Creative Writing

Dear Cig, I’m Breaking Up With You

The inimitable Lauren Bacall (via tumbler)
The inimitable Lauren Bacall (via tumbler)

Dear Cig,

I’m breaking up with you. I can’t take this madness anymore, of needing you so deeply. I can’t bear to be without you. It’s like there’s a monster inside of me that won’t be satiated no matter how often we’re together. I can’t go on like this.

We’ve been together so long you’ve become a part of me. I thought you were filling a need in me, for me, and perhaps for a while you did. But, lately it’s become clear that this is a one-sided relationship. I want you, and you’re indifferent to me. You really don’t give a fig about me, do you? When you’re not with me you’ll go along with anyone who picks you up. Whereas I have always worried about you- where you were, and when I could press you to my lips again. I have put you before almost all else, and you have made me an out-cast, standing in the cold, alone, bearing steely looks from strangers with judgy eyes.

Countless people have told me to dump you. Even strangers warned me about you, but I reasoned that they were just preaching what they’ve heard, as people often do. What about their vices? Their addictions? It’s incredibly rude to tell someone how to live their life, to tell a stranger what to do or not to do. They don’t understand our bond. I want to tell them to go smoke a tailpipe. Sometimes I do. But lately I’ve begun to think they’re right.

I remember when we met. I was just an innocent girl. I was trying to deal with adult life situations, and with you by my side I felt more grown-up, more capable. Tougher. You were there for me when life kicked my ass and I was alone. Now I see you didn’t really help me at all except to suppress those deep emotions in me and now they want to express like a volcano – in spite of you.

All those black and white 11 o’clock movies from the ’40’s and 50’s that I watched in those days, they glamorized you. A sophisticated satin-gowned actress sparkling with diamonds, in her pristine penthouse, blowing billowy clouds of smoke while on the phone saying, “Of course Darrrling, I’ll meet you at the club later.” It was so far away from my own life. I wanted to step into that screen and go with her. I wanted to be in that club too. You were my only connection between she and I – and you never made the proper introductions. I hate you for that.

And oh, all those foreign films! You were so good in those, so sexy. I remember you perfectly poised between those polished red nails, as she pulled you close to her blood-red lips, whispering, while a close-up of those lips detailed her exhale with every sensual curl of smoke. How I longed to smoke and drink coffee with the artists and writers, discuss the meaning of life and the purpose of art, exchange witticisms and criticisms while our laughter rose above the din of the cafe along with our smoke, into the Parisian night. Why didn’t you ever take me to Paris?

You see? You were part of that naive picture in my mind of who I wanted to become: a glamorous intellectual. I’ve since realized glamour is an illusion, and intellectuals don’t consult their heart.

This isn’t going to be like the last time we broke up. I was free of you for three glorious years. I didn’t even miss you once. In fact, I was glad you were gone. Then, that night I saw you with an old friend…

No. This time I will tell myself you don’t exist. I will starve that monster inside of me that makes me obsess over you. I know it’s going to hurt like hell at first, and that emotional volcano will tear my guts out, but I’ll get through it. I’m strong now. I’m no longer that innocent little girl that you charmed years ago. I will pry your hooks out of me one by one until I’ve got them all. I will ignore your calls, and fight the urge to go to you, no matter how badly my body craves you.

Everything I have thought about you is a lie. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. I don’t blame you really. It was all in my head. I fell in love with your potential, your image. I know you never said anything to lead me on, you just went along for the ride.

Now the ride is over.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sorry to see you go. You have been my companion for most of my life and for most of that I have enjoyed your company. It would be so much easier to let you stay, but I’ve searched my heart and mind and just can’t find one single reason to keep you around any longer. You’re suffocating me, and I want to breathe freely and see how good life can get without you.

I’m ending it with you for good, Cig.

First thing tomorrow.

This essay appeared on Rebelle Society. You can view it here.

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