Monday, February 1, 2010

I guess it's really over

I finally did it.

I threw out the oatmeal boxes.

Have I ever explained the origin of my name?

When the philosopher and I were getting to know each other, mainly by e-mail and eventually by phone calls in the exactly 6 months between when we met on line and he crossed my threshold, he sent me a picture taken from his office window with a pinhole camera. I knew a bit about pinhole photography, loved the effect, and was especially excited about developing pictures in a darkroom, which I'd never done. It was in my blood, though. My dad used to develop pictures in the bathroom and hang the negatives from the shower rod.

So the idea developed for buiding and using pinhole cameras while he was down here. A healthy idea, really, to have an activity other than making our in-the-flesh debuts as BDSM practitioners. Especially since he would be visiting for a few days.

Now the most convenient base for a pinhole camera is a round, cardboard oatmeal box. And he felt we should have around 10 cameras. So... (I really do need to make another batch of oatmeal cookies from what's left of the contents of those boxes.)

The weather was thoroughly disgusting that August weekend. Hot and muggy and grey. Not at all ideal for being outside, taking pictures through a tiny hole in the side of a cardboard box. (Well, actually, the hole was made in a piece of Coke can attached inside the oatmeal box. Very complex construction.) We experimented with my SAD light boxes, and found we could use them to do indoor photography, and created some very cool still life shots.

We used the cameras on at least one return visit. It was fun. We were making progress, although still had trouble with over-exposures as, being over-cautious by his own description, he often left the aperture open for too long.

And then it was over.

In many ways, it's my fault it was over. I couldn't take the stress any more, mainly of the silence, of his dissertation, of his stress. I thought I could, but I couldn't. And perhaps I was doubting that anything would really be different when and if he did finish his degree. Perhaps he really wasn't cut out for a relationship.

Worst of all, I didn't have the guts to break it off. I couldn't bear to let it go. I couldn't bear to let him go. So I became totally insufferable until he was the one to pull the plug.

I never stopped wishing it could work.

But it's heading on a year now. I write him every so often, and he only answered once, when I told him we were all safe after the fatal DC Metro crash. He has never told me not to write. But I finally stopped. Was the last message in September for his birthday? I can't remember.

I miss him.

I kept hoping.

Even with all my feelings for the sadist, I never stopped missing the philosopher. And never stopped hoping it could work out after all. Even though I knew it never could.

I'm trying to give up.
I'm trying to let go.

My house is a toxic waste dump. It's overflowing with clutter. Every weekend I think I'm going to make progress, and then I end up too exhausted and too busy and fixated on the sadist and doing his assignments to finish my to-do list. Which is too long anyway.

But this weekend, I did manage to make a decision.
I would get rid of the cameras.
If I remember correctly, that's 10 small ones and 2 big ones.
I would just toss them out.
Tomorrow is garbage pick-up day.
And tonight I removed them from their printer paper box
and I tossed them in a big black garbage bag
and I put the bag outside.

I still have the special light he brought to use while developing. And the underpants he bought last time he was here. And the pony tail I kept after the first time I cut his hair. And his pre-haircut picture is still on top of the bookcase in the study, right above where those cameras had been sitting for months and months, lined up like eggs in that printing paper carton.

I haven't really let go.
But I'm letting go of the cameras.
Maybe this weekend I'll bake some oatmeal cookies.

I loved you, John.
And maybe I still do.

15 comments:

Thirty's Kitten said...

This piece makes my heart ache. Lovely.

worm said...

Oh my, O.G.
Boy, can I relate to this!
I have been struggling for a loooooong time to let go of my former Master. It was wrong for lots of reasons, lots and lots. And yet, I too, hoped it could work out. And it didn't. And it never could. But, sigh, sigh, sigh......

Somehow its reassuring to know that others get stuck too. Thanks.

weirdgirl said...

le sigh.

this made my heart ache too OG...

Bettina Lu said...

I can completely relate, my former master did email me telling me NOT to write him again. It made my heart wrench but anyway what choice does a person have but to carrry on, everything eventually heals. - Many moons passed and such is life. Thanks.

Paul said...

OG, it is so hard to let go at times, but they say that time cures all wounds.
Unfortunately it too often leaves a scar.
Love and warm hugs,
Paul.

Louise said...

Some things can't be cured, or are not meant to be cured... I wonder if the philosopher never did say to stop writing because he keeps his promise, in some way, or because he is a coward.

I'm glad you threw out the boxes.

Love, Louise

Marsha The Roast said...

The war wounds. I relate. It is good you are getting rid of the stuff. You have to clear out space to make room for new and wonderful things both physically and metaphorically.

Anonymous said...

Take care.

oatmeal girl said...

In the end, I couldn't quite do it. I opened the bag this morning and removed one camera to keep as a souvenir. It happened to be one of the 10 I bought at 10 for $10. One of the ten that I emptied of oatmeal, some of which remains in storage to be made into cookies.

On the bottom, it says what picture we took with it.

A close-up of the fountain.

I miss you, John.

-- kitten

nancy said...

Then perhaps it was the thought.. the trying to toss them out...that counts. Every little step~~

I've been shut out only once by a Dom and ouch it hurt like hell; my heart goes out to you.

baby girl said...

this is hard stuff o.g. and i have no idea how to navigate it all. i'm glad you're finding your way. if slowly. and not all that surely.

there's nothing for it but time. and a new love helps too...are you still searching for someone to date, i wonder?

lots of hugs and warm thoughts from me. xox

Louise said...

Oh sweetheart, I understand you couldn't... sometimes it's just impossible to let go.

take care, xxx

charlie said...

Turning that page onto the next chapter sometimes is very difficult. But one doesn't know the excitement and love that happens in the next page of life. It is important to remember the excitement, the thrills, the love from the previous chapters in our book of life. One has to move forward and think that the next chapter is going to be the best chapter in our lives. And it is ok to keep a few things from the past that has put smiles on our face.

oatmeal girl said...

nancy - the thing with the philosopher... it wasn't being shut out by a Dom. I thought of him as my boyfriend. It was the loss of a dream of a real relationship.

The sadist did close the door on me for about a month. In my memory, it seems much longer than that. It was a deep loss, and I felt more complete when he took me back. But it was different from having my heart broken. My Master is NOT my boyfriend. And never will be. Not so much because of circumstances as because of the fabric of our relationship.

baby girl - no, I'm not looking for a new love at the moment. The sadist swallows my attention and my intensity. I suppose if I want one I should make an effort within the next year or so, while I still look this young. It would be nice having someone to take care of me as I grow more decrepit. I've put in enough time taking care of others. But you can never predict who will rot first.

Louise - I'm afraid the truth is that I will never let go.

mamacrow said...

aw babe (((HUGS)))

maybe you don't HAVE to let go? just... loosen the ties enough to be able to live with it as comfortably as possible?

lots of love xxx