Thursday, May 6, 2010

a dream lies dead here

So today sucked.

Worst day in months, arguably. Haven't felt this heavy of heart since the great bed-moving ordeal. It is an awful feeling, the siphoning of one's heart through one's intestines...

It started an hour early, bad omen numero uno. Up at six to set up a 9 am breakfast for work. As caterer, a term loosely given to the employee most capable of mopping up the egg yolks of others, I had to arrive promptly at 8 am, to plate fruit and decant juice and set tables.

There's a different set of commuters, an hour earlier. My train was a surreal aerie of the 7 am set, secret calm couples munching pound cake, wearing sunglasses against the glare all the way to Queensboro Plaza. Their peace made me unpeaceful. Bad omen numero dos.

Then at work, arranging muffins, the big boss' bipolar son was stealing food faster than I could arrange it on the platters. Fucker took a whole carton of blackberries, saying only, "These are needed for lunch." Scooped out half of our cream cheese carton without so much as a "May I?"

Predictably, we survived. The day continued with little more than the usual snide and unprofessional interludes with the Hell Beast, who has more or less informed me that my position is on probation, pending a stress test by our incompetent board. (Translation: come July, kiddies, I may not have a job.) I made a big mistake (mostly out of stress, overwork and a lack of lunch breaks this week: bad omen numero trés), but I fixed it.

Then there was a reprieve. The nausea from seven-minute salad snarfing (under occupational duress) abated and I was able to make dinner for my favorite recently affianced friend: insalata caprese and fresh spinach linguine with leeks, radicchio and walnut pesto. We chatted about dresses and plans, we drank a half bottle of Veuve and ate a tiny lemon curd cake from Dean & Deluca. Everything was going to be okay. And then it wasn't.

I should have known. I did know. One step forward two steps back. Only this time the step forward was sasquatch-sized. There was no other way down from this tree, I say to the caged kitten in my heart. He had to do it.

Unexpected and impending dance a funny one for you. This was a choice I made, newly minted, freshly torn. No tagbacks. And I don't regret it. I said yes to the mystery. As I've always done, on one scale or another. If anything, I'm proud to have gotten here. Though I find myself alone in the igloo, wildness and snow for miles, I did it. I finally showed up. And he said "no." Just "no."

It takes a certain blend of poetry and meanness to say something like that.

Ironically, this has become quite the pattern. I show up just as the other party shrinks away. The last time I did—convinced someone to stick around—it ended in three years of pretty lies. The fool, upside down, falls on his head, lies there despairing, and sets off anew.

Nothing to be done but brush off the knees and hope it's not all over at 26, that this corduroy clad man who seemed to understand me—who certainly understood Melville—will live to regret himself.

I'm almost impressed that I managed to get out the few snarky lines I did in our conversation. Such gems as: "I'm either someone you care about, too, or I'm a barnacle. I can't be both." I actually asked a grown man to tell me whether he thought of me as an arthropod parasite. The answer was no, but how can you trust that? Who in their right mind admits to such coldness? Every breaker-upper wants the moral upper hand. And we barnacles give it freely by listening to such platitudes. "No, of course... we have a tremendous connection. That's what makes this so hard."

You just never relaxed, they say. It just never got easy.

Well, of course not, genius. Ours was the incredible five month one-night stand. Maybe this is all your fault: for memorizing my number as you dashed off the PATH train in December, for keeping the other shoe afloat. I never asked you to. I never asked you to be anywhere but where and who (and in what state) you were.

I'd rather imagine he was bored to tears this whole time than feel like this.

He's Just Not That Into You. Live this mantra, ladies. Because otherwise, you'll be left with a big empty sac of what-ifs and what-the-fucks.


Phoenix said...

This breaks my heart and pisses me off simultaneously - I guess that's how I'd describe your writing (the heart-breaker) and the situations you're stuck in (pissed-off worthy). I don't know the frak is wrong with this guy but I know that if I say the same common Hallmark sentiments of "you deserve better", "there's someone else out there for you", "clearly he's just a kid" it doesn't make things any better.

So instead I'll say "fuck him, go make out with someone else" and "keep your head up, girl, you're so much stronger than this douchebag will ever be."

Hope that works.

justsomethoughts... said...

for crying out loud.
you pack more good writing into one post than most people do in a lifetime.
i mean really.

"Their peace made me unpeaceful" ?!

whats left for everyone else ?

oh, and the post was good too.

Scarlet-O said...

Oh man. Yes, good on you, for getting that line out. I don't know what to say. I'm kinda right here with ya. And you're a helluva writer.