Identity Box

On the floor there is a box. Its contents are the trappings acquired through the many months of being passionately in love. How ever meaningless they are now, formerly they were infused with the scent, sentiment, and sublimity of the one whom I loved. They were in this way artifacts of my obsession, the spoils of woman-conquering. I try not to notice them.

As an abstraction, when a lover is smitten with the beloved, over time they become unionized as one; a complete whole comprised of two separate halves. They ultimately form one complete identity. From the lover’s point of perception the deep-rooted need, and the ever-want to be with the beloved manifests at this level as intense desire. Above all, the beloved becomes an internalized necessity. That is to say that the beloved becomes interwoven with the lover’s overall conception of self-identity. In essence it could be stated with the sentiment “there is no me without you.” Given this condition, if through such poignant circumstances that the beloved abandons the lover, what becomes of identity? What possible path is there towards recourse?

It has been posited that time possesses the function of healing, or as Menander said: “Time is the healer of all necessary evils.” However in contrast Rose Kennedy took a counter view when she likened the matter to a perseverance of sanity. In her own words: “It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” Indeed, while deep inflicted inner wounds never truly fade, we will likewise always carry with us to some lingering degree the other person. I would posit that this is because on some subjective psychological level, falling deep in love fundamentally changes mental makeup much like leaving a hand imprint in wet cement. The lover’s perception has been altered or imprinted via the internalization of the beloved, i.e. the bond they form – the two halves creating the whole – the unionized identity (there is no me without you). Time, it would seem, precedes jadedness or desensitization. That is to say that in due time wounds may scar over, and the throb of pain may somewhat lessen due to constant exposure, but one may always carry the beloved within them due to the established unionized identity. In this way the question of what becomes of identity is answered thusly: it’s still there at the core.

In the meantime while contemplating these matters as I retire for the night, the box is still on the floor. Untouched since the last time just a few feet away from the bed. I reluctantly notice its contents. The identity box – full of photographs, clothing, letters, art, and precious nostalgia of the girl I loved – the crux of my identity. Although we were inevitably a failure, as I look into the past by way of a box filled with artifacts of a broken system, I can’t help but analyze solutions all the while it being for naught. Furthermore what am I supposed to do? How do I accept change? How does one cultivate amor fati? I admittedly don’t have the answers. Perhaps time will reveal the wisdom in its principles of vital experience.

Alternatively, perhaps the possibility of recourse lies within pondering the notion of being human. That is namely accepting fallibility, and lack of control. It is curious that through the acceptance of the answers being uncertain, a sense of relief or perhaps even resolve can be attained. At any rate I am hesitant to throw out the box. As painful as it is to view the past, and even though I will always carry her at base, the box is still full of things that correspond to our collective identity. Ultimately I am still in the grieving process, and letting go is a daunting task. Quite honestly it was always my position that I’d prefer to destroy, and be destroyed in love rather than being destroyed without it. Put simply, if we’re going to kill each other let’s die with our hands around each other’s throats because I love you too much to leave. Ultimately, now that you have left it’s not just your memory that is in a box.

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