Neither Can I Help It

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Could Herself forgive me if I asked her to? Do I need it? I want it, but it would only serve myself. It would go a long way toward assuaging the guilt I still feel over some of my behavior, but so does thinking that I probably couldn’t have behaved any other way. I am not a determinist. I believe, essentially, that the unique combination of innumerable factors forced certain actions. Many times, I felt perfectly rational while deciding to do the most irrational things and wondered afterwards how I could have let myself do them. It was who I was and who she was and how things were. How it would add up was unforeseeable. Still, I am responsible. For the most part, I have forgiven myself. The best thing I can do for her is nothing, because it’s what she always wanted from me. Whatever I need is irrelevant to her, and I have to accept that. I can’t afford to care what she thinks of me, or that she doesn’t. Neither can I help it.


I Will Have to Become an Expert

January 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Narcissism is allowed. It’s the easiest start to learning to love myself and get comfortable with me. I like all the same books and music, but I don’t always get me, though no one knows me better. I can be frustrated and angered, but I try to understand and to reserve judgment, though I don’t come from that position of infinite hope asserted to be vital to the endeavor. I care for me, though, and better than I ever used to. Pampering is less the guilty pleasure than the occasional necessity. Why ask it of someone else when I can give it to myself? I deserve it, and who knows it better? If anyone else could do it for me, I would have to show them how. Before that time comes, I will have to become an expert.

I’m Sorry

January 24, 2012 § 6 Comments

Some of the story was convenient to not tell. It was the screensaver that enraged Herself one last time. It was the ensuing meeting with her and the bosses at which the dicta were issued that made my subsequent omissions convenient. Not that I adhered to all of the dicta: I kept the blogs private for only a couple weeks, long enough to start Twickory as an outlet and rebellion against my censure. There, I presented this meeting as an absurd, Kafkaesque tribunal resided over by the person most ignorant of the situation. In that room, looking at her and seeing a very tired, small woman who still seemed to loom over me, I was ashamed of all I had demanded of her. When she looked at me in there and said, “I don’t want you writing about me like that,” I saw how little I had ever meant to her and how much the fool I’d been proportionally in trying to prove otherwise. “There will be no more apologies,” the boss ordered. I was also proscribed from speaking to her about anything personal or giving her anything. The flowers, then, had been my last apology to her, an apology she rejected as a “lie,” a designation I still don’t understand. “Flowers + Apology = Harassment?” scrolled across my computer screen. I’m sorry.

A Bit Much to Ask

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

To be touched by the faith of others is not hard for me. To find my own is another matter. I accept another’s belief that they will meet their dear-departeds in the afterlife even if I can’t believe in the same for myself. I must believe in something, though, to wake up every day, though many days the awakening is reluctant and seemingly without purpose. Hope, that vague stepsister of faith, is the best reason to roll out of bed, grumbling and stiff. There’s the hope of my daughters making the world a better place; the hope of catching up to and connecting with it myself. On good days hope can turn confidently toward faith, but it doesn’t stay; it doesn’t know how to behave itself; it wants too much and wants it now. Love is a bit much to ask for on a daily basis, and way too much to believe is imminent. Hope is a tease, faith is a ghost.

I Need a Disease

January 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Not all the library’s stories are in the stacks. Like any workplace, we have our dramas: The son in South America; moving parents into assisted living; going deaf in an ear thanks to a viral attack; deaths; breakups. A lot of sympathy, condolence and concern. Mine was not such a story. Mine was entertainment to coworkers, so I was not disturbed with anyone’s concern lest the tension of the narrative be dissipated. I was on my own. Herself, being the victim of my attentions, was given the commensurate sympathy. Every heroine needs her dastard. All the attention this dastard got was censure. I need a disease.

My Importance to Nil

January 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

With all the respect I’ve lost, I still like my job.  I know where I stand there, but that’s in a humble place, and it’s uncomfortable. I don’t want to live in that shame anymore–at least not all of it. I will be a while sloughing it off. I get cynical and aloof, but I’m just feeling lonely. Self-pity, envy, missed opportunities for compassion: I lie low then. That’s most of the time. The rest of the time, I’m nice, almost talkative. I can reach out a little ways. Whichever person I am on a given day, I like what I do, assisting the free dissemination of information to people who still read. My employer does not have that same commitment. I hope I am gone before the county has completed turning its library system into a chain of bookstores and proportionally reducing my salary to a wage and  my importance to nil.

My Fault

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s my fault I work in a library. It’s what I wanted. It’s not my fault I fell in love there, with a coworker, though I wanted that, too. If it was just a fixation after all, then I guess I could be blamed. Herself leaving had something to do with me, too, and as I doubt she would give me the credit for it that my malicious side would claim, we’ll call it blame and leave it at that. I was never one of the Golden Ones, with the work ethic of an automaton and timidity of a virgin whore–the kind of employee a boss hardly has to throw his weight against to intimidate–so it was just a matter of time before I pissed off someone. Who knew that love would be that deadly straw? Maybe me, if I’d had a thought of what a public announcement of my feelings would mean to her. My fault.

Where Am I?

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