I can’t believe it’s been a month since we said our last goodbye. Actually, it’s been 37 days and 11 hours…but who’s counting besides me. I remember our final night together. We were sitting eating chicken fajitas and some chips with salsa…I looked across the table at you, and I knew it was the end. Our love affair was over…an affair that started more than 30 years ago. It’s so hard to say goodbye, but I know I’ll be better off without you in my life. You hurt me.
You should, however, know that I think about you every day. When I wake up in the morning, I want to reach out and feel you in my hands just one more time. After a long run, with lunch, a mid-afternoon boost, with dinner. There are few moments of the day when you don’t invade my thoughts. But I resist your temptation every time. Finally. This time it’s for real. I know we’ve been down this road before, and every time I come crawling back, begging for your forgiveness. This time, it is truly goodbye. We’re over. I’m sure you’re somewhere reading this, shaking your head and assuming I’ll be back.
But that doesn’t mean what we had wasn’t real. I can’t really think of a single moment in my life when you weren’t there at my side. My wedding, the birth of my children, when Derek Jeter got a hit in his last game at Yankee Stadium, you were there graciously occupying the space in front of me. You were there the first time I saw Foo Fighters, on my honeymoon, studying for finals in college, after a big presentation at work. No one, nothing has been there for me more than you have, even when life wasn’t going as planned. And for that I’m eternally grateful.
The thing is, though, that for all the happiness you’ve brought me, you’ve also brought suffering. I became dependent on you, and I didn’t like how that made me feel. The failure of trying to quit you weighed on me. I needed to show myself that I could quit you. Plus, I mean all that sugar. Mountains and mountains of sugar. I didn’t need the internet to tell me that wasn’t good for me. Since you’ve been gone, I’ve lost 8 pounds without changing any other part of my diet. I feel better, I just do. And I proved to myself that you didn’t have the strangle hold on me that you thought you did. And I’m a dad now to two young boys. An “older” dad as they say. Maybe you’ve already done enough damage where leaving you now won’t make a difference. But if not, I can’t take the chance that you could hurt me later. I look at my boys and I just can’t. They motivate me more than anything to fight the urge to answer the phone when you call.
I dated your cousin Zero once. Remember that? You laughed at me, and said I would be back. You were right of course. One date with Zero and I was rushed to the doctor with a kidney stone. Ever pee blood? I didn’t think so. That shit was real. That was the last I ever saw of Zero…bitch.
I recently started dating your sister. She’s not nearly as pretty as you. Keep this between you and me if you don’t mind, but she won’t be around long either. She’s just my “nicotine gum” as my friend Elizabeth so eloquently put it. I haven’t told her yet, but I can tell she knows what we have isn’t real.
She gives me heartburn anyway.
I’ve been contemplating a real change. Everyone goes on and on about how great she is, how refreshing and light. And how she’ll fill you up without adding any weight or chemicals. How she’s just sunshine and roses. They tell me her name is Water. They say she’s boring at first, but really cool once you get to know her. I’ve never seen her before, but I know others think very highly of her. We’ll see. I’m not sure I can make that kind of commitment again.
Perhaps we’ll meet again Coca-Cola. Maybe we’ll bump into each other at a baseball game or the new Star Wars movie.
But until then, see you around…maybe.