back.

I’m keeping your phone number and all three email addresses in the manila file folder labeled “Canada Documents” tucked in back of a coat closet. I had to delete them from my phone and laptop because the temptation to use them became nearly unbearable after we surpassed our previous breakup record of 22 days. But I might need them, in case you come back.

I’m keeping up appearances in case you come back. No badmouthing or crying in public. I ran into the Sprockett guy’s girlfriend last week. When she didn’t recognize me I reflexively said, “I’m Harry’s girlfriend.” Her lightbulb went on and mine dimmed. “Well…ex,” I corrected. “Ex-girlfriend.” A quick recovery.

I’m keeping the Spanish Dagger you left at my place. You used to huff on its leaves to speed up photosynthesis. You’ll want to see how well it’s doing, if you come back.

I’m keeping the radio preset to 89.1 in case you come back and want to discuss something from NPR. You’re the only person I know who wants to discuss what they heard on NPR. Actually you’re the only person I know who listens to NPR.

I’m keeping a low profile.

You can’t smoke, drink, cry, fuck or wish a person out of your system.

Can you write someone away? Maybe.

I’m keeping an open mind. To new possibilities.

And to old ones.

1. This American Life broadcast #339 “Breakup” released 08/24/2007. Available for $0.95 on iTunes or I can email the MP3 to you.

2. Sweat. The gym kind.

3. Cary Tenis’s advice in general and in particular this.

4. Moderate seclusion.

5. “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life” by Steven Hayes

6. The blog of NY Times hip hop critic Sasha Frere Jones

7. Mozella’s Light Years Away

Sat in my apartment and cried.

Cried until the tears formed a single stream and pooled in the hollow indentation at the base of my throat, spilling.

If you had been watching you wouldn’t have heard a sound because the air conditioner was roaring so loud it muffled even the cracked sobs.

Thought about getting in the shower. Putting on a great outfit. Getting drunk with friends at the bar.

Remembered how that doesn’t work.

The heart can’t process pain like the liver filters alcohol. Undealt with pain sticks around. Denial lodges it deeper.

So the crying continued.

And continued.

And continued spasmodically.

Got tired of the crying. Changed. Drove to the Super Target NOW OPEN by my apartment and bought some really expensive eye drops, ones that cost more than $3, and did some damage control.

(The fact a person can go to Target in any state of disarray and no one will comment or appear to notice makes me truly appreciate living in America)

Came home and sat on the stairs for a long time.

If you had been watching you would have thought the wall had some kind of hypnotic power but actually a slideshow of us was playing in my head.

Highlights and lowlights. The usual scenes.

Thought the crying was going to start again but it didn’t.

Told myself the worst was over.

Put on my sneakers.

Walked to the park.

In the narrow embrace of the trees started running.

Hard running, hard breathing.

Went all the way inside my head until there was no reason to be running and no running and no park and no me.

Got inside the culvert, took my shuffle off and yelled.

At my own weakness. At yours.

At the discrepancy between what love could be and what it ends up being.

Walked back to my apartment.

Booted up the computer and listened to that Sia song.

Wrote this.

Turned off the computer and waited for it to be Monday.