A letter to an ex:

Dear J,

Well, you're gone, or about to be gone. I feel thoroughly unsatisfied. Nothing is ever perfect, and with me, it’s usually far from it. I hate thinking it, and I feel so guilty saying it, but when you get on that plane tomorrow, the feeling I have will be one of relief.

I'm not perfect. I haven't treated you anywhere near as well as I could. You came to Australia looking for an escape. You found an escape from San Francisco, but not from yourself, nor me. In hindsight, moving was not a wise idea. Maybe we'd have done so much better if we’d had a "normal" relationship. Far too many factors made little things that much bigger.

I'm determined not to make this letter a laundry list of what you did wrong, nor to justify my wrongs, though I'm sure at points it will sound like that. I just need to say some things, to clear my head. Your blatant double standards, your insatiable need to be right, even when provably wrong, self-centeredness, to outright hypocrisy at times. Your attacking of me for making an issue of things when really it was you making the issue.

You would stay up all night on the `net. I could live with that. I did the same. The difference was I didn't bitch or make snide remarks when it suited me. You would complain about me doing it and then sleeping half the day, but seemingly failed to make the connection when you did the same thing twenty-four hours later. I won't even start on the money - I would like to believe that, all told, things worked out evenly, and I'm nearly content to leave it at that.

You cheated on me. On more than one occasion. And though I've been less than perfect in that regard in the past, I wasn't with you. I flirted with some girls on IRC, I even 'played' with one or two, both of whom knew I had a real life girlfriend. You did the same, and demanded I stop. You then went out, arranged to meet a couple, and only cancelled when you brought up the subject "as a hypothetical" and I expressed vehement opposition to it. Then it was mysteriously cancelled due to you "not feeling well".

And then, the time I do know you cheated on me, your excuse was quite implausible. "Staying out with some people to get the first tram home to save $20, and then someone saying at 6am that ‘Oh, but I have a car’" like he'd just realised? The thing is, J., I was out in the courtyard that night. I couldn't sleep. I saw you arrive home with him. I saw him four hours later when he surprised you by turning up on our doorstep, and you disappeared for the weekend.

But what hurts most now, knowing you did, was that after turning up at the house at 6.45 am, and getting into yet another argument, you vehemently, viciously and venomously denied do anything wrong, and "how dare I even suspect you of such a thing". And I believed you, for a while. Your denials were so emphatic that I thought maybe I was wrong.

But your world revolves around you. I pay the majority of the rent, but its your apartment. I pay 99% of the phone bill, but it's your phone line, and how dare I use it the way I wish. And it's no secret that since about New Years Day that our relationship was in a decline. It hasn't even been a relationship for a while now. We are just two people occupying the same house. Literally. We pass each other in the hallways, we speak superficial niceties when we must, and other than that, we may as well lock ourselves in different rooms. And we do that, too.

And I feel so angry with myself, so guilty and ashamed, that I'm counting down the days, the hours, until your plane leaves, so I can close a chapter of my life. But somehow, I feel you're doing the same.

But we had some good memories, and I will always remember them. They'll be there forever, but, for now, I'm afraid the anger, the upset, the disappointment and bitterness are the most potent tastes in my mouth.

Love always,