Before I really fell in love, I found writing about love to be quite easy. It was like writing stories, mostly pulled from the experiences I’d empathize with in literature…and overdramatizing mundane moments in my own life.
Lately, I barely write anything at all. I’ve committed to blogging about broad subjects like marketing or music to detract from the fact that, for the first time in my life, I’m not keeping a journal. I’m not writing any poems. I really barely even have anything to say to my Notes app, except the usual grocery list and maybe a somber thought logged late at night.
When Lina Abascal tweeted an offer to send “A Headache From Crying,” to anyone heartbroken on National Boyfriend Day, I felt kind of silly volunteering. It’s been a while, and “heartbroken” feels like a cliche — especially when other Bad Things pile on top of it. At the end of the day, though, that’s what I was — bitter, heartbroken, nostalgic and deeply unhappy to be living inside my brain on National Boyfriend Day.
I sent the DM.
What I got in return was a gorgeous collection of deeply vulnerable essays that made me want to both hug and chug a bottle of wine with Lina at the same time. “A Headache From Crying” follows the author back and forth from New York to Los Angeles as she deals with a shitty breakup and all the shitty stuff that comes with it.
If you’re the type that needs a paragraph to convince you, I choose this one:
Please leave my patience. The trait I used to use on silly things, like listening to you ramble about ’90s rap for 45 minutes to my glazing over eyes. The skill I refined while I waited for you for months to make up your mind and decide if you wanted me. While I waited for you to decide if I was worth it. The thing that I clung to while I sat through the long weekends you asked me to leave you alone while you mapped out a pro and con list of being with me, being in LA, being alive. Except you never made the lists. Instead you just came back with a list of Southern cities you wanted to move to, places that would fix you. Durham, Atlanta, New Orleans. You told me you needed more time to think about it. I wasn’t mad, it just gave me more time to be better, to be perfect so you’d see you needed me too. You didn’t. Don’t.
I don’t know how to write about other people’s art; I always end up writing about myself. Lina’s art is the kind that talks about me for me, which is my favorite kind.
I really feel you, Lina. Thank you for sharing.