What Would I Know?

December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Neither a fool nor a revisionist be. Who am I now to judge what I’d been then? I can’t say I’d not been in love, only that I had been so with the wrong woman. I can’t, either call myself a fool for not having known, but pride will call me names to dissemble from its pain and deny I’d been in love. Why is it so easy to be embarrassed and ashamed? What martydon is being served? What apologies are left? And whose forgiveness is left to ask for? But moving on won’t be accomplished so pragmatically. What I know and how I feel are each a hand of a different body. Neither nor both can affect a solution. In the face of that impotence, it’s easier to ignore the impulse to effort; if the restraint is as stressful as the effort, it is at least more effective. Just a theory. What would I know?

Application for Martyrdom

August 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have a lot to apologize for, some more for which I won’t, none of which I feel I am allowed to. More, I need to be forgiven. My last apology was not accepted. I have been punished for long enough over that. Not true–I’m enjoying it. This whole thing has been an application for martyrdom. Cupid can arrow me through the palms. Cue the agony, countdown to ecstasy. Herself is the cottage industry in my head. It’s taking too long to turn her into a symbol, because I can’t get over her humanness. I rue it and I embrace it. She is my muse only perversely: I don’t believe a muse can be reluctant any more than I can believe love is unrequited. What is someone who doesn’t love me but exactly that? What is what I thought was love? If I was in love, I wasn’t sharing it very well. Would it, then, not have been love? Hm. I was ready to believe I was in love. All I lacked was a willing partner. I didn’t let that stop me.

Fuel to the Machine

August 7, 2012 § 2 Comments

I have told no one but you that I’m publishing this thing. How’s my conscience? I fear the judgement of someone who thinks Herself should be old history, and I suspect everyone to be that person, because I’m in denial of having already made that judgement of myself. It’s a fair one–if you believe I’m not over her. You’re smarter than I am. I saw her and got a face of denial pie: Nothing Ive been telling myself since she left rings true. But why do I deny this truth? Do I have to be ashamed of forgiving myself and trying to apologize to her? There’s an irony at work that I’m ill-equipped to untangle. There’s the hope that she at least no longer thinks badly of me, but that becomes the hope of getting another chance; there’s the thought of her forgiving me, but then there’s the dread of being forgotten; there’s knowing what I want and knowing the impossibility of getting it: The proportions are volatile; I couldn’t possibly equate them better. All I really know is that the product, confusion, is fuel to the writing machine.

Vaporize an Edifice

July 20, 2012 § 4 Comments

What constituent of anxiety is a bad conscience? How much of a bad conscience is vanity? I keep the chip teetering on the shoulder, when I could as easily let fall. Why do I wake at three a.m.? and why do I think of Herself when I do? I don’t actually think anything of her–it’s just a reflexive nuisance of a catalyst for other worrries, mostly all the necessary mundanities that make up the foundation of what we call a life in this society. Those things are never all out of the way, and every last one of them is an intrusion. My refusal to see them as anything else or to accept them wholly as benign necessities is the crux of my anxiety. My conscience is a factor insomuch as I haven’t forgiven myself all my transgressions, but as I’m finding forgiveness to be a letting-go of guilt, I’m finding less to ask forgiveness of or apologize for. How can what is so easily built be so difficult to dismantle? How could anything be so stable resting on a cloud? How could these questions not vaporize such an edifice?

Not Too Old

April 17, 2012 § 9 Comments

After Herself filed out of his office with our supervisor, I was left to take a bit more thrashing from the big boss. He said to me after the door closed again, “You are too old for this.” I pitied him at that moment: Had he ever felt for someone the way I felt for her? Had he forgotten or long since chalked up love to an immature impetuousity? a phase to go through between this age and that age? Then you get married, make a go of “reality”–grow up. I’m not too old for anything, including making a fool of myself. Did his wife tell him he was too old for that affair? I’m not a child–the birth of my children saw to that–and my needs are not childish. Neither is there a statute of limitations on acquiring them. Am I too old to make a mistake? to be frustrated and to express it? to apologize? Too old for any of that is old enough to be dead. I have burdens enough. Why carry a headstone around?

Not the Compensation I Had Hoped For

March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

The flowers were to apologize for the email. It was a desperate impulse to which I gave no pause or distraction. The words on the tri-folded, stapled sheet of copier paper with my name handwritten on it revealed how little we understood each other, but Herself got this right: I’d written a “bitter, mean-spirited” email. More words were not going to fix this. I needed a gesture. Flowers would not undo anything, but I had hopes that they would begin a calm dialogue toward reconciliation. She told me otherwise with a face nearly as mean as any words I’d written about her–a haughty chill laughing down at me. The yellow bouquet stood above and behind her shoulder on a raised counter, looking more a prisoner than an ambassador of hope. She appeared to be mocking me. I was confused. I remained confused, then I became angry. She had not read the card or taken the flowers to her desk. Beyond that mocking glare, she did not acknowledge the flowers to me. From confused to angry took less than two hours, when I snatched up the bouquet and stuffed it in the nearest waste basket. I wish now I had made a bigger gesture of it. The screensaver was not the compensation I had hoped for.

What Does He Know?

February 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Thinking about Herself, writing about all of it–maybe that means I’m not over her. Whether I agree or not, I won’t argue. If I’m not entirely dispassionate, I’ve moved a considerable emotional distance from her. I’m as much a journalist about it now as any journalist is about anything–opinionated but at least superficially bound to fairness. I know the source material by heart, but the heart is nearly done with it. The head is now sifting out the wild hopes and irrational actions. What’s left is lessons learned. I want to acknowledge them, affirm the growth, deny despair, maybe apologize a few more times. It’s history. I don’t want it to repeat. Not all of it. Love happens. Let it. Just don’t let it go it alone. Advice from a journalist: What does he know?

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