Thursday, June 10, 2010

one step up


"we're the same sad story, that's a fact; one step up and two steps back..."
i know by now that you know. you have the sense that there's something wrong. your voice is hard when we talk. there's distance. you don't call me. the last time i saw you, there was a definite space between us, one that even i felt. frankly, i was surprised at how that space still, somehow, managed to hurt me. just a little, but it definitely hurt, a dull ache deep in my soul, under all the anger, the frustration and the exasperation. sometimes things blow up when they end, loud, ugly confrontations that tear and rip and wake the neighbors. i kinda thought that's how it would go down with us, given how passionate and irrational our relationship has always been. but maybe i miscalculated. maybe this thing will just die quietly, no fanfare, no screaming. just... thud.

"i'm sitting here in this bar tonight, but all i'm thinking is i'm the same old story, same old act..."
i've always thought of myself as special, different, even better than most people. i'm an only child with above-average intelligence, decent looks and a good work ethic, so that gives me a pretty damn good ego. but the older i get, the more i realize that i am not anywhere near as unique as i used to think i was. i am, at my heart, pretty freaking run of the mill. the way i chose to conduct myself at the end of this has been pretty ignominious, to be sure, but it's also been cliched. i pushed you away. i sought refuge in other recreations. i took up drinking, ran the streets with my friends, and basically behaved like an adolescent for most of this. some mature, rational person i am, eh? instead of metaphorically manning up, facing the music and owning it, i just... yeah.

"it's the same thing night on night, who's wrong, baby, who's right. another fight and i slam the door on another battle in our dirty little war..."
we don't fight much. when we do, it's epic. i can be so goddamned vicious when i want to. i cut. i aim low. when i am wounded, i want everyone else around me to feel the pain i do. but that's no way to run a railroad. that's probably the biggest sign that we're doomed: i won't even invest enough of my heart in you anymore to scald you. when i think of you, it hurts my heart, like pushing on a bruise that just won't heal. but there's just no energy to hurt back. none. i just want it to stop. i want the door closed behind me. and i think that's what's going to end up happening, one way or another.

"when i look at myself i don't see the man i wanted to be..."
i fought so hard for this over the years. i changed so much, sacrificed so hard, rearranged the universe in the image i thought would work for us. and look where it got me: sitting here alone tonight, torn of soul and weary of spirit, with my heart pulled in so many different directions i can't stand it. and most of all, i just want to forget i ever met you. i want every single damned reminder of everything we were pushed away, never to be discussed again. i want you locked away. and when i admit that to myself, i feel sleazy, cheap, and most disturbing, like a total failure. i thought i could will this relationship through anything. clearly, i cannot. and my god, that's the worst failure of them all.

"somewhere along the line i stepped off track, one step up and two steps back."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


so i think it's time to take this little enterprise next level. what little enterprise? everything in my life. i have got to start striving a little harder, all the way around. i was always so freaking happy as a kid when i had goals, something to work towards. i mean, i was a wicked procrastinator, and a touch of an underachiever in a couple of areas (calculus, i'm looking at you). but work has always given me my grounding, made me happy, and helped me define who i am. well, except for that little patch of wandering in the wilderness there in the middle. between undergrad and law school, i just... coasted, i guess, is the best word for it. and that was MISERABLE. god, the more i look back on it, the more i realize that every day i just did whatever was bare-minimum necessary, with no aim other than a) earn paycheck and b) spend paycheck, i was killing the parts of me that made me who i am. not acceptable AT ALL.

