Monthly Archives: March 2015

Doux bébé

Doux bébé

JEFF PERRY, MATTHEW DEL NEGRO

“You’re wondering what this is going to look like — our life. I could lie to you right now: that’s how both my other marriages began, with lies. So I could lie to you right now; I could tell you there’s a chance we will warm to one another, maybe fall in love and live happily ever after. I could lie, but I won’t.

“We’re not going to fall in love, and that is a relief to me, because I cannot disappoint you. I cannot hurt you any more than I already have. I cannot destroy your image of me, or break your heart, or damage your soul. You don’t believe in me, so I have nothing in you to break. I am on no pedestal, so you’ve seen me for what I am: a filthy monster desperately trying to hold on to the last shreds of its humanity.

“You are a good person. I know that… I’m not promising much, but I will promise this: I may not do it well, but I will do my best to be your someone. So you’re not alone, OK? You’re not alone.”

Not only is this one of Cyrus Beene’s best monologues — and consequently one that belongs on Jeff Perry’s Emmy reel — it is also the only non-wedding-vow kind of wedding vow that would drive me to tears. And that is saying something, because God knows I’ve had plenty to cry about since I woke up this morning.

Three times a year

Three times a year

broken promises

Two dozen years of sheltered thoughts
I lived within my shell
Then Time broke down that fragile wall
And dragged me down to Hell
I opened my eyes and saw these things
I never thought could be
But the ones I loved were doing them
And they were doing them to me

Bit by bit that sheen dissolved
And the dirt beneath was shown
I saw myself quite differently
The filth was all my own
Five more years of loss and pain
I thought that I was through
Then God threw me another bomb
And led me right to you

That voice, that smile, that charm, that heart
All set up for me to fall
And yet I knew that of right and wrong
Was still within my call
If I could have been strong enough
I would have said, “No more.”
But once again my heart failed me
And walked me to your door

Now one year on we live and love
The days are like a dream
But in my head where none can go
Is one long, silent scream
For everywhere her shadow looms
And this gives me a clue
That everything you say to me
I know she hears it too

Three times a year I give you up
And pretend you don’t exist
And for “10 to 12 days”, but really 16
My rage becomes a cyst
Excuses, lies and fairytales
Are all your words of choice
And when I don’t see them on your face
I hear them in your voice

Still I trundle along this pointless road
While purgatory looks down from above
Because I know that this endless pain
Is made worth it by this love
But if I could pull myself out of this life
And tie it up in a pretty bow
I’d set it alight in a fire so high
And finally let you go

[Originally written: December 11, 2014. Courage found: Today]

Stretching the line

Stretching the line

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” – Khalil Gibran

breaking point

I once had a crush on a boy who told me on our third date that he was an open book, and that he could see that I wasn’t. And I, being the closed book that I was, was happy to sit there and let him launch into a wordy analysis of what he thought I was, without conceding to anything. And, to my chagrin, he was relatively accurate.

“It’s not a bad thing to be a closed book. You don’t say very much, but you watch and listen and commit everything to memory. So you absorb and absorb everything from everyone around you, and when you do actually decide to voice your opinions, you definitely don’t hold back. In other words, God help any man you love who pisses you off.”

He probably didn’t realize it, but he was basically telling me what he thinks happens when I reach my breaking point. I suppose it’s no surprise why I had a crush on him.

It feels as though I’ve spent close to two years teetering on the edge of that fine, somewhat tattered line people like to call their breaking point, and it has been an excruciatingly irritating position to be in. While I will admit that I pretty much placed myself on that edge to begin with, it doesn’t make it any better that I’ve gotten absolutely no help from the precise few people who have the power to help me off the line. The result is almost two years of bitterness, rage and hatred all threatening to snowball into a verbal tirade that I have no doubt I will regret.

As I said before, when a person reaches their breaking point, there is literally no coming back from it. There is no taking back that moment of raw, brutal honesty that defines the very reason for their unhappy circumstances. There is no more room to be sorry, to be loving, or to be kind, because they know they have exhausted all their efforts in getting what they wanted, and are ready to admit defeat and walk away before they can hurt themselves any further.

I always thought — and I still do — that I had a breaking point, and when the time came, I would reach it and completely let go of everything I’ve hung on to that has defined my life and the pain I’ve put myself through. But time and time again, just when I think I’ve reached it, I end up bouncing back and stretching that line a little further, thinking that if I could just be a little more patient, wait just a little while longer, everything would turn out all right. And time and time again, I turn away from that breaking point, terrified that if I do reach it, it would be too late to turn back even if I wanted to.

But no longer. As I see that line approaching yet again, I know that the trick is not to break it, or even back away from it, but really to manipulate my way around it. I know now that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to deal with the unhappy circumstances in my life, and if I must be cold, silent and distant to drive my point home, then I will gladly spend two, three, even four weeks living in a hell that has literally frozen over.

Because I realize now that when it comes to certain things — and love, unfortunately, happens to be one of them — that taut, white-hot line known as the breaking point is only ever as far as we ourselves place it.