Battle Fatigue

October 28, 2007

I return from the field with the spoils of war in hand, blood-spattered but head held high. My tight smile stays firmly in place as I march past the waving and cheering ghosts. They, the apparitions, are the reasons for this war. I fought for them, for their pleasure, for their pride, for their ego gratification. They know they need to show their gratitude now. Because they know the truth behind the frozen grin and stiff-gaited step. They know that the blood is not the enemy’s. They know that no prisoners were taken because I am too weak, too tired, too drained to hold the vanquished in restraint.

Behind the bluster, beneath the bravado, my victory is hollow and futile. The white flag was hoisted with a look of pity and compassion in your eye. You gave in more than you gave way. Your words say that I have won, but you have offered no guarantee, no promise besides the immediacy of your surrender. From the moment you handed me your weapon, you knew and I knew that capitulation was one way out, one way of stopping the bloodshed, one way of creating a diversion to make full and utter retreat possible.

I carry on holding the weapon and the flag before me as evidence of my strength and my power. You and I know the truth, though.  We both know that domination is only possible with willing submission. If you are gone, and you are indeed long gone, no ground has been gained. But at least the battle is over.

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War Zone

October 25, 2007

We pretend not to be at war. We wear our mufti, and keep our camouflage well hidden at the back of our closets, accessible but invisible. We disguise our weapons with the prettiest of words. We hide our wounds well beneath the tinkling laughter. You’d never know that we’ve left a path of destruction in our wake. The bodies are carefully interred, the blood stains covered with flowers and delicate objets d’art.

The truth is that I am broken, and tired of the fight. I wish for nothing more than to raise my white flag, acknowledge my surrender. The price in casualties has been too high. I no longer have the strength to keep this battle going. The screams are becoming deafening. I am confused, and don’t know which way to run off the field.

How about you? Are you exhausted in your bones the way that I am? Do you dream of peace and tranquility? Are you willing to do anything to make our gentle appearances reality? You can. All you need to do is give up. Admit that I have conquered you. Make me the victor, grant me the spoils. That’s all it will take.

Otherwise, I will continue to ignore the begging of every nerve and impulse in me to be done with this. I can keep this up forever, if I have to. I can sustain this beautiful pretense for as long as it takes. Keep fighting if you wish. It doesn’t matter. Eventually, I will win.

Cut & Paste

October 22, 2007

The insides of my mind are covered in wallpaper paste, with bits of torn up Deep Thoughts half glue-submerged and half blowing in the draught. I find a bit that says:

“you are totally exposed, open, pliant… the natural instinct is to protect you, cover you, shelter you”

which logically must go with:

“Yes … I remember trying to get a reaction out of you. You were very disciplined, and I felt like seeing where that might break down.”

but apparently doesn’t, because it can be summed up with:

“I think he gets protective of me because he thinks my vulnerability shouldn’t be exposed. I think other people want to try to expose it”.

which rather kills the discussion dead. Trawling through reasons why some people would want to break me down and others want to preserve my strength doesn’t really yield up anything particularly edifying about anyone much, so I end up abandoning that train of thought.

Then stuck to the glue I find a whole lot of prickly bits about fathers, the lack of, and Alpha Males, and things my daughter has to say about the kind of man she’s looking for (how come it took her 20 years less than it took me?). I could write a whole plethora of posts, I think happily, but they elude me.

I’m sucked into a black hole of advice-giving, which leads me to wonder why it is that every single man I’m involved with appears to have some inability to resist dingbats. Or is it me? No, apparently not: I’m the dingbat antidote, I’m told. But maybe this is because as an ex-dingbat I have the inside scoop on them, I’m subsequently told by someone else.

This morning a colleague asks me to be the union representative: I’m diplomatic, I don’t kiss ass, I’m not self-serving, I can say my piece, I don’t take sides, I can negotiate. Huh. So it’s only lovers who want to cut me off at the knees. Or alternatively, all the people I normally infuriate with my impartiality suddenly see how this can be turned to their advantage.

Underneath it all runs a little thread of worry and dread and anger, and that’s the mouldy paste my thoughts are sticking to – the things I don’t want to write, that pervade everything I do write.

