Thursday, May 04, 2006


We were talking about men. The ones from who we couldn't quite free ourselves, the ones we kept running towards inspite of everything, including common sense. She confided in me, and I told her the story, the same story I always tell. The one about him and what he did and continued to do for three years. I was the innocent victim, the one he fooled, misled, and strung along. The drama never ceased, building upon itself year after year. And I told it all, not leaving out a single feeling, misunderstanding, or disappointment. And she understood, seeing her pain in mine.

Too many people have heard the story, but he never has. Why would he need to? He was there for it. But sometimes I wonder what he would say if he ever did hear me tell the story. Would he stand beside me, arms folded, nodding his head in agreement as if to say, "Yes, I did all of that. And it really was as bad as she's saying." Or maybe he would shout, "I object," when I describe how he made me believe we had a chance. Would he claim no guilt beyond the initial transgression or admit to his role in keeping this thing going long after it ran its course? Or maybe, just maybe he would tell HIStory, how everything happened from start to not quite finished. Would HIStory sound like mine?

Would he admit that he was the one who started it all? That I was so reluctant that I tried to sneak out of his apartment at the first rays of daylight the morning after our first night. Would he describe how he coaxed me back to bed with promises of an extra hour of sleep that never happened. Maybe he would skip that part and go straight to the time he told me that he was in my best interest when I questioned if we should still pursue this "thing" with half the country between us. But probably, he would gloss over all of that and go straight for our first fight. The one where I let all my insecurities and immaturity show. He would probably tell how I got caught up in a game of he said/she said, believing everything I heard and nothing he had done. He would say that was the moment he realized he couldn't do it anymore. He would say that he was beyond theatrics and I was a one woman show.

But would he remember that he wasn't really done even after he said he was. Would he tell about the time he got jealous of my male friends. Would he recount how he questioned my actions even though he supposedly gave up that right. Maybe he would talk about how he would wake me up every night with a phone call, just so his voice could lull me back to sleep again. Would he mention that he said, "I'm coming to see you," and, "I've always wanted you." Would he acknowledge that we fixed what was broken.

And what about the voicemail. Would he tap dance around the fact that he went from, "I want you" to, "Don't call me anymore," in the span of 4 days. Would he cop to being a bitch and not saying it to me but rather to my recorded voice. Maybe he'd even talk about all the desperate phone calls from me that he ignored. I wonder what he will say about watching me, shocked, hurt, confused, afraid, and needing and refusing to make any of it go away with just a tiny explanation. Would he talk about the time he had his new girlfriend call me and say I was a stalker and he no longer wanted me after I had called to wish him a Happy New Year.

Would he talk about the first time we saw each other after ten months had passed. How I ignored his presence for hours, until he took me aside and finally gave me the talk that was almost a year overdue. Would he say that he conned my forgiveness, asked for my number again, then never called me because he was still with her. Or maybe he would skip ahead a year to our history repeating itself. Would he describe how I felt tucked securely in the space between his tattooed arm and broad chest. Would he say that all the old feelings rushed back in that moment. Probably not, because he didn't speak to me again until six months later.

And what of our friendship? Would he classify it as a constant push and pull, driven by a weird chemistry that won't seem to go away? Would he say that history always has the potential to repeat itself whenever we're alone. Would he tell it all, the way I do. Would it sound as intense? I don't think so. The one who felt more always remembers more. I doubt I'm the person he mentions when talking about the ones from who we couldn't quite free ourselves, the ones we kept running towards inspite of everything, including common sense. I know he comes to my mind exponentially more than I come to his. Do I cross his mind at all, except during flashes of boredom? Maybe it all meant so little to him, that there is no HIStory to tell.


Anonymous said...

I'm starting to become more and more enamored of your writing everyday (minus the week-long hiatus). You know, I ask myself the saaaaaaaaaaaame thing and the answer is HELL NO they don't have the same recollection of shit going down as we do. Call it convenient amnesia or a difference in perception/perspective, but it always seems as though part of it is made up...and part of it is! Whenever I tell a story, I tell the straight facts, but those "facts" are undoubtedly sprinkled with how I inferred them. Rather than just say "we spoke", I'd say "we spoke for a bit and he sounded so withdrawn" whether he was really withdrawn or not. Go figure. But I still think there's a tendency to play victim (and I say play b/c I truly believe men know they do fucked up shit but try to justify it to themselves and others) or at least to appear as though they didn't mean it the way we took it.

