Have you ever done something that made you feel so guilty your sick to your stomach? Because I have, and it’s not the kind of thing that you can make right by telling your parents. I’ve basically ruined a perfectly good relationship by forgetting what was important to me.
I know I’ve done this dozens of times in the past, and it should be nothing new to me. I should be well aware of my shortcomings by now and realize that eventually I’m going to self destruct. Whether it’s by cheating, or getting trashed and not coming home, arguing, fighting, being selfish or forgetting important anniversaries,
I just seem to figure out a way to turn anyone and everyone who cares about me against me.
If I could turn back the clock and do things over again, I’m usually a big proponent of letting things run their due course. I really try not do anything I really would regret, because that would mean that I’m acknowledging failure. When this happens, something deep down inside gets dragged to the surface over and over again, stuff that I thought I had destroyed, aka: buried under millions of tons of trash in New York City landfill.
But this time is different. Try as I might to ignore everything I’m feeling, a drop has already hit the surface of the water and it’s too late to stop the ripples. Whatever carefully maintained illusion I was under, there is nothing in the world that hurts like a broken heart, not when you know that intrinsically, it’s nobody’s fault but your own.
I could list the mistakes I have made, just over the course of this one relationship, for the next 48 hours and I still could probably think of something to add. I refused to act as an equal partner in paying the bills and expected her to make sure everything turned out alright. I yelled and cussed, treated arguments like warfare, cared more about being right than making her happy and snarled like a wounded animal when treated ‘unfairly.’ I kissed another girl, at the very minimum, took my other friends sides, refused to quit talking to women who were just trying to destroy my happiness and my relationship.
I guess the thing I really wish I could rewind is snapping and cussing at our, her daughter. I know that really hit home, because she is always going to be first priority, regardless of how much she loves me. If I ask myself honestly what caused that pitiful fit, I can only shamefully say that I thought she needed a strong male role-model.
Since I have never seen or been around one, all I can do is imitate what I think that looks like, even if it feels wrong and is wrong.
If only she could see how I really feel.
She’s not perfect, but she’s perfect in my eyes. She makes mistakes but so does everyone else. They say hindsight is 20/20, and yes she may be sometimes overly emotional, jealous with self-esteem issues, but she has every right to be.
Every man who has ever been with her has given her reason to doubt herself, including myself.
There are so many things I miss about her that I don’t even know where to begin. Her smell? That smell of fresh laundry (since she always does the laundry) mixed with just a hint of her body, just enough to make my blood stir. Her smile? Her goofy, nerdy, big cat smile that every-so-often would come out just right in pictures. Her laugh would fall in somewhere with that, infectious and able to light up even the worst situations.
I don’t want to get wrapped up in cheese ball poetic feelings, mingled with guilt and a helping of regret. It’s just so hard not to explain when everything is jumbled together with little strings poking out. Just like on your sweater, if you pick at one of the strings you’ll eventually pull it out, but not before two more have surfaced.
Two more that you thought were not interconnected.
I still remember some of the conversations we had, some recently and others way back in the past, where we laughed about how eventually we would grow old. I asked if she’d still like me if I was ugly and fat and old and bald, and she looked at me confused, like what I said had made no sense.
Of course I would still like you. I would still love you.
I think I would still love her too, even if she had liver spots, and one droopy eye, her hair thinned with age and wrinkles hanging off her elbows. It’s amusing to even think about things like that, now that I know that she’s gone. There’s a sense of finality when you look at a closet full of empty hangers, hangers where once she had put all the pretty clothes you bought with her, stuff she had only worn because she wanted to make you happy.
She would have been happy with or without the clothes. She was perfectly content wearing her Kung Fu slippers, a baggy over-sized hoodie, no make up, and no jewelry.
Maybe her life is better without you. That’s something that will take time to figure out. Maybe it would have been better if you were never involved, never able to hurt her, and never able to touch her heart. Sometimes I wrestle with the idea that the world would be a better place without me, since it seems everything I touch crumbles and turns to ash.
Just like the end of one of your cigarettes.
So what does she want you to do? Maybe work a few more hours, not hide away from the world when you get stressed. Maybe comfort her when she’s stressed, or when she remembers the mistakes you made that involve another girl. Even just not yelling at her when she brings it up, that would be an improvement on what happened in the past. It’s on you if you want to regain her trust, not her.
She can’t help seeing what could or might or did happen when you put it so blatantly in her face.
And above all else, maybe not placing your burdens on her, especially by saying things like this is your fault, or there’s nothing I can do when there’s certainly a million things you can do to make things right. If only she was worth it… which of course she is. Your just too stupid to see any rhyme or reason until things are already out of hand.
Now if only she could see that you understand.