Mea Culpa

October 21, 2007

To whom it may concern (if it does not concern you, then you need go no further — a lack of concern would only distress us both):

There’s something I need to tell you… a confession, if you will. In fact, I think of you as my virtual confessor. That makes sense, since everything we do together is virtual — confession, sex, gossip, fight. It’s all virtual. You’re virtual. But anyhow, dearest virtual one, here is my confession. I believe the world is ending. This may disturb you… either the fact that I believe this to be the case, or the fact of the ending itself. Either way, my confession has achieved its purpose. I may now pass my sense of responsibility on to you. You may choose to make me feel better about the ending of the world, or you may choose to prevent such an ending. Either way. Your problem now.

Oh, there’s more. I have another confession. I have deceived you with another (virtual) woman. Well, I assume she is a woman. She types as I imagine a woman would type. During our impassioned session of virtual lovemaking, she keyed in the appropriate sounds and reactions, so I can only assume that I have, in fact, deceived you. My previous declarations of undying virtual love are now to be considered null and void. Please tear up the contract. Then, please forgive me.

You have forgiven me? Then, I have another confession to make.  I am not who you believe me to be. I do not ride stallions majestically across the white sands. I will not, cannot, never intended to sweep you into my strong, sculpted, hirsute arms (sorry — I found the picture that I sent you on an anonymous blog about arm fetishes) and rescue you from the drudgery that is your so-called real life. There is very little in what I emailed you that is fact. I am really 14 years old, live in my parents’ basement, and masturbate nightly to that slightly blurry photo you sent me of you in that diaphanous white gown and silver stiletto heels.

Oh. Not really you? I am deceived. I am destroyed. I am devastated.

You are forgiven.

Easy

October 18, 2007

I’ve always had it easy, you know.  Everybody knows it, surely you should too.  It’s my special talent: I roll in the shit, and come up smelling of roses (it comes in a spray, you should try it): I fuck up my life and I get what I want (I box myself into a corner, and then I cry for help.  It usually works, you should try it).

Oh, I should wail, I should tear my hair out by the roots.  I should get out of bed and kick myself every morning.  I should be ever so humble, and I should repent.  I should smile with gratefulness, and not with pleasure.  I should repeat my litany of thankfulness, I should be so grateful for everything I have (but I am, that’s why I smile.  Why are you too stupid to see this?)

If I don’t cry out in pain, then I must not feel.  If I don’t confess, then I must not know the sins I have committed.  If I forgive myself first, then there must be something I don’t tell.

I keep it to myself.  I don’t tell anyone (but I do.  Just not you).

It’s not reaction you want, it’s the reaction you want that you want.  I think you’d back me up against every limit I have just to push me into something raw and real.  And yet I throw emotion at you, and you discard it: it’s not what I give you want, it’s what you want to take. (And then again, I know that’s unjust.  I know you’d give me good things if I asked for them.  But I won’t, and it infuriates you).

Real

October 16, 2007

On my end, the words appear on the white background, one letter at a time, staccato, clicking, high speed… the thoughts, ideas, expression of feelings and beliefs come from me, me the person, the whole person. My fingers and the computer are only the vehicle to tell him my story.

On his end, he sees my words one sentence at a time, appearing each time I hit enter. The words are the same as I have sent him… they still express me. That is my intention. I am sending him bits of me, telling him who I am, proving myself, telling, sharing. Sometime in that space, that invisible, instantaneous, non-existent piece of time, though, everything changes. The words become an illusion, the portrait of someone who doesn’t exist. The intentions disappear in subspace. The meanings dissipate. Somehow, the absence of flesh, and movement, and breath, and pulse, means that the fact of me is lost.

With that loss, my expectation and my assumption of being understood also disappear. Letters, black lines on white, words, punctuation, mean nothing, or maybe everything. My essence has gone missing somewhere between here and there.  I use the words to insist on my reality. But I am not believed. He can’t see me, so, to him, I am this pretty thing, and that exciting thing, and that other arousing thing, but really, if I am not me, I don’t exist.

You can get here from there

October 12, 2007

I have no idea what direction I’m coming from at the moment.  I’m OK at work – there I’m walking straight at you and I’ll be right up in your face if you don’t move.  Here and now… no idea.  No clue what’s going on in my head, although there seems to be some surface activity, doing the chitchat thing.  But really I keep wanting to say:  “What do you think I’m on?  Where do you think this stuff is coming from?  When do you think it’ll stop?”  And more than that: “Do you think it’ll do any good?  Is this all I’ve got, or is it just a symptom (this mental discharge)?”

I suppose I’ll know in a week or so, or I’ll just get used to it.  I suppose whatever direction I’m going in I’ll just keep going in.  I think I’m headed somewhere familiar, but I still wish I knew how I got here, or what way I’m facing.