my own private idaho

What a deliciously, perfect expressive phrase. My own private idaho. It evokes the solitary valleys and caverns of grief, the resounding echoes of the punishing thoughts that the mourner suffers. My own private Idaho.

Remember George? (of Tainted Love fame). I never mourned that loss, I got no closure. Despite the poetic turn of events, I never knew what happened to him, to us, or my ridiculous fantasies of a future together. After months of therapy about everything else in my past, I suddenly discovered the reason I stopped loving my work. I blamed my schoolwork for losing George. If I had never left to come to NY, then it would have been me he married. My ambition damned me to this fate. Such is the way the infantile unconscious mind thinks. I had no idea.

Closure, the therapist said. I had to tell him my feelings for him, because I never did. She promised I would heal. So I agreed to do it, not knowing the torrent of pain and emotion that would avalanche. Not realizing how much I had stored away, how the grief would feel like I lost him yesterday instead of 3 years ago.

He has a webpage. With pictures. You can send messages. I found it two weeks ago. I sent a 'hello' email first. He replied two hours later and sounded excited to hear from me, and not so excited about his life. I spent a week working on my email, THE EMAIL. I sent it last night around 2 am. I said I was sorry I never told him I was in love with him back then, that I knew it didn't matter anymore, but this email was therapy for myself. I also wrote a lot of other things. He replied at 6 am.

All day I was freaked out knowing the message waited for me at home. I couldn't read it at work because I didn't want to cry. His last email was so sweet and sad it made me sob for hours. All day I tried to prepare myself for whatever he might say. Tried to imagine the worst possible words so there would be no surprises.

Yet he surprised me anyway. Just a line saying he would reply later. Another sign of his considerate and kind nature, letting me know he got it and that he would respond in due time.

His wife has a page too, also with pictures. They have been married for three years. They have a whole life, a house, a dog, and married couple friends. And I? I am the Cheese. It makes me so sad and angry and ashamed for my covetous feelings.

Now I must wait. Wait for him to release me, to tell me the words I need to hear; whether they be that he fell madly in love with her and is deleriously happy or that he has struggled but believes in his commitments, that he is sorry I went through this, that he never knew I felt this way or that he did know I felt that way... whatever they may be, it will be a relief to know.

I lie in wait, curled in bed, crying off and on.

My own private idaho.