Until I Forget

December 14, 2012 § 5 Comments

With time and reflection, Herself grows ordinary. If she is still fascinating, she no longer fascinates. If she is still attractive, she no longer attracts. What she hides—what I wanted from her—she can keep. Once the challenge I set myself, she’s now only the futility. In love, what isn’t given isn’t true. Pursuit is a lie. She is a lie too long denied. What does that make me? The recovering liar? With her ordinariness grows louder the lament over wasted…just about everything. But what use, the keening? Ordinary strips from her the emotion I’d given her, takes back what was mine, the gift not accepted—and rightfully. I became the man she’d thought I was. I wanted her to be wrong, but I could only prove her right. Behind and ahead, I see clearly. It’s right in front of my face I can’t make out. Of the past I see that at best I held no interest to her; and at worst, following a disdain I did not respect, aversion. Of the future, which is near enough, I see a life as separate from hers as hers has always been from mine, and I won’t care. Of now, I cannot quite accept either vision. As always, knowing is not being, not until I forget what I know.

Back Into My Hair Shirt

November 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Self-created penance—guilt: Is it all that’s in the way? The plunge is a scary thing, but if I get too comfortable alone—well, I can’t imagine that. And that’s the problem: I enjoy my time at home, but staying there is too easy, and my life is not wholly contained in my apartment. What portion’s on the outside? More every day. What it looks like, I haven’t the foggiest. I thought I would feel differently, but desperation and impatience, even together, can’t calm the fear of actually going on a date. When do I say “I don’t have a car?” When does it become dishonest not to? When you know it’s a dealbreaker and could thin the herd to you by saying it. Just another excuse to fall back on Herself and into my hair shirt.

It’s Coming Back to Me

November 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

(To the tune of “I Can’t Stand It” by the Chambers Brothers.)
The associations abound and are unavoidable. They abound because I don’t allow myself to avoid them. After all, I created them, as I did the grudge of their presence. I created the entire drama from my own exacting specifications. If I didn’t always know what my actions had set in motion, I knew I’d get a story out of it. The blueprint was subject to perpetual revision, yet I could never figure out how to attach the happy ending. So it’s the association I try to make happy, which amounts, simply, to allowing them to be what they were. Nothing abouty my association with Herself was unhappy before she rejected me. But it wasn’t happy, either, living on hope and adrenaline, every movement a leap in a dance around a motionless partner, enacting the flight of my fancy. The story lived to be near her, died trying to bring her closer. I had forgotten nothing but the happiness. It’s coming back to me.

All I Meet Are Cinderellas

November 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

I used to call it the Cinderella Complex. I applied it to one person, and bitterly. I couldn’t understand the rejection; I hadn’t been given a chance. But Cinderella didn’t sit around waiting for Prince Charming and had no suitors to reject. She didn’t pretend at martyrdom to her drudgery or claim an exclusive wisdom that instantly validated her judgements. She was unique. No one else will wear the glass slipper. Prince Charming is taken for Ever After, and there was ever only one of him. None of this knowwledge does me any good. I know I’m not Prince Charming, but all I meet are Cinderellas.

Rarified Err

November 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

I lapse. I turn to fancy. But Fancy looks like Herself. She’s become the face of what I want, little more, though the face still plucks and twangs. No indignation, little embarrassment or shame, but more than enough regret. And those get smaller. Hope is the last thing to go. It can hang around for as long as it wants. It feels good. I don’t have to take it seriously. Hope can stay. It doesn’t have to be for Herself, but when the right one of her comes along, I want to be receptive. Bitterness wears thin, is dispiriting. What’s the point? Who’s to blame, anymore? I’ll take it but don’t nail me up with it: I am no longer that person. Not all of it, anyway. I’ll always be some of it. I don’t want perfection; I want my perfection, the kind with an occasional mistake for the sakes of humility and education.

She Can’t Be Touched

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

There is comfort in not caring about what I can do nothing to change, affect or effect, as long as I’m not just giving up. Bitterness is the shell of giving up, the indifference, purgatory; acceptance the truth, if not exactly the heaven. Foreground and background transpose: Importance rack-focuses. The shift is motivated by both fear and weariness: I fear what people think of me for belaboring my emotions over a relationship that never was; and I am weary of caring about it. So though I do, still, think of Herself, I let no one know. Keeping it to myself will make it unreal even to me one day. The woman I wanted her to be will be a woman unto herself, a fictional character I can understand. But as complete as she may become, she will only be so as a construct of my imagination; however nuanced her psychology or complex her emotions, she is yet not three-dimensional and never can be. She can’t be touched.

He Doesn’t Stand a Chance

September 11, 2012 § 2 Comments

Did you ever call a peacock narcissistic? mutter “Creep!” as you showed your back to him? There is no difference between narcissism and the mating dance. He’s got to be seen or, one less species to ward. If the aloof loner gets all the action (and, believe me, he doesn’t) then we’re making for a wussy society. If the hen ignores the cock, she has her reasons–is she less than impressed with his display, doesn’t understand his dance, or just plain doesn’t notice–whose loss is it? My feathers were camo to Herself. I still don’t know what could have gotten her attention. Why I didn’t move on to the next hen, I know too well. I have been called a creep, and it hurts. And it hurts to hear other men described that way. Men who were, to the woman so naming them, simply out of their league; who are doing what society and women expect them to do without instruction. Who the hell knows what dance to dance or what feathers to wear? Under these circumstances, it’s a cinch to fail and unfair to be judged. That man is a creep because you are afraid of him. He is what you have made him. He doesn’t stand a chance.

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