Sleeping Next to Someone You’re Not Really Sure You Love Anymore

It felt familiar at first. I was wrested from sleep in a forcible moment of yet another nightmare when I saw him there, next to me, sleeping silently. I felt safe in the darkness with the TV still blinking in the background. I wrapped his arms around me so I could drift back into slumber, but as we lay there together, a new anxiety washed over me. I had thought that I had the resolve to not find myself here again, but here I am. Something about it always feels so good – but if it felt so good, why did I break up with him? God, I am not going to fall back asleep very quickly, am I. I’m going to have to battle the demons that mete out the balance of: do the things that make me feel good in the moment outweigh how unhappy he makes me? Ugh. I am not going to be fully rested tomorrow morning, which means I will not have a good day at work, and I also know that no matter how much time I spend lying here thinking about these questions, I still will never know. I find this paradox to be particularly obnoxious because of course I consider myself to be a strong woman, but the creature comforts of skin and skin contact with someone you love just cannot be imitated. I can’t order that feeling off Amazon. I can’t mimic it with someone new.

We never talked about why I’m unhappy, which I know is my fault. We’re just here, again, and now that we both know I’m unhappy it feels like a pittance. A consolation prize. An imitation of something that used to make sense but now just makes me feel okay from time to time. I love him, but if I love him, why do I feel like this? Conflicted. I’m so conflicted. Like I should kick him out of bed and scream until he leaves, or I should hold on tighter and make sure he stays forever. What a battle. What a horrible, irrelevant, empty battle.

I’m afraid to tell him why he makes me unhappy because I’m afraid he won’t care, and he won’t change, and he won’t try, and that I’ll still be with him afterwards. It’s easier for me to not tell him why I’m unhappy, and not know that he doesn’t care, and still fuck him, than to face the defeat of knowing that I will probably definitely still keep doing this even after I know that he doesn’t give a shit about my happiness. Ignorance is bliss, and this isn’t bliss but it’s a good enough knock off. For now. I would like the real thing, but how do I navigate the chasm between where I am now and where I would like to be. I thought that we would be sailing off into our mutual bliss by now, but instead there are storms ahead, and I am looking over the edge at that little dinghy, knowing full well I could hop in it right now and row myself back towards the sunshine. I could jump ship with nothing but my faith in myself and – and, what? Starve in the middle of the ocean by myself? I can’t row a boat for days on end, my arms will fall off. I don’t want to die of dehydration in the middle of the ocean. I don’t want to die here with him, either. I have to take control. Why is he the captain of this ship? Why isn’t he the disgruntled crew, looking for an escape? Why haven’t I committed mutiny yet? I could steer this boat into something better, if only I knew how. Why don’t I know how?

I have to wake up in three hours. I can’t sleep at all. It’s going to be a bad day at work tomorrow. Maybe I should just drown myself. I know I’m no pirate, but I’ll get drunk nonetheless, and wait here forever until I can put my feet back on solid ground. Then – I’ll run away.

Sorry For Being Silent

Part of me likes to think that if things had worked out differently, we would have been together forever. But I never told him that, and we had talked about me not saying things on the Internet that I can’t say to his face. Although, I didn’t really say anything to his face. All I said was, “I’m unhappy.” And he told me, “I know I can’t make you happy, so I’m not going to hold you hostage in this relationship.” Which felt generous, but, damn, after everything’s that happened I think I was hoping for a more scintillating conversation on the demise of our romantic endeavors. No, “I’m sorry, I want to make you happy” or “Fuck you, I’ve tried so hard.” Just: “Okay.” Which feels so unfair. After all the highs and lows – to just peter out with a whimper? No negotiation, no effort. Just: “Okay.”

I know that there are extenuating circumstances that contribute to these conditions, but as I speed away from everything that happened and glance at it in the rear view mirror, I can’t help but thinking, huh, that really wasn’t worth fighting for. Or fighting over. Just left it on the side of the road to die in silence and darkness.

That is so fucking frustrating and disappointing and boring. How is he one of the most exciting, interesting people I have ever met, yet we are letting each other go without a second thought. Don’t we believe in romance? And love?

The last break up I went through lasted ten months. This one lasted one hour. I was prepared to go down in flames together, but instead I’m here, alone, on fire, and feeling like this is less the spectacle that I got dressed up for and more like something that will die in the wind momentarily.

I guess there’s something merciful about it. But I don’t want mercy. I want rage.

So I’ll take my rage somewhere else, and burn down something beautiful with someone else. You will hear me screaming in the streets soon enough.

 

Disappointment

“You need to put more effort into our sex life,” he tells me.

“I drank your piss two days ago, how much more effort do you want?” I ask.

