(Note: This is the free writing category. I used to do this a decade ago and decided to pick it back up. Basically, anything goes here. Some creative dump of words that are predominantly figments of my imagination. This piece I am writing is about allowing vulnerability and losing the person inexplicably.)

There is flotsam and jetsam of your memories etched in my head. You don’t touch me, but you haunt me. I am engulfed in the flames of your memory. I have flashbacks in the most neutral of places, fantasies of you in the most unlikely of situations. But as Justin Bieber’s song would say, I settle for the ghost of you.

My walls are well-built everywhere but when it comes to you, I am a castle with no walls. I sit and welcome the sunrise and think of you. I salute the night sky before I go to bed and I think of you. But even as you occupy that space in my head, I know that we’re mathematical asymptotes to each other: meeting and seeing but never touching or reaching.

Sometimes I wonder if the circumstances brought about the longing and the yearning. Regardless, you hover silently in my head like a distinct presence, some form of cosmic energy from a distance that influences my decisions and my mind in ways I could not fathom, in ways that simple physical logic could not explain.

You broke the walls I built for years. I let my needs be invisible for a long time but you made me aware of them. So I let you in. I welcomed you in that chaotic little inner world despite my fear and discomfort and it was so much worse than stripping naked in a snow laden ground. You awakened my inner child. I found myself singing songs, writing poems, exorcising bits and pieces of my feelings for you in creativity, and considering picking up the musical instrument that I abandoned decades ago. Such beauty. Such power. Such… pain because I continue to be close to a ghost. Sometimes I think it’s all in my head.

You are the ghost but you are the catalyst. In coming to terms with how I feel for you, I awakened parts of me that I thought were long dead in the altar of efficiency, productivity, and adult responsibility. I lost my old self. My walls were no longer the way to go. I need to be someone else, moving forward.

A ghost. A soul is walking in the chilly air of this unspoken madness. Aren’t we all haunted by the need to show the most intimate parts of our souls to another? And spend our entire lives trying to replicate that connection when we lose it? I am not even going to try to replace what I lost when you turned from a real presence into a ghost. I just accepted that it was a unique thing and irreplaceable by the rest of the world.

You mirrored my longings. You were a presence in my life, until you were not and I was left to pick up the broken pieces of opening myself up only to be shut out. But I don’t fault anyone else but myself. I take full responsibility because I allowed someone in the deepest part of myself and I had hoped it was not in vain, had hoped that the person who broke the walls would understand the fragility and preciousness of what I genuinely gave. This is the risk we take when we love with all our hearts. We may end up being badly broken by the person we open up our hearts to.

There is always that one person who, when he or she appears, will leave you defenseless. He or she will appear like light at the end of a tunnel but also has the power to run over your heart like a freight train in full speed. You can’t even pause to ask “What the fark just happened?” You just find that you need to mend fast and pick up all the bandaids you can get your hands on. Patch yourself up, show up like nothing happened, and go through life with its motions mechanically until you find your bearings.

I hope there are still bits and pieces of that broken heart to salvage. And I hope that heart learns that it deserves more than a ghost in its life if it’s able to give this much love, this much vulnerability and passion for another.