a now defunct website, used to be host to short snippets of love and loss submitted by users. i found a text file on my hard drive today, in which i had saved some of my favorite entries before the site went down last november. i'm sorry that i cannot credit these to their authors, but i wanted to share them with E2 anyway:

  • I spotted him and bounded up to him exuberantly; the usual casual "Hey how ya doin'" flew back and forth between us. "I've been dying to see you," I whispered. He looked down, and then at me, his eyes peering out from the frame of his hair. "I dreamt I kissed her last night."
  • We had agreed it would be best to just not call each other. Three weeks of struggling not to pick up the phone. Three weeks of drinking too much, smoking too much, and listening to the same three songs over and over again. And then I saw his number on the caller ID box which I had purchased shortly after we broke up. I pressed the answering machine button. "You have no new messages."
    - anonymous
  • "if you were a chess piece, what would you be?"
    "umm. i think the queen, because she can do whatever she wants. you?"
    "i'd be a pawn."
    "why? they're so uninteresting."
    "because ... they'd die for the queen."
  • "what is love?" he asked me.
    "love is a game," i said.
    "a game?"
    "a game that makes two strangers into a couple, and a game that makes a couple into two strangers."
    - an-suki
  • "i hope you find a nice boy," he said.
    i didn't tell him that i'd thought i had.
    -christine castro, http://www.gurlpages.com/experiment/ teeten
  • We sit under the harsh lights, slowly sipping Denny's coffee. "It's really sad how we keep trying each other on like worn-out sweaters, knowing that they are too frayed to wear." He lights a cigarette and looks around the room. I gulp the too-hot drink coffee to give myself an excuse for the tears that are welling.
    - heather white, http://www.mindspring.com/~haw
  • The girl he loved got up and left the table. He was expecting a kiss; she gave a polite wave.
    As she walked away, he turned back to his coupled companions, who were shocked at the lack of an affectionate goodbye.
    One asked, "How do you stay with her?"
    He sighed. "The trick is to not have any hopes, dreams, aspirations or expectations. That way, she'll do nothing but exceed them."
    - paul brent
  • "Oh-oh. You're not saying anything. That's bad." I fall back onto the bed, gripping the phone close to my ear. It seems that I hear those words - verbatim - through the tears of every girl I date. It's as if I have no right to be speechless. I have recently become accustomed to driving with the radio off. I wonder if the nine hours that lay ahead will be filled with such silence.
  • "did you really mean it?" i ask, trying to keep the faint edge of hysteria from my voice.
    "mean what?"
    you always had to clarify questions for him. "those things you said. about loving me. about wanting to be together for a long time."
    "sure i did," he replies. "at the time."
  • You seem very sad tonight. What is it?" she asks.
    How do you tell someone that they're slowly tearing you apart? How do you say to someone that, though their love is enough to sustain you for a lifetime, the continuous eruptions of upset render you unable to function? How do you say to someone that love does not, in fact, make all things bearable? How do you tell someone that you're dying?
    You just come right out and say it. "I'm just tired is all."
    - anonymous
  • "You have to understand that I can kiss and touch other people and sit on their laps because it doesn't mean anything, and I can't touch you because it means too much."
    "Oh," I said.
  • In March, she will have a birthday.
    In March, I will not call.
    In March, I will ignore her special day.
    In March, I will fail miserably.
  • "you used to smile and be happy and get excited about things. i miss that. i want you to be able to do that again. maybe you can do that without me in your life?"
    "no; i can't be without you, i need you so much. i don't want to be not with you."
    "maybe you should anyway."
  • maybe i set myself up for it.
    "if i say something stupid, will you forgive me?"
    more than a little tipsy, still sober enough to remember every minute.
    "sure. what do you have to say?"
    almost asleep, i decided this was the perfect time to bare my soul.
    "i love you."
    it took several seconds before i realized he wasn't going to reply. i suppose i was forgiven.
  • I thought you said you'd always love me," he said.
    "There's a difference between loving you and being in love," I replied.
  • I saw him get up and start moving towards me.
    "Don't come over here, don't come over here," I repeated to myself.
    He stopped, suddenly, and went back to his seat.
    And I wished I could say "love me, love me," so he would.
  • "You'd try to make me smile, wouldn't you, if I was, you know, sad?"
    "But you like being sad."
    "No, I don't. I like it when you try to make me feel better."
  • She asked, "When you said you didn't want a relationship, did you mean any relationship or a relationship with me?"
    He stiffened his shoulders and looked away.
    "Oh. Okay."
  • last night was the night i was going to leave you.
    but you ran your finger along the back of my neck just the way i love it and called me lover whispering it like a prayer and you kissed my lips like i gave you the very breath you breathe.
    we fell into each others' arms as we had so many times before and i forgot everything else but the way it felt to be the only thing you wanted.
    and then you snored through your nose just the way i hate it and you stole the covers like you were the only one in bed.
    and this morning i awoke in your cold empty room, alone.
  • I still dream of how we used to huddle together under the stars, giggling and happy and freezing together. We could stand there, shivering, for hours. It seems so absurd now.
  • I made the second call, just like I'd made the first.
    "I miss you. I think I've made a mistake."
    He's quiet. Finally, "I had to work very hard to get used to the idea of being without you."
    "And?"
    "I got used to it."
