If I could tell you anything, it would be that there are colors on the planet yet to be catalogued. Science disagrees, but I am certain science has never been shattered by infidelity.
If I could tell you anything, it would be about the summer and about my mother, about the silence of that big empty house on the cul de sac. I would tell you that a long time ago, I believed I was whatever men said I was, and that the breast implants I gifted myself on my thirtieth birthday turned me against myself.
If I could tell you anything, it would be that your canned Edna St. Vincent Milay quotes stunk of premeditation from the start, but I still like Sam Cooke and listen to “Portrait of a Legend” from time to time.
If I could tell you anything, it would be that I was embarrassed on your behalf when you believed your lies eloquent enough to conceal a month-long trip to India with your other girlfriend; an unsuccessful narcissist is such a turn off. I would tell you that contacting me for the first time in eight days with a message that says I am as far away from you as I could possibly be proved that you valued a good line over a human heart.
I am a woman now and my mailbox is full of debt. My mother has died and the season is spring and the house on the cul de sac has been sold. If I could tell you anything, it would be that there was an interminable amount of time when I thought your memory might never leave my lexicon of sadness.
I would tell you that you that I was mistaken and science was right — you weren’t an undiscovered color but a common black hole. You sucked up all the light that could have nourished me. You woo your women with plastic gestures of self-importance, but, buddy, if I could tell you anything it would be that your Friday night bottle service ain’t got nothing on the man who leaves me the last bite of carrot cake.
Rachel Inberg is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and writer from New York. She regularly treats incest survivors, drug addicts, and victims of gang violence. She has spent ten years in school learning how to care for other people; her writing is the result of her learning to care for herself. Her writing has been published by The Rumpus and featured in the Narratively and Tin House collection Memoir Mondays. David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and HBO’s “The Deuce” has called Rachel’s work “…painful, powerful, and honest.”