Wednesday, October 05, 2005

So much for mocking Springer guests

*UPDATE*

To forgive and forget or forgive and resent?

M. Biologique sent me an email exactly two hours after I hung up on him.

It begins: "Why you call me and ask me weird questions and act silly?"

It ends: "Have a nice Thanksgiving and I will see you around school when I get back ... unless you hate me ... in that case, I will come knocking at your door when I am bored and you can tell me to fuck off. Gros bisous, [M. Biologique]."

I believe that was an invitation to give him the boot ... a second time ... properly. Tempting offer, but I already have closure. (Why else would I keep a blog?) I feel better simply knowing he's carrying the searing burden of my supposed anguish. Painful having a conscience, isn't it?

***

No one besides my family has seen me mad. I generally channel the energy into something more productive. No, who am I kidding? I just get defensive and shirk away. (Debatement, good. Visible anger, bad.) I feel like I cannot have any association with negative emotions without running the risk of damaging my carefully crafted veneer of happy-go-lucky, free-spiritedness. I used to play the victim card; now I bear the brunt of every poorly executed confrontation. I deem my insecurities as childish phases and expect them to pass. "It's my fault, I could've handled it better," isn't a mantra, it's a way of life. M. Biologique expected me to be forever thick-skinned, a court jester in jeans. I was being "melodramatic" if I ever wanted to have a serious conversation. I was "overreacting" whenever he amused himself at my expense. So I shut up. I didn't want to offend him. I had to mask every comment or suggestion in a blanket of comedy or he'd respond with a snide aside. I took self-responsibility to a whole other level, spiting myself for even thinking that he might somehow be responsible for the knots in my stomach and that newly acquired slouch in my step -- pantomiming pleasure from a posture of passivity. The closer I was let in, the worse I was treated; new acquaintances were always winning the lottery. He name-dropped girls at strategic times to force a barely-concealed reaction from me, then feigned knowledge of their existence soon after. He asked me if I was attracted to any and every man who offered me assistance or looked in my direction. Told me friends shouldn't feel obligated to each other, just don't do things that might make him jealous. Testing me, provoking me, humiliating me, then returning guiltily to render remorse. It was always my problem, never his. I was paranoid, not him.

Even when he slap-teased me in public, I felt the need to laugh it off to protect him from the gaping crowd. He was just having a little harmless fun, I'd rationalize. How can I expect him to act appropriately when I'm too forgetful to set boundaries? He's the special one, not me. I was smothering him with that weekly phone call.

But I was fast becoming an object of pity -- not empowerment, not anymore. A coying cliche, this couldn't go on. What would our friends think? (Crazy, I'm sure.) So I called him back:

"What did you mean when you said you do fun things, just not with me?"

He flat-out denied ever saying such a thing.

I repeated myself and pushed for an answer.

He slid into a French accent and said he meant it as a joke, he was joking, where was my sense of humour? I uttered some non-sequiturs, unsure of what to say next, trying to come up with a threat, but felt trapped by the technology that was supposed to streamline communication, but instead hindered it.

"Well ... I guess we'll have to do something fun some ... time now or we won't ... be doing anything fun ever ... in the future," I sputtered, embarrassed at my own lack of articulation and foresight.

The tone in his voice dropped emphatically: "Lily, this is not the time to deal with your dilemma."

I folded down my phone and hung up on him, immediately shaming myself for being so infantile and crude. But it was the only means of escape when words utterly tied up the tongue that bound them -- I couldn't let him dismiss me first.

***

I don't hate him for making me subservient to his ego. Or the way I caved in to his demands. Or even the way he neglected me whenever I appeared 3-dimensional.

I simply hate the success he has at doing what he does best. Who knew hurting me required so little effort? Who knew leaving him required so much more?

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