The mathematics of a relationship are supposed to be simple, how one person exists in relation to the other, in perfect balance or out of sync. Like a shared language, based on a mutual communication and understanding, we learn the basic rules and keep practicing until we get it right.
We were lost in translation. The important words to creating a co-existance, had different definitions for us. Simply, I said "tomato", he said "tamato". Words like: "love", "monogamy", "marriage", "selfishness", and "happiness", held different truths, like rose-colored lenses. We agreed, to disagree.
Maybe it was the challenge of learning the other's language, that intrigued us. Maybe we thought we could mold the other into a "native speaker". Maybe we found a beauty in the other's dialect, but couldn't form our mouths and tongues to make the proper sounds. Finally, we gave up on words and let our instincts do the talking. But eventually that failed us too.
I spent four years of my life speaking of the relationship, as if it were our own secret club for two. The well-rehearsed words, rarely accepted by others, richochetted above my head, in a constant buzz of self-doubt. Why others couldn't relate to me, baffled and frustrated me. But maybe I had become fluent in a make-believe language, without me even knowing it. Or maybe I had just accepted a hybrid, line of speech; with the casual slang of my first-given vocabulary and the arcane definitions of an influential mentor.
Now when I speak, I correct my own thoughts, questioning whether or not they were mine to begin with. Or if they were someone else's, that somehow snuck their way into my mental dictionary and vernacular. I just want people to understand me again. To connect their eyes with mine and nod, not necessarily with approval, but that they are hearing what I am saying. I had forgotten what that was like, long ago.
To be an outsider looking in, or an insider looking out, it doesn't matter much to me, just as long as I can communicate with the rest of the human race, once again.