September 07, 2010

The Day She Left

There are people who speak of being able to sense a change in the weather. The slower among us take that at face value, as being a literal comment about the elements. But it is much more than that. Some are blessed with the ability to sense things about others, they recognize the signs that we share with the world and act accordingly. And then are the people who cannot see what is so obvious to the others and all that they do is react to what happens around them.

By the time she had made up her mind to leave me I was so far removed from reality that I fit into the latter group. I had been stripped of my ability to empathize with others, sympathy for the common man was a weakness that Georgie had helped me evolve beyond. Remove emotion and you become incredibly powerful.

Because once you stop caring about yourself and those around you there is an incredible sense of freedom. It is a cliché, but my heart was rapidly turning black, inside I was terminally ill. I eagerly consumed all of the poison that Georgie spewed out all in the name of personal growth. That is the term I used to fool myself into believing that what I was doing had meaning and value.

The end is what you would call a long time coming. Our relationship had died months before we acknowledged it. By the time we admitted it there was a definite stench and something that had been beautiful was deformed and misshapen. We were like the Black Knight in the Monty Python movie about the search for the Holy Grail. Every time we were together another part of us was lopped off and yet the body kept fighting.

She had called me and made arrangements to go on a real date. It was something that we hadn’t done in months. I couldn’t remember the last time that we actually planned a night out, or done anything in which we dressed up for each other. I was going to pass on it, was ready to push it off to a different date, but she wouldn’t have any of it. Inside she knew that this was it, make it or break it.

I remember showering that day and for a moment getting lost in memories of past dates with her. There were weekends away, sunsets at the beach, a million quiet moments in which we did nothing but get lost in each other. And for a moment there was a brief ache in my heart. Inside a piece of me realized that this was going to be different, but I was too busy evolving and I stuffed that shred of sentiment back into a cage and tried to forget it about it

It was a quiet dinner, but not the kind of comfortable quiet that you share with someone you love. It wasn’t quite an awkward silence either, it was something in between. I think that we went to a movie, but I am not really sure. Or maybe we went window shopping, it is really a bit of a blur to me.

She tried to reach me a number of different times, reached out in all the ways she knew how but I wouldn’t let her in. And each time I rebuffed her I could feel the hurt in her build. But she was tough and determined not to let go without a fight.

Eventually we made our way back to her place. I walked her upstairs and sat in a chair while she sat on the couch. Earlier in our relationship there never would have been this distance between us. Back then it was too painful not to touch each other, too hard not to at least hold hands.

We opened a bottle of wine and gradually made our way to each other. When I undressed her I was rough, but not in the way that I had once been. It wasn’t a case of my being so turned on that I couldn’t wait to have her, now I was careless and selfish. The goal was not to make love, but to fulfill a need.

The beautiful thing about hindsight is that it permits us the opportunity to look back and see what fools and asses we were. It wasn’t lovemaking, but sex and she wasn’t an active participant. True she did it willingly, but not lovingly or happily. She didn’t give herself to me, she didn’t surrender, she just let me do what I needed to do because she couldn’t believe that something so good had become so bad.

When it was over I got up out of bed and got dressed. There was no hug, no kiss, no words, just a cold feeling that made her pull the covers over her naked body. I was at the door when she asked me if I had anything to say.

“About what?” I replied. “Tonight, is there anything you want to talk about.” It wasn’t a question so much as it was a statement.

“There is nothing to say. I am tired and going home.” If life was like a cartoon there would have been smoke coming out of her nostrils. I knew that she wanted to talk, but I wasn’t interested.

“We need to talk,” she said.

“No, you need to talk and I am not interested in being nagged.”

“That is unfair and unreasonable. I have done nothing but be good to you, I put up with a lot of crap and you owe it to me to be a little decent.”

She was right, I should have been nicer. I should have sat back down and spoken to her, but I was too far gone. Instead I told her again that I didn’t want the lecture, that when I wanted to be nagged I would tell her. And then things got ugly in a hurry.

I don’t remember what she said to me, but I remember calling her stupid and asking her when she had turned into a bitch.

She didn’t yell. She didn’t cry. She didn’t do much of anything. She bit her lip for a moment and then asked me if I had any stuff in the apartment that I wanted. I said no and she said “Fine. We’re done now, please leave.”

It was a six word epitaph for our relationship. “Fine. We’re done now, please leave.” I smiled at her and winked and then I left. After the door closed I thought that I heard sobbing and for a brief moment I thought about going back in, but instead I walked down to the corner liquor store and picked up a case of beer and a cheap bottle of scotch.

When I got back home I opened a beer and turned on the CD player

ALWAYS ON MY MIND (Elvis Presley)

“Maybe I didn't love you quite as good as I should have,
Maybe I didn't hold you quite as often as I could have,
Little things I should have said and done,
I just never took the time.

You were always on my mind,
You were always on my mind.

Maybe I didn't hold you all those lonely, lonely times,
And I guess I never told you, I'm so happy that you're mine,
If I made you feel second best,
I'm sorry, I was blind.

You were always on my mind,
You were always on my mind,

Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn't died,
Give me, give me one more chance to keep you satisfied,
If I made you feel second best,
I'm sorry, I was blind.

You were always on my mind,
You were always on my mind.”

It took a while and an unknown quantity of alcohol, but when the tears finally fell they came hard and fast, salty trails down my face. Only this time there was no one there to kiss them away, no one to hold me and let me know it was going to be alright. And I knew that if I was going to survive I was going to have to let these be the last tears I shed, emotion was a commodity I could no longer afford.

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