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I’d missed the train we were supposed to take to the airport, confused and dizzied by grief. I’d continued to stare in your direction long after you’d left me on that platform, incapable of thought and speech, conscious only of the sounds of the rain that steadily fell, and the buzz-and-screech of a big-city train station platform, that kept me company.
I remember that Adam finally found me that night, huddled in one corner of a bench halfway down the platform, my arms hugging me to me. He’d said the desperate, lost look in my eye, and the tight way I hugged myself, as if I trying to keep my insides from spilling out in pieces on that platform, scared him, like nothing ever had. I wanted to tell him that I felt like I looked, that I was doing all I could to keep my insides inside, because I was falling apart, and I was circling an inner drain that would take years to climb out of. Before Adam found me, strangers had approached, concerned at first, then awkwardly stepped away. The lost, desperate look, the heaving, unbroken crying – leaving me alone was a kindness you’d expect from people who must have understood the universal signals of heartbreak.
Even two years later, when the third therapist recommended by deeply-worried parents and friends prodded me to describe anything about that moment, the still sensitive lines that delineated this story sickened me.
She had to repeat her question several times. I shifted to face away from her, to look out her picture window; I fixed my gaze on the outer-space looking bronzed, layered hunk of steel in Hudson Yards that had just opened to the public. I felt as out of place in her office as that controversial building seemed to be in this neighborhood.
“I just want to be free of it.” I finally said after ten minutes of heavy silence between us.
“Free of what?”
“The sounds …” How to explain?
“The things that sound like a heart breaking.”
Cue the awkward silence. The therapist somehow couldn’t summon a simpatico look in return. I knew then that she’d never had her heart broken. The best she could come up with at that point was the professional sounding “uhuh” and nod in that automatic way that therapists nodded. Like they understood.