so here i sit, having just logged about a 12-hour day reviewing for the bar exam (gaah, less than two months), and you'd think that would be misery. nope; i am pretty freaking satisfied, all things considered. i am on my way to building my life as it should've been built all along. i am through wasting time. i am trying, i am working, and i am achieving. work may sound like a weird way to define yourself; i know we're all supposed to be about our emotional connections, etc., etc., etc. "i don't let my job define me!" well, yeah, you don't let your employer define you. but you damn well better have something to define yourself with, and in my case, it's my legal life. i am going to be the best damn tax lawyer i can possibly be. i will define myself by my profession, my achievements and my resume. i'm done drifting. it's time to get back to what made me: being just remarkably good at what i do. arrogant? maybe. but i can back it up. let's do the damn thing, starting today.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

do what you have to do


"every moment marked with apparitions of your soul; i'm ever swiftly moving, trying to escape this desire..."
here we are again, separated by so much and so little all at once. you have no idea how much you consume my mind, how badly i want to own you, body, mind and soul, forever. you'll grant me a little of you, that's true. you spend time with me, you'll go places with me, hang out and laugh, and when it's convenient for you, you'll climb into my bed and do your level best to get as much out of me for as little of you as you can get away with. not that i don't very much enjoy that; quite the contrary. what you give me feels wonderful in the moment. you make me feel in the moment like the center of your universe. but, really, that's not true. and my god, this is starting to hurt. these walls you build around yourself may as well be a million miles high as far as i'm concerned, but you tell people how close we are like it's nothing to you. how true can that statement be?

"deep within i'm shaken by the violence of existing for only you..."
you've brokered these deals with everyone in your life, and the more i look at it, the more it makes no goddamn sense to me. we all get bits of you, some of us more than others, but you place heavy conditions on all of this. sometimes it wears on us to have to dance for you, my dear. sometimes, we get sick of humoring you. it's true. it would be nice to have more than a not-quite-as-equal-as-mutual admiration society with you. but that's what it is. and strangely enough, it's addicting to be under someone's sway like this. i must be the biggest goddamn masochist on the planet when it comes to you. how can you get in my head so much? i just can't stop. you're, honestly, not that good to me sometimes. and yet, here i sit, wishing like nothing else that you were here, holding me, even at arm's length.

"and i have the sense to recognize that i don't know how to let you go..."
i have devoted so much of my heart, my mind and my soul to trying like hell to convince you to give me a chance. when i broke your will and got into your bed - silly me, i thought that would be enough to get me into your heart. but that won't happen. not now, not ever. and i'm hurt beyond belief at this. i can't tell you, as if i ever would, how deeply this cuts me. you know how to do it; you've cut me before by accident. but this is pain i can't even express. i would walk to the ends of the goddamn earth for you, a thousand times over. i still will, and i will forever. as hurt and angry as this makes me, it doesn't change anything about that. i am so hopelessly devoted to you, in every sense of the word "hopeless." every sense but one, that is; i can't make myself believe that it's a totally lost cause. it is, mind you; i just can't make myself believe it. i still hold the germ of hope in my heart that someday, somehow, i can get you to be mine.

see, i care about you, my dear, a lot more than you know. and that makes us both pretty stupid.

"i know i can't be with you. i do what i have to do."

Sunday, June 6, 2010


the things we fight for in life can be strange sometimes. the things we refuse to fight for, on the other hand, are way more illustrative. in prizefighting, there comes a time in certain fights when they throw in the towel, ceding the conquest to the opponent out of sheer self-preservation. there's a lot about the end of a relationship that's the same as that. when the end comes, you look around at the wreckage that your life has become, and you stand up and say, "enough." you're not supposed to have to fight that hard at love. sure, you need to work at some of it, but there's supposed to be at least some refuge somewhere for you in that love. when all you're doing is desperately grasping at threads, trying like all hell to weave something together that was never meant to hang that way in the first place, it's time to throw in the towel.

this is usually the time when someone would say, "nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight." okay. true. nothing worth having is free of conflict. but there's a tipping point past which sustaining something makes so little sense that it's harmful to keep it up. when you get there, and believe me, it happens to all of us at least once in our lives, you have to have the self-preservation instinct to give up the fight. walk away alive. it's the greatest gift you can give yourself.