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Sometimes things fall apart for what seems to be no reason at all. Not enough attention to detail, or the wrong inflection on a joke and suddenly the closeness is gone. Some part of your nature, lying long dormant, exerts itself, needs to be expressed, cannot be expressed within the confines of your relationship.

It's hard to remember in these moments the perfection of the thing you are leaving behind like an old cocoon, the way you once looked at someone and your heart ached and you thought you would never ever be this happy again, as long as you lived. It's hard to acknowledge both of these realities at once.

I can remember breaking up with him. The feeling one night that I could not bear it, I was going to cry forever, I would never be whole again. All the melodramatic sentiment in the world was suddenly and disgustingly real for me.

And then what?

Of course I stopped crying, of course I could bear it. But was I ever whole again? No, not really, not that me. There were never the same jokes, the same understandings, the same magic. No one would ever fit me exactly the way he had.

So: new jokes, new understandings, new magic. A new boyfriend with whom I discussed the transcendent instead of making fun of it.

The next time we saw each other we were both disappointed. He wasn't who I remembered. And I wasn't who he remembered. How could we be?

There was no us anymore.