Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

I thought the future held
a perfect place for us
That together we would learn to be
the best that we could be
In my naivety I ran
I fell and lost my way
Somehow I always end up falling over me

I’m pretty naive sometimes, in matters concerning people. I very seldom lie–pretty much if I do, it’s to protect someone–and I’m still terrible at it, and still feel like shit in the process. I have this nasty habit of thinking everyone is kind of the same way, and tend to take the words of someone I care about at face value unless I’ve been given compelling cause to do otherwise. Even when it’s obvious that someone is being indirect with me, I tend to believe that there’s a good reason, which is just not observable to me at that time.

And fucking hell, when I fall for it, I fall hard.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, ‘The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

If there’s one thing I value in a relationship, it’s honesty. In my book, there is only one thing worse (far worse) than being cheated on, and that’s being lied to. I don’t care if it’s with the goal of protecting my feelings, or a favorable living situation, or whatever. Lies are still lies, and I took statistics in college. If someone will effortlessly lie to me once, they will probably lie to me twice. And if they’ll lie to me twice… you can see where I’m headed with this. Finding out that someone’s just been lying their face off to me just makes me unable to ever really trust that person ever again.

(Okay, I take that back: I took statistics, but I guess I didn’t exactly do well in it. It was funny to me when she was cheating on *** with me, because he was an abusive prick and he deserved it. I always figured that was the reason. Now that I’m the **n+1, it isn’t so funny anymore.)

And while lying, there are some things you just don’t joke about. I probably seem like the type that you can joke about anything with and I’ll take it in stride, but that is not always the case. This February, I let slip in the lunchroom at work that I was in a relationship, and one known jokester flippantly replied something to the effect of: “And she likes you? You shouldn’t be picking up girls at the mental hospital…”

I was the most fucking pissed I’d been in a very long time. I knew he didn’t know anything about the situation; that he was just cracking wise and didn’t mean anything by it, but that hit a raw nerve. I gave him a stare that would have melted diamond. I (barely) held my tongue…I so nearly just went off on him, and having recently researched several antipsychotic medications, almost came down with an entire list of reasons that would be the worst place to pick up a girl on top of it, neatly spoiling the whole thread of jokes (having mainly to do with sex), but I was already starting to get some weird looks from around the room, so I just stormed out instead.

Like I said, there are some things that just aren’t a joking matter. Child sexual abuse is one of them. You don’t make up a story like that (or even use, non-made-up) as an excuse for why you’re shying away from anything physical, while you’re fucking at least three different people on the side. I have family who were molested, and have dated (very carefully) someone who was raped repeatedly by a family member, so I guess that shit touches a nerve too.

The secrets that she keeps away from me
The tears on her pillow she don’t want me to see
Well every little thing she does is for me
But somebody new…is breaking us in two

There’s this thing I’m fond of saying: “I’d rather know than not know.” If I’m fucking up in a relationship somehow, doing something wrong, or something annoying, I need to know. If it’s on the rocks for some other reason, even if it’s outside my locus of control, I need to know. If someone else (or half a dozen someone elses) has swooped in and swept her off her feet, and she’s just plain not into me anymore, I need to know. Preferably as soon as she knows that this is the case. Yeah, it’s going to hurt me (fuck does it ever), but I’d still rather know, finally and definitively, than to be lied to and led on in some inscrutible and indeterminate state, maybe as a contingency plan in case partners n+k don’t work out, maybe as a source of free food and lodging and rides that hasn’t been depleted yet, maybe under the assumption that whatever I don’t know can’t hurt me. Not be told that everything’s “fine” when it quite clearly isn’t, and I can read it in her eyes and voice like a pop-up book. Not sit up night after night worried, wondering what I’m doing wrong, what I’m doing that’s causing it to fail. Wondering how long I should hold on, how long and how hard I should chase the answers that I seek. Wondering, but not knowing, whether and when I should just cut my losses and move on.

and everything you touch leaves a mark on your soul…

I’ve seen a lot of rude, arrogant jerks in my day; they lie, they cheat, they womanize; they make layer upon layer of contingency plans, relationship-wise, to be tapped into service the moment things start heading south with the current one (or, when they’re bored or she’s not in the mood), and they have the nerve to call themselves Men. I’ve never understood, in my naive little world, how anyone could behave like that; how anyone could be so disrespectful to someone they told themselves they cared about. There is a time in all of our lives when we want to be firefighters, or doctors, or some other form of heroes, because humankind is great and the ultimate purpose in our future lives is to contribute to that greatness in whatever way that we can. There’s a time when policemen are our friends, and a time when Santa Claus, Jesus Christ and the Easter Bunny sit on a cloud high above, having dinner together and reminiscing about the good old days like our grandparents; almost as the grandparents of the kind and gentle world.

Somewhere along the line though, an interesting thing happens: we grow up. As we do, we realize that a lot of it is bullshit, and a lot of it isn’t worth saving. We get burnt, we get lied to, we get tread on. We realize that the only way to compete in that brave new world is to burn, lie to, and tread on right back; even, to get them before they have a chance to get us.

Maybe this is where those jerks start. Perhaps, behind each one was once a true gentleman, bending over backward to give a troubled girl everything she needed, no matter how it destroyed him in the process; there for her during even the worst of times; dropping everything if he could make her smile just once. Maybe that only changes after they’ve been shit on a few times, and I just haven’t noticed because I’ve been falling behind the shitting-on curve and long overdue. If so, I worry. Much as I like to claim myself so logical and unemotional as to be invincible from the ways and means of my fellow silly humans, I can’t convince myself, much less prove to myself, that this will have no effect on me.

I no longer need concern myself with what I’m doing wrong or how I can recover the situation, but at least I can sit up tonight staring at the ceiling, until 7:45 tomorrow morning, waiting for the alarm to go off, wondering if I might find myself a little less gentle, a little less open, a little less trusting of the next girl I start seeing.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

I guess I knew what I was getting into. I’ve known it for a while, and should not have been surprised. I should be looking back on this and saying that I’ve done some good, served a worthwhile purpose. I did a lot of homework, research on her behalf. I helped her out of an abusive relationship, and got her out of her psycho parents’ house. I lied for her, the best I could, and it hurt. I pacified her father when he called me out of the blue after a blowout family fight, assured him I’d do my best to keep her there, even as I was making the plans to spirit her away. I was there when no one else would be, despite threatening letters from the very jealous, very bipolar partner of that time. I kept her from killing herself. And I took her in when she had no place else to go. I should feel good right now, or something, but for some reason I don’t.

QOTD: (last weekend) “You know when you have a baby, and it’s full of life and all the promise and potential in the world, and then you drop it on its head and make it retarded? That’s what you’re doing when you put raisins in oatmeal cookies.” -LE


One Response to “Tonight I can write the saddest lines.”

  1. emjae says:

    is this for real? that must be really painful. i cant really say i understand how it’s like but i think i have a clue. i stumbled upon this entry after googling neruda’s poem. it has been months. i hope you’re okay now. =)

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