…I can do this, I can be friends.
Just like in seventh grade, the fucking best friend, watching the world get it on while I stand by and offer encouragement with a smile, all the while bottling up my tears and frustrations, going home and crying alone when everyone else has someone to go home with, smiling, laughing, together, and they think that doesn\’t bother me.
How could it not bother me?
You think empty, meaningless, random hookups are fulfilling in the long term? No; in the end they are more detrimental than the short term pleasure and self-esteem boosts that they offer. I\’m not talking about what you\’re doing, I\’m talking about what I\’ve been doing. You\’ve been going home with the same damn person night after night for how long now? And I can\’t remember the details of the last face I saw underneath me, though it was not that long ago. After a while, they all blend together in my mind.
I\’ve tried to separate myself from the feeling that you obviously feel when you are with each other; too long since I\’ve felt something like that for real, without telling myself that I\’ve felt it before I\’ve actually experienced it. \”I want to be in love… okay, be in love. Love this one. Okay, done.\” X amount of time later, something happens… \”Stop loving this one. Okay, done.\” And I stop.
All this leads me to believe that what I have been feeling all this time, the past four years of falling in and out of love — with an average of one person every nine months — has not really been love at all, but a mimicry of that feeling I still harbor, locked away, that I do not allow myself to revisit. A feeling that has been imprisoned for more than four years, held captive by my logic that it is not safe to unleash this emotion because it will only bring about more pain.
So I watch others love and be loved in return, and I pretend to play that game from time to time, but really I\’m just a player, playing myself and the person I \’love\’ for everything they are worth. \”Of course I love you. You\’re my favorite. I don\’t want to be with him, I wouldn\’t leave you to go back to him, don\’t worry about that. That\’s in the past. I love you.\” It\’s all lies, it\’s all just patented bullshit that spews out of my mouth with the greatest of ease, without the blinking of an eye, without a second thought.
Sugar coat you in my words to make me feel better, because really, this isn\’t about you and never was — it\’s about trying to convince myself that I can separate myself from what I\’ve done, trying to convince myself that I can feel that feeling again and not be overcome by it, trying to convince myself that I still have the capacity to feel that emotion, trying to convince myself that I am worthy of that emotion, trying to convince myself that there is someone other than him that I can feel that emotion for.
It never works.
I purposefully get into relationships with people that I have very little in common with so that once I realize I cannot convince myself of these things — once I cannot make this emotion turn on and make the motor starting running again — I can watch the relationship crumble due to other reasons. My lack of interest and lack of involvement in the relationship suddenly becomes \”we had nothing in common anymore,\” which is more of that patented bullshit because really we had little in common from the start and I was just pulling the wool over your eyes. It\’s no coincidence that I start out ravenous for every inkling of knowledge you have to share and by the time I realize I cannot fix my heart with you, I cannot stand to be around your passions longer than a minute without wanting to rip your eyes out.
User. Abuser. Exploiter. Wrong doer. Capitalizing on your emotions and taking advantage of your vulnerability. Manipulating, exhausting, appropriating. Yeah, that would be me.
I\’ll make you an accessory to my madness for as long as it suits my purposes, and then as soon as I realize you cannot fulfill what I am looking for, you cannot turn me on in that one way that I really need, you cannot push that one fucking button that I want pushed, I will pick you up, crumple you like so many discarded versions of my paper\’s rough draft, and throw you out faster than I can get myself off. Click. Gone. Written off. Good-bye. See ya. Don\’t have a nice life or do; I don\’t give a rat\’s ass.
Except I do.
I\’m not that cold hearted.
I wish I was.
I do use relationships to my advantage. I do suck men in, men that I have almost nothing in common with. Men who under normal circumstances I would not be able to tolerate — whom I would even laugh at behind their backs with my friends, because we are such catty, horrible assholes like that. I date these people, and lord, I do — I do this — I tell myself I am in love with them. Don\’t you see? It\’s so much safer than falling in love with someone that you actually like. If you actually liked the person you fell in love with, you\’d have certain obligations to them. The relationship dynamic would be different. It would be… healthy. And I have not had that in four years, despite the dozens of people I have dated and the three longish term relationships I have been in since then.
Four years and three relationships is a long time to go without respecting your partners, and as a result, not respecting yourself.
MW said to me last weekend when we were discussing this, that it\’s always a good idea to date someone that you would speak well of after you\’ve broken up. I\’ve spoken well of most of my ex\’s after we\’ve broken up, but mostly out of obligation. All obligation aside, I can only think of a handful of people I would actually speak well of. Everybody else I\’d either rather forget, or would just as soon pay to see them metaphorically fed to either rabid Republicans or rabid \”anarchists\” (the kind who give anarchy a bad name), depending on the person.
I told MW that if things don\’t pan out with this one guy that may or may not be starting to happen right now, that I am ceasing dating (and I mean dating in all senses that I have ever used the term: sexual activity with anybody, \”romantic pursuit\”, etc.) for at least three months. Off the bloody market. I\’m tired of feeling like a piece of meat. I\’m tired of feeling like I have to look. I\’m tired of feeling like I\’m still in seventh grade, listening to everyone\’s stories of how they scored with my best friends when all I want to do is give them a kiss. Just a simple little kiss. But I\’m still going home alone, after I\’ve fucked half the town raw. Or I was. Some things, at least, can change. Some things, at least, I have control over. I can\’t make myself bleed, but I can make myself stop bleeding.
Stop bleeding, Cassandra. Your heart will still be there under all that mess, if you can find it. There\’s no need to be so afraid. You\’re only as alone as you let yourself feel. There\’s no need to make these half-assed attempts at turning yourself back on. Stop worrying about it and it will function again the way it\’s supposed to when it\’s ready. You think too much with your mind and not enough with your heart, which you refuse to listen to, so convinced are you that it\’s dead. It lives, just constrained, and the only one doing the constraining, putting on the pressure, causing the bleeding, is you. Stop the bleeding, Cassandra. Stop the bleeding.