You know me--I've gone after that explanation like a crusader, and when I do it never ceases to amaze me how unparallel our accounts are (at first, anyway...if you make them tell it again a few months later it starts to sound a lot like your own--minus the emotions). Our best bet is to know that regardless of the versions, OUR story is really the only ones that should count to us because we're the main characters living and feeling every minute of it.

Okay, I think I've written enough! =D

Pop Culture Casualty said...

"Would he talk about the time he had his new girlfriend call me and say I was a stalker and he no longer wanted me after I had called to wish him a Happy New Year."

Oh no he ditn't?!

The only thing more F'd up than three way calling an ex with your new partner and accusing her of being a stalker, is you going back to him.

But if I throw this at you, then I have to accept the fact that i did the same thing. Many times. With many different men.

Sometimes you just have to keep going back until you're sure. You know? Like somehow each time you can change the ending.

But the ending never changes. It just ends all over again.

Glad to hear this is who you once were but aren't any more. Because you are way too smart, way too precious and way too emotionally deep to be dealing with these sorts of games.

You are just daydreaming about him because you are in Michigan, right? Get your ass to New York and he will be a distant memory.


Deb said...

First of all, let me just tell you how much I loved this post. It was written well, intelligently and cleverly thought out and it also hit home for me.

Even though you and I both live two different ‘lifestyles’, I have a story similar. When my girlfriend and I broke up three years ago, we ended up talking after a year or so, and basically in ‘my head’, I thought, “She never still talks about me”, or “She probably has a totally different story than mine.” We talked everything out and realized that our stories were quite similar.

About 5 months after our break up, I had a date with a girl. We went out to dinner, and I realized that this girl was quite distant from me. She would talk to me, and show ‘general interest’, but something was ‘off’.

Turns out, my ex-girlfriend was friends with her and set the whole thing up to see what was going on in my life. She also stated that she was still in love with me, (yet living with another woman) and she told this girl, “Whatever you do—do not kiss her or date her ever again.”

I kind of took joy in knowing that-- when my ex revealed that to me. Sort of cute. We’re still not together, and she still lives with her girlfriend, as I do with mine, but we have this weird and wacky chemistry that won’t allow us to hang out as “just friends”. If we did hang out, I know it wouldn’t be good. (but it would………)

Never mind what ‘his story’ is, focus on your story, and try to remember the good times—this way when and if you bump into him, you won’t sparkle ‘resentment’ and ‘anger’. He’ll see that you’re doing quite well.

Hope things work out for you.

This was an excellent post! Possibly one of my favorite of yours!

Anonymous said...

I felt as if I was reading a page from my own history reading reading this. Amazing isn't it?

Men are far from perfect. With each one I trust tem in general alittle less even married.

God mad Adam and saw his screw ups so then he made the upgrade inproved package Eve.

Michele in Michigan said...

POWERFUL. And that's all I have to say about thaaa-at.

The Rev said...

I'll be commenting more often. Your blog is that interesting.

Some men in this world make me ashamed that I am a man. I don't know if this guy is one of them or not since I don't know him, but some things he has done the way you describe them fit the prototype. He makes us look bad.

Especially that sleep part. One thing I learned along the way is do not mess with a woman's sleep. That's just wrong.

Anonymous said...

F-him and his story. I'm sorry to say this, but you are probably 100% correct in assuming that he doesn't think about what happened b/w ya'll nearly as much as you do. The brotha has no remorse and probably just saw you as another chick that he was dealing with at the time. I still don't get why you were so attached to him.

That whole scenario was grimey...and I was pissed at you for talking to him at the boat ride. That night was just so fake...he 'bumped' into you after you had seen him all night at that damn boat.

OK, let me calm know how protective I am over you!

Anonymous said...

I've asked myself these same questions--wondering what artifacts of me remain in someone I've devoted lots of time and thought and feeling to. Maybe it's best that we don't know...