I got my heart broken last week. Badly. Worse than it’s ever been broken in my admittedly short life. I’m not even really sure how I’m writing this, because I’ve spent the week in a fog of tears and panic and anguish and shock. I’ve barely been functional, I’ve barely been coherent. The morning after the break up, when I woke up and remembered what had happened the night before, I cried so hard I think I pulled a muscle in my chest.
Yesterday afternoon I sat on the subway, an upbeat song playing on a loop through my headphones. As I tried to hold back my tears, I looked around the compartment. I looked at the thirty-something black man opposite me, and the Hispanic couple down sitting a few seats along from him. I looked at the brunette in her twenties to my right, and the married couple with a baby girl in a stroller, to my left. And it suddenly occurred to me that almost every person in that compartment had probably, at some point in his or her life, felt exactly what I was feeling. At some point, each and every one of them had felt the simultaneous swelling and shriveling, and the deep, uncontrollable ache that floods into the chest and clouds the mind. Perhaps they had inflicted that heartbreak on other people, too. They had all loved, they had all lost, they had all been through what I’m going through. And then I realized that almost every person in the world had probably felt it, too, and if they hadn’t felt it yet, they almost certainly would in the course of their lives.
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