Threeways. He wants me to set up threeways for us. As in, he wants me to fetch other pussy for him to fuck. That kind of effort.

This confuses me. He can get his own pussy. I’m pretty sure he does get his own pussy. He’s probably just getting greedy. And lazy. If I’m going to find someone new to fuck, it’s not going to be some woman that I’m going to offer up on a platter for him. I’ll find myself someone to fuck.

This is where the relationship is. This bores me. This non-commital, semi-loving, disconnected relationship. We are, as he loves to remind me, ‘just friends.’ Then why does he take up all of my time? He has told me over and over again that this relationship has no future. So why are we here? In the future? We’re not supposed to be here. He’s supposed to be gone, and I’m supposed to be on to the next one, which I am, but he’s still here.

This isn’t even a real relationship, but it has all the hallmarks of a toxic relationship. None of the benefits, all of the pitfalls. Yet I still haven’t left. What an uninteresting way for me to live my life. I am disappointed in myself for falling into this half-set, lazy trap and not having enough resolve to leave something that is so easy to leave.

Explanation of The Monster

“I’m not a monster!”

Fuck. He’s right. I shouldn’t have called him that. And in this moment, I find myself a little bit at a loss as for why I did that. No, I didn’t say it to his face, I just took a bit of creative license in my writing on this blog and also the other one. I thought I was being so clever and so visceral. But I was the one who was being an asshole.

I don’t think he’s a monster. I never thought that. If anything, I think he’s more human than almost anyone else I’ve ever met. And that’s fucking beautiful.

The point that I was trying to make, and which I probably didn’t make, is that the duality of man encompasses both the good and the evil in our hearts. If anything, I struggle with facing down my own moral impurities, especially because I was given the misconception that we humans are capable of moral perfection and that we should achieve it. (Hello, Catholicism.)

This flaw goes both ways. I have never been able to achieve moral purity, and I don’t even really try. But this is at odds with my inner desire to achieve it. Nor have I ever met someone who is morally pure, but I still expect that from other people. It’s just a giant, impossible, unmanageable circle of loathing. I’m trying to deal with it better.

Using the allegory of monstrosity wasn’t intended to deny him his humanity, even though perhaps it may have read like that. The allegory of monstrosity was meant to illustrate that I have become better at accepting myself because of him and his unrepentant humanity. The allegory of monstrosity was meant to be hyperbole for all our inner flaws. Monstrosity is meant to reflect the horror and anxiety we have with our own flaws and with other people’s flaws. It wasn’t meant to imply that someone is burdensome or undeserving of love or respect or trust because they are flawed.

If anything, being around someone who is so honest and accepting of his own flawed nature has helped me be more honest and accepting of myself. I admire and cherish that opportunity.

Never a monster. Always a lover.

A Writer’s Anxiety

I am finished with the second edits of my first real (“real”) novella. I want to set it on fire. Throw it out the window. Die without it. I hate it. It’s wretched. It’s such a reckless reflection of so many things I don’t believe in. It’s not me at all. Why did I write it. All of it. There is so much of it. It’s all so stupid. Who would want to read that. Does it make it any sense? It doesn’t make any sense. Not at all. It is a whim on the tip of butterfly wing, about to get blown out with all the other specks of dust that don’t matter at all. I am going to get blown away with it, me in my little life, with my little words, and my little book. It will feel good. I want to shit this thing out of me like a disease and be done with it forever. Flush it down, watch it wash away. Let it be someone else’s problem. Let someone else sanitize it and put back into the drinking water. So that it can poison me again, and I can die all over one more time.

Part II/III

I lied. It wasn’t an easy break up! It was a fake break up and I knew it all along. Which is why I didn’t care. What, in years past, would have been a tidal wave was a mere petering on the sandy shores of another season of my discontented heart. Okay. That’s okay. I’m okay with it. What can I say: I’m manipulative. I knew the exact ebb and flow of in and out of this entire relationship. What can I say: I’m being manipulated! Help! Someone help me! I have no power or control here whatsoever!

*

I dig my toes into the sand. I soak up the sun. I wait for him to drown me. He is the ocean, I am the parking lot just over the horizon where people leave their dusty mid sized sedans and mini vans so they can pretend for a day that they live their entire lives at the beach. I keep their secrets. Their bluetooth devices. The reality of: he is the ocean, and I am just about to touch him, but I can’t, or I won’t, and I run back to the city to drown in a different kind of death. I’m blinded with neon. It is his fault that I had to run away. I would rather swim than ride the subway, but I can’t backstroke my way to work today, so I set my phone background to a picture of the water. That is the kind of closeness I can stomach today, with the clank of the cars and my head buried down while I listen to songs about someone else’s life on my way to living one that I am not very interested in.