who is angela bowen:

The Break-Up Letter I Never Wrote
"My love,
I don’t hate you. That might make it easier for us both, to splinter apart, forever shattering each other into separate pieces of what once was whole.
No, I still find you as wonderful as the day I fell in love with you. You are not other — I know this spiritually. But you are different — I know this viscerally.
You may not understand or accept when I say I’m not angry that we are no longer on the same path. I’ve shown my fiery side, so my regret is in confusing this result with that reaction.
Yes I know, love, there is a molten core in me that usually flows as quietly and calmly as a lava field and you and I always agreed it was my passion-filled heart that steamed and bubbled and kept our love alive.
It was as enticing to you as the heat was strong.
But, at times, it erupted and this is what you never seemed to understand: it was only because that passion was sanctioned with the harshest of penalties. It was ignored. You took my heart for granted.
You, in your day-to-day practical way, unconsciously tossed your dirty laundry on my heart, smothering it. It would go for days, weeks, unnoticed and smoldering, and rather than flowing freely as you yourself once so lovingly appreciated, it finally erupted.
A fire demands reverence and attention.
You thought I had changed; I hated to hear that.
And now, my love, I say to you, you were right. You see, I simply returned to me — the one you fell in love with and were drawn to like a moth to the flame.
I embody the idea that it’s all an illusion and so I flex into something new and different at times, vacillating perhaps, but always looking with an empathetic eye to what is other than me.
How many parts of you have I seen and tried on as my own?
I regret that you didn't try on parts of me.
Remember how I tried to describe myself when we first met?
You were pleased with how easy I made it for you to get to know me because, as you soon discovered and also derived pleasure from, I am a bit enigmatic. Anyway, remember, I told you: I am a Pisces woman born in the Year of the Pig.
Not because I necessarily believe the star signs make my life unfold, or my personality is categorical, it’s just that when you Googled those descriptions, it effectively, concisely, told you about mercurial me.
I knew you would love having a map, and admit it, you did.
And then I told you a bit of my life story; just enough to explain the ugliness in me that I knew you would discover. It was my way of marking a nice big X on your map Here is an obstacle!
Dad left. Mom died. Everything else is rather inconsequential, and you comforted me, acknowledging — and don’t you dare deny it, my love — you had fallen in love with the tragedy of it all.
You fancied yourself my hero.
Just for fun I related the remarkable nature of my name and how I have come to love it like I love my long tresses and green eyes because they suit me so well. I’m named for angels — mom said I looked like one when I was born and remember how you said I was one?
And my middle name, I’m sure she had no idea is derived from Dionysus. What a perfect accidental name for me, and a delicious contradiction. You also loved this tiny detail, found it provocative, even.
I was your devilish little angel.
Do you remember? You once marveled at my gentle giving nature in love, at my desire to talk deep into the night about the meaning of life, while softly stroking your tired body. You thought my thrift-shop style and messy mane of hair was charming.
You were exhilarated by my preference to be outside, under the stars, with dirt under my nails and sweat dried on my skin after a long day of work. You found me to be authentic, a wildly sexy woman because of these unconventional ways that I evoked your wonder.
So once we ended up on the couch, in front of the TV, staring blindly at a box side by side, was it really that surprising that I grew restless?
You stopped seeing me.
Or, did you just think I was cool with coasting since I wasn’t overly demanding or clingy or controlling? The snapshot of love was safely tucked away in the scrapbook; you had proven yourself capable of catching this silvery, slippery little fish. Was that all you required?
My love, I am not a souvenir.
This is why I’m writing. I am and always have been a kaleidoscopic dance of shifting color and rhythm. We both know that’s how I caught your eye. I am ethereal. Yes, hard to understand at times, ambiguous for sure, maybe overwhelming or even contradictory.
But I told you all this way back at the beginning. Rather sheepishly, even, because I knew then what you now have realized: I am hard to comprehend. And you, my love, loved me for it then.
Now, though, you gesticulate at me, the mess, as if I crept up on you, as If I made this happen!
My love, I say this: I am not a mess. I am merely a vision of what you yourself claim to want so badly to attain. I am a reflection of the world, and of you, and sometimes that makes me confusing.
Most people want to find the brightest sun or the most exquisite shooting star because those breathtaking heavenly bodies definitively illuminate them, as well.
I am awesome like the moon.
I have learned to embrace the ambiguity of me and I wish you had too. But, you couldn’t figure me out or solve me or capture the essence of waxing and waning me. With my intuition — that you once revered — I refused to accept that this mess was just mine.
So, you sat on the couch and waited. You waited for me to explode at the silent neglect of our love, and then you pointed your finger at me, pontificating, dripping with such self-loathing that you couldn’t even accept your role in this tumultuous thing we called us.
So I’m sorry, my love. You did not honor me by reciprocating or even communicating with any vulnerability or honesty. You simply sat in silent indignation, glorified by your own clever justification. Thus I swim away. As gravely wonderful as you are, I must go.
Perhaps you thought loving me would require work: it requires action of course, my love, but not work, at least no more than waking and breathing is work. Respect for the other that you keep cradled in your heart is never work. It just is.
That is how I loved you."
~ Angela Bowen