  • "I've never broken anything in my life."
    "Except my heart."
    "Well, that's because it's too fragile."
  • She sat there in front of me, her hair gently blowing in the wind. Our eyes met as I continued to look at her, her beauty ensnaring my gaze and trapping my mind. Her supple lips moved in a fluent motion, and as she mouthed "I love you" my thoughts raced in anticipation of a touch, a hug, and a kiss.
    And as the daydream faded away into reality, I sat there alone, thinking of her.
  • "I don't understand you," he said, voice cracking with anguish. "You don't return my e-mail, you barely return my calls, and when you do agree to meet me, you show up an hour late. You tell me that you love me and then you treat me like dirt. Everything that you have ever asked me to do for you, I have done. Everything you want from me I give you. I would give my life for you. Why do you treat me this way?"
    I refocused my eyes from the open window behind him, and stared into his red-rimmed eyes with contempt. "Why do you let me?"
  • Those words mumbled into pillows, spilled over sleeping skin, whispered into the warm space between mouth and telephone receiver after the other end has clicked into silence, and the ones written on scraps that will smear and rip in shoulder bags and jacket pockets---
    Those are the ones that would have saved you from feeling this way.
  • Sitting in the gazebo by the lake, drinking homemade hot cocoa from the small cup of the thermos. A plump rat skitters and plays in the reeds. He's ugly, yet he's so cute ... as long as he doesn't get too close. The ducks are paddling under the bridge, and the snow -- thick, puffy flakes of it -- swirls and sparkles in the light from the lamp post. Some people stroll by as I pour the last of the cocoa; I hold the thermos a bit higher and watch the liquid tumble into the cup, hoping they'll see it and envy us just a little bit. When we finish, we get up and leave our little shelter and head back across Bow Bridge. The man and woman we saw before are still there, talking and laughing and drinking their champagne from fluted glasses. I still wonder what they're celebrating: Did he propose and she accept? Is it an anniversary? Or is it just joy at being together in the park on a magic snowy day? Right as we're about to pass them I see the man catch a glimpse of us, and he moves nearer to the woman, pulls her close for a kiss that stifles her laughter. Maybe he wants us to envy them, just a little bit. But I don't. No, I don't. I know exactly how he feels.
  • Memories are painful.
    I am an expert at torture through memory.
    When I think about us the moments stretch before me, silently, invitingly. But always, the image of those first moments on your balcony seem most painful, and most insistent.
    There was so little between us then -- so little depth, so much anticipation. And I wonder, did I know then how little fabric held us apart? Material, mental, time. I know that I was conscious of your eyes that night.
    And then I writhe a little longer under the image, knowing how she stood there after.
  • "I just want you to be happy."
    "I just want happiness to be you."
    "Well, then. There's your problem."
  • he told me he loved me.
    i told him it wasn't possible, and chastised him for using the words too quickly and carelessly.
    the next day, i got a note.
    "I perhaps misphrased my attentions to you yesterday afternoon. It was then that I said 'I love you.' What I might have said is that 'I love thee.' A phrase used in a time when dragons were slain, mountains were climbed, and unimaginable deeds were performed for the sake of the feeling; a time when love was pure and endured. No, I do not love you. I love thee, and I love thee truly."
    i never again doubted his feelings.
  • I hadn't seen her in more than six weeks, so I was content just to hold her hand gently and stare into her eyes for a while.
    I had missed those warm, deep brown eyes, the first thing that drew me past the border between "just friends."
    I couldn't see all the obsession and instability hiding behind those eyes, waiting to show itself at my every falter.
  • I keep seeing you everywhere I go.
    Last night, women kept walking through the door, and I kept seeing you. One would have your hair, another had your nose. One sounded like she had your voice, and my head whipped around when I thought I heard your laugh.
    Of course, it wasn't you. Why aren't you here?
  • They spun around in the same circular path, over and over. Dancing. Only things didn't get mundane. Every time around was new. And refreshing. She rested her head on his chest and he closed his eyes. She looked up and their eyes met. Powerful feelings within. Nothing said, only looks. His mouth moved as if to say something, as if to serve as interpreter for his heart. The feelings inside got stronger. They would see each other again after the dance. Definitely. But then ... then things ended. Had the feelings disappeared? He thought about what may have happened. He wanted to feel her head on his chest again. But there was nothing. He wipes a tear from his eye, mutters to himself, "Maybe I should have said something." Maybe.
  • "you know what?" he said. "yesterday, i was sitting on my couch, not doing anything, and all of a sudden, i realized that my mind was just repeating your name over and over and over again. and it couldn't stop."

thanks go to Psuedo_Intellectual for letting me know the authors on some of these
I miss the bittersweet.org website. It shut down in November of 1999 and she put up a mostly blank page with no links for a long time, but if you knew the links to get inside, you could still surf it a bit. It's totally gone now. Damn shame. I submitted a couple things. She actually used one of them. Can't recall what it was now...

I met her once. I was attending the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas the early spring of 2000. I had gone into one of the seminars, sat down... A few minutes later she came up, sat down next to me, then told me to move my fat ass, cuz it was rubbing up against hers.

Such was my bittersweet brush with greatness.

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