*Originally published in 2001 on Helium.com. This is the essay mentioned here, that won me a seat at the NYC premiere-with-Q&A of some indie-flick, the name of which has since been forgotten. Figured it’d be nice to share it here, albeit with a tad more polish. 🙂
Whatever this was and why we remained attached for so long is a good subject for a psychological mystery vignette. Too many words of explanation, you remove the obscurity that makes it o, so attractive. It loses its novelty and winds up like a stint at Sing-Sing… or maybe the looney-bin fits better here, ‘cuz I musta been OUT my mind…
This particular morning finds me in his beat-up Oldsmobile Delta 88 with my hands raised above my head, trying my best to keep myself “out-of-the-way”, as ordered.
He is (harshly) instructing me on the proper technique for fastening the passenger-side seat belt, which has ceased to function in the standard, everyday, pull-it-out-and-buckle-it way.
It has sadly come down to this – my seeking out his touch any way I can get it. His arm is currently across my midriff and he is rubbing my right hip bone with his wrist and forearm.
It makes me feel quite pathetic that this is enjoyable to me. Kind of like the creepy amusement one feels from rubbing against someone’s ass by way of the crowdy-tightness, swing and sway of the rush-hour subway.
Just this is not as sexy…
I’m looking into the sun with my brown shades on, hiding my teary eyes from his view and inevitable criticism.
“I can’t believe I’m with such a cry-baby!”, he would say, should he catch a glimpse of my red-streaked despondence.
It’s always the same old thing. From normal day to inexcusable issue, he rationalizes his yelling and his destructive criticism by itemizing all my inadequacies and short-comings.
I would learn such a great life-lesson should I be patient and intelligent enough to just listen and learn from the All-Knowledgeable One about the right way to retract HIS seat belt.
“Blow me”, he says after I’m nervy enough to give him the Greek, middle-finger.
What is it that makes this one tick? Why can’t he just be normal? Why can’t he just be the way people who are seeing each other are supposed to be? Why does he yell so much when all I want to be is helpful and nice for him?
Some more important question I should have asked myself are: Why can’t he be just nice to me? Why does he enjoy making me feel so badly? And, why is it all my fault for feeling badly about the way he treats me? Too many crooked frickin’ letters….
“See, that’s what I mean – you’re such an escapist! You don’t want to learn anything! I need somebody who wants to move forward…” he says. And it makes me cry that much harder…
At this point, I’ve stopped listening because the more I listen, the more it upsets me that no matter how many times it goes back to me not being what he wants, I STILL am not validated in wanting this to be done with. It’s not over until HE feels it’s over. Not over until the Fat Greek sings…
For now he’ll stick to yelling. What the fuck, right!? – He’s good at it so…
Maybe it’s not over until I am totally reformed to his standards and THEN it’ll be over because he’s not ready to get married, OR, by the time he finally gets it he’ll need someone younger that he can have babies with. This is like torture – I can’t win, EVER.
I’m not allowed to shake him off and move on to the next, I’m supposed to keep him in whatever role he’s comfortable with while seeing other people, who he can’t know anything about. Who would accept that type of duplicity? Surely not the hypocrite-Greek!
It’s just not funny anymore. The laugh-in is over. There is nothing to look forward to besides K-Mart, laundry, cable-TV and talking to his cat. I’ve realized that he doesn’t and never WILL love me back, but I still hold idiotic hope for once being privileged enough to be allowed to see the “Nice-Guy” that was there for me in the very beginning.
Now it’s withheld as punishment for not being good enough for him.
I think I’ve figured out the Great Mystery of Boyfriend #3. That it just doesn’t matter; that he isn’t as classy and stylish as he thinks and that it really – just – – DOES – – NOT – – matter.
HE is all that matters to himself and that’s not such a mystery – self-centered and narcissistic is pretty commonplace here no matter how much you dress it up.
Luckily, I’m starting to realize that it just WILL NOT fit me.