“All good things must come to an end”
I have a question for you readers concerning matters of the heart. Let me tell you a little bit about my Problem.
It started just over a year ago. Ever since, no matter where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing, I have been carrying around a little ghost on my shoulder. This ghost is my problem. It has a name, and yes it’s a real person. But no, that person is not actually dead. No, in fact, he is very much alive and therein lies the issue.
My ghost’s life is full and real and active, but I only ever see reflections of it. Seeing his life in full is a privilege I have never known. I will notice the underlying whispers of his goings-on or glimpse images of his interactions out of the corner of my eye. These little bits of him are more or less infrequent and come as interruptions to my day. However, every time I catch these reminders of his actual existence, the figure on my shoulder comes into focus, taps my head, then waves at me with a grin upon his face. It is a mocking grin, but a beautiful one nonetheless.
This relationship between me and my phantom is a strange one. You see, as much as I enjoy having a little follower, I often wish him gone. Every teasing smile, every blurred image and series of sounds are coupled with a punch to the gut and a blow to the heart. Talk about an interruption. Sometimes the pain isn’t so bad, and it’s easy to just continue on with whatever I was doing. However, sometimes the pain is searing and it takes me a moment for me to catch my breath. The pain is rooted in that grin; the one that reminds me of the man before the ghost and the scars that he put on my heart.
There once was a time when my ghost was not just a remnant of a being, but a fully realized individual with blood pumping and thoughts thinking. It was during that time in my life that his face delivered not pain, but joy. His words were full of sustenance and his actions a comfort. Before my ghost was transformed into his present state, he was the oxygen I breathed. Like tobacco, I inhaled and exhaled so much that by the time I reluctantly quit, the damage had already been done. His presence had infiltrated my body and mind so much that during my withdrawals I obtained my little ghost who has yet to ever fill the shoes left by the human being I had come to love.
So every now and then I get poked by this apparition and I see the grin and I feel the pain. I feel the agony of his happiness without mine. The reminder of our once blissful times compared to the current reality of my loneliness. And yet, I carry around my ghost, my Problem, because something is better than nothing, right?
At what point do you choose to forget the one you once loved?