There is a ritual to it.
Last night at I was over at some friends’ house, drinking a rather delicious vodka cocktail that was going to my head. We talked about, refreshingly, trivial things. Books mostly. I had some leftover pizza, and went home where I couldn’t sleep. I opened a bottle of wine and began clicking away at intellectually undemanding websites, watching humorous videos and looking at amusingly captioned pictures of cats and other animals. For some reason, I started listening to Prince, an artist whom I’ve always admired more than i enjoyed. It seemed like a good idea at the time, though.
Eventually, after consuming the entirety of a bottle of wine, after I couldn’t stay awake any longer, I went to sleep. I’d made my bed and cleaned my room because she was coming over, and seeing that tidiness just before sleep was somewhat painful. I went to sleep, woke up, and slept again. I woke up and read for some time, despite being tired.
In a certain way, I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had some wonderful relationships, and none of them have ended particularly badly. I have only, once, yelled at a girlfriend. I have never had a relationship end with a fight or any any kind of acrimony. My relationships have ended as well as anyone can hope for, with a minimum of drama, and a certain degree of amicability. For that, I think I’m truly fortunate.
Nevertheless, there is a certain amount of ritual wallowing that goes on. Even as I’m sitting here, somewhat unkempt and watching episodes of Lost on Hulu, I’m conscious of the fact that I’m indulging in a pattern. Sad music, alcohol, consoling words from friends. I know it’s a ritual, a thing that plays out again and again. What I think is fascinating is that it remains meaningful.
The exasperation of the post-breakup, the behavior and the indulgences, the conversations are all iterated again and again. There is always comfort and mucking about in negativity, always a little bit of a wallow. Nevertheless, despite the predictable nature of it, it remains necessary. How fascinating, I think, that I need to do what I know is predictable. I need to seek comfort from predictable places.
Ritual is not necessarily empty, and not necessarily codified. My hood is over my head, and I’m bent over my computer, and not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. Any fiction writer could have written my actions, and anyone astute in the ways of behavior could have predicted them. Nonetheless, in my subjective perspective, this time of post-breakup wallowing, this ritual retains its importance.