In some ways, it's embarrassing to be writing this. In others, it's fine, because unlike virtually every other junket of writing (social media, journal, letter) this one is safe and you won't ever see it.

I wish I had known in the first minute we met. Or at all during the time we spent together that it might not be good for me. People who are abused never seem to realize that it's happening to them when they're "in it". My mom used to work at battered women's shelters and she would always say that. I'm not saying you abused me, because it hasn't been enough time yet and I'm not ready to say it.

And somehow, inexorably, despite all my intellectual protests and the decrying of all my friends, a huge part of me feels that we got cheated, by the world, by timing...

Now? No. To say the words I'd want to say to you would just be dishonest to myself. I'd never let myself love like that again, as much as it's all I really want.

But I did see you. I saw you on a dimly lit New York street, you were crossing. I don't think you saw me, because I scurried away so fast, entirely terrified, triggered, immediately taken back to that very moment of final catastrophe, like a dumb wailing kid. That image will haunt me until I die. I remember the outline of the tattoos on your ankles, right before you started walking across the road. Smoking a cigarette, maybe a little skinnier then before.

I say not to you but to the specific people on this website--people of a certain mentality that are attracted to reading a Missed Connections section: reader, there is nothing more excruciatingly destructive than realizing that a person and the shared experiences with that person, that meant everything to you, was the entire world to you, meant nothing to that person. It was all thrush and done, over.

And yet, again, embarrassing as it is, I always hope: somehow, someday...maybe. I keep hoping

Anna Dissolving