I wonder what it meant to me. I remember the ring. I remember the proposal. I don’t really remember how I felt. I don’t remember not because it can’t be remembered, but because remembering hurts too much now. The pain in the present overpowers whatever I felt then, and so I can’t feel. It ends up drowned.

Was I happy? Girls are. Usually. But I want to know how I really felt.

Yesterday hurt and I survived the day reasonably well anyway. I woke up again in the morning though, and it is like everything got turned off in the night. The lights are out, the door shut. I feel like I’m glass—hard and transparent. It’s not how I want to be.

I try to get “warm.” It’s hard. When you are like that, nothing seems to really get in. I try to get literally warm, because that helps. It’s not freezing cold anymore, but it’s chilly in the mornings and I bundle up, pull a blanket up, heat a hot water bottle. It seems to help. I start having feelings again, just vague flickers of them. I feel a little less like glass.

The proposal changed everything.

There was the whole year when everything was exciting and new and we were in love and happy, and then there was the proposal and it felt different after that. It was different in several ways. The sense of being valued was profound. Not that I didn’t feel valued before, but it wasn’t the sense that stood out most. The joy was the loudest.

When Natalya asked me to marry her, it was the strongest statement she could make that I mattered to her short of risking her life for me (and she did that too): That sense of being valued and of valuing the other is a different feeling from being simply, wonderfully in love.

There are other feelings, but that’s the main one.

Advertisements