Drama, Confusion and Love…

I was writing this here story for a writing contest that my friend, E. came up with.  I don’t think I can finish this story at this time.  It’s just not ready to come out.  I’m not ready to tell it all.  Maybe someday I will.

But I was reading what I’d written after I told someone off this morning for having behaved like a “drama queen” as of late.  I felt bad for yelling at her, especially since she is a very good friend of mine.  But I am not one for drama anymore.  Not after what I put myself through for so long.  Our friendship will survive, of course.  I don’t just dump my friends.

But I am weary, lately.   I’ve played psychologist, dear friend, protector and good son for a long, long time.  A return to balance is in order.

We all go through drama at some point in our lives.  Sometimes it’s easy to separate myself from it when it erupts around me like a nuclear blast.  Other times, the bomb shelter isn’t enough, and I want to launch a deadly counter strike.  That never goes over well when I get super angry.  When I get that angry, I unleash hell.  It can hurt people.  And for that I am always sorry.

But my feelings about the emotional reactions of others may explain how distant I have been from others of late.  My good friends and my special someone have noted my moods and have been there to comfort or otherwise entertain or distract.  But I don’t seek to dump all my emotions on them either.  We all write together, talk together, and we have a lot of fun.  I wouldn’t give that up for anything, drama or not.

Food for thought, though.  Everyone should have someone to feel this way about someday. .

On that note, I’m going to present this story that will be going on the back-burner, at least for now.  I need scary, not heart breaking.  Least not right now.

I woke up at 2 am on a spring Tuesday.  A alarm to my right had been about to go off, but my eyes sprang open and my hand shot out.  I choked off the cackling, pre alarm buzz before it could evolve into a news broadcast that I didn’t want to hear.  I turned back toward to the door and stared at the empty space next to me on the bed.  It had not been slept in.

 

I had to face some hard truths as I threw my sheets aside, grabbed my work clothes and headed blearily to the bathroom in my west coast apartment.  I lived with a woman that had been my partner for almost a decade, but we now slept in different rooms. A friend of mine once called that kind of relationship “loveless.”  As she had been referring to the marriage of someone I’d never met, I’d pretended I didn’t know of the kind of relationship she spoke.  

 

But my partner and I hardly spent time together, and our limited time with one another was either boring or tense.  We’d been together for so long, but our lives had become separate.  We no longer shared common interests, and it became more and more difficult to talk about the ones we had as individuals.  We did not really know each other’s friends.  The few friends of hers that I did know all seem to have the drinking problem she had struggled so hard to avoid seeing happen me.  She had not wanted me to be like her alcoholic father.  As a gift of love to her, I’d given up all alcohol once we began to live together years before. 

 

So why did all her friends drink?  

 

It was one of many double standards in our relationship that immediately made me grind my teeth when I thought of it.  I ground my teeth more these days than I ever had as a kid.

 

After sitting my tired ass down on a cold, plastic toilet lid, I brushed my teeth with a shiver.  I shaved wearily, wincing once as the blade nicked my throat, but I didn’t much care.  It wasn’t like there was anyone to impress at work even though I was sure that the regional manager was coming in today.  I rolled my eyes when I had that thought. 

 

I worked at a local one-stop shopping center as a Home Department Clerk.  The good part of that job was that my commute was literally a 15 minute walk.  The bad part was I had worked for one incompetent manager after another after another.  I’d survived the changing of the guard at that place three times.  I was beginning to feel like Willem Dafoe’s grizzled character in the movie, Platoon, surviving attack after attack on my body and my psyche by the enemy.  I’ll grant you the notion that the enemy in my case wasn’t the Viet Cong.  But sometimes I wished I had a rifle instead a garden hose as my means of getting the Home Department Management to fuck off.

 

I dearly hoped, as I stepped into the shower, that today would not be one of those  days.

 

As I let warm water cascade over my body, my eyes wandered.  I looked down at my body.  I didn’t drink, but I felt I had a beer gut anyway, which didn’t make me feel so hot.  I made myself feel worse by reminding myself that I’d developed a rather extensive porn habit over the last seven years.  I had always tried to hide it from my ex after she made it abundantly clear that she felt it was “the ultimate objectification of women.”  I always argued that women were just as free to objectify men, and plenty women did so with male athletes as well as porn stars and male strippers. 

 

But it seemed that my partner was bound and determined to have her day in court with me even though I’d declared the argument a dead issue.  She brought home a documentary one day from the local library on the origins of pornography.  She surprised me with it, popped it into our DVD player, and proceeded to tell me that it was “for her education.”

 

I’d foolishly believed this to be true as I joined her on the couch.  Even more foolishly, I believed that I would learn something of interest.  Every few minutes, the video would be paused, and a calm discussion would ensue about the points that were made about the history of depicted sex and masturbation.  By the time we’d reached the part of the documentary where the internet had been invented, I was thoroughly bored.

 

“Hon,” I said, gently.  “Are you really learning something from any of this?”

 

“I’m learning that we have a powerful means through which to sell sex to each other.”

 

“Look,” I said with a sigh.  “I know your views on pornography.  You’re quick to assert, and perhaps rightfully so, that it does lead to the objectification of women,” I said with a gentle smile.

 

“Just like I know that most men rather like it.  You included,” She answered back with a smile of her own.

 

“You know, some couples can watch porn together and lead perfectly happy sex lives.  Some are even better off because of it,”  I said with a shy giggle.

 

“I don’t think I ever could,” she replied flatly.

 

I sighed then, readying myself to make a rather harsh remark.  To this day, I believe that her real objection to pornography stems from the fact that she’d stumbled upon her father’s porn collection on the family computer.  Unfortunately for her, there had been high school aged girls depicted performing oral sex.  My ex had been in high school at the time she’d found those pictures.  Her father had been passed out on the couch just a few feet away. 

 

I could not blame her, therefore, for her reticence to associate pornography with anything positive, as it were.  But why then, would she attempt to watch this documentary? 

 

More pauses and discussions ensued each one feeling more and more uncomfortable for me.  It was never going to be a winning situation for me to discuss anything related to porn with this person.  It was just one of those issues where she drew a line.  I respected her feelings on the subject most of the time.

 

But something about this entire discussion was rubbing me the wrong way and I was starting to become rather angry.  But in my typical fashion with my ex, I began to feel a gnawing guilt because of my reaction. 

 

“You see, you men are visual when it comes to porn,” She said, pausing the documentary one more time. 

 

“And images don’t appeal to you as a woman?” I asked pointedly.

 

“I’d rather read my porn,” She said with a smile on her face.  A bridge collapsed in my stomach and I felt as though my heart would fall down to my feet. 

 

“Oh really?” I simply responded before standing and walking to the kitchen slowly.  As soon as I reached the refrigerator and pretended to rummage for a snack, a lump formed in my throat.

 

Years before, I had written my partner love letters of a sort that would have made most other women blush.  They were detailed scenarios where I said things to her, and did things with her that were supposed to read like slow, seductive sex scenes.  I was working nights at the time I wrote those letters.  Some of those nights had been so boring and so lonely that I’d ached for her, burned for her.  I’d written three letters over the course of three weeks, and I’d left them in very obvious places. 

 

I got no responses to any of them…ever.  Not even an embarrassed smile.

 

To hear her say this to me now hurt more than anything she could ever have said about pornography or my habit. 

 

Sadness had given way to anger, resentment and self loathing at this point.  I just couldn’t figure her out anymore, and I had spent almost a decade trying. 

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One Response to “Drama, Confusion and Love…”

  1. That was an excellent post today. I really enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing your writing.

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