There's this thing about losing something: You find a way to blame yourself. I wrestled with this sense of guilt, this need to apologize. But then, I remembered: The cheating, the frigidity, the unceremonious letting go via text message (Hell, she didn't even like my puns). So personally, I feel any fire behind my words isn't unwarranted. I was, perhaps, being brusque in my efforts to save a thing not even worth saving. I don't know what was required of me, why I was being kept around. None of my theories make me feel good about myself, either. There's a feeling there like being toyed with, kept, tamed. I know my charms: I can be sweet, I can be affectionate, I can be disarming. I'm a nice pep-talk when I want to be, and I guess that made me worth keeping- but only at arms length. On a leash, or in a pocket, though, is no where I'd like to live.
I spent an amazing weekend being reminded what it's like when a person not only says that they value you, but acts like they do, as well. Actions speak louder than words, and I'd kept saying it lately, but not really doing anything about it, not actually holding anyone to that standard- possibly because I knew she couldn't live up to it. I'm learning, what my priorities are. Thusfar, in my relationships, I have never had to worry about feeling respected. I've been fortunate to be with women who followed (or at least tried to follow) the golden rule. So when I found myself with a girl who did not, it was a bit of a shock, I was blind sided. I had to regain my footing to realize that while I enjoyed the challenges presented, I missed relying on the fact that the person who was important to me, felt I was important, too. The way we treat things reflects how much we care about them. I will never forget that again. It took two examples for me to come to this point, one of which I am begrudgingly appreciative of, the other, I want to celebrate.
I'm no one's crucible, I wanted to tell her. She said she had things to work out, things left to discover about herself. You always come into people's lives in mid-chapter, and no one dies fully formed, I believe. We're all, always, just along for the ride, and have to watch- or participate in- each other's processes. But We're not proving grounds, and after a point you've just become collateral, a casualty of some one else's false start. And, like any good refugee, you walk away. You finally stop trying to piece it all back together, and realize this is your new life now.
I feel so fooled. So embarrassed. So wounded. Ashamed. How much of that should I allow, and how much of it is just a blow to my admittedly testy sense of pride? I feel taken for a ride, conned. I feel like more than a few geeks of the mid-west have been laughing at me behind my back, I feel clueless. That's a blow. But maybe, it's all me, and my baggage. Does it really reflect on what we had, what she was for me? What was she? What were we? Children at recess, and little else, I'm afraid.
So we part ways. I always want to wipe it clean, to empty the vault. She was a great muse. But, a part of me hopes this is the last thing I write to or for her. I want to see what we had for what it really was: a lark, a vignette.
Yes, my heart genuinely did skip a beat. But he's back on track now, thankfully.