when they do this, you will be grateful that you prepared yourself. your car will be empty, but you will still be breathing. it won't be over. you'll begin to feel a wave of dread and sadness and anger edge into your belly. remember to turn on the radio, remember to turn on anything. let the berkeley old time banjos fill your ears and then turn up the volume. breathe into your belly, fill it with air, make it so that there is no possible room for any water, any waves. breathe them down, breathe them out of existence so you can just get home.
as you cross the bridge, it will get harder. your body will begin to feel the pressure of having ocean on both sides and a bridge going only one way. concentrate on your speed and the old time bajos and then open the windows to get the cool night air in. the blue will calm you. the blue will cool your face. remember that your heart has been broken before. you have felt devastation and this is not it. you will go home and watch master chef and eat ice cream and something salty, maybe even cry a little. you are going to be okay.
you will exit the freeway. know that your anxiety will speed up as your car slows down. anticipate coming to a stop. anticipate sitting in stillness. anticipate feeling the wave of grief and disappointment and anger and multitudes of longing crash upon you without protection. no banjos. no constant moving. no cool blue rushing past to carry away the weight.
after the aloneness of your apartment settles in, you will be compelled to send a text message. you will say something like i was really hoping to be around you tonight and you will receive two small words as a response that are nothing and everything at the same time, as cliche as that sounds: me too.
hold your grief like a child. decide to write a poem instead of eat your feelings and watch master chef.
you will wonder why you both let your anxieties out first instead of just saying that, instead of just saying the truth until you get another text message that says, i gotta get back to work. i'll talk to you later and decide that ice cream is not such a bad idea after all.