Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Four Women Who Love(d) Me

I've just realized that there is nobody in my life from whom I can ask advice. That's sad, especially since I'm 38. Equally sad is the list I started. It's made up of women who, without question, loved me. Even if only for a moment. Family members not included.

The list has four people on it.

It's debatable as to how sad it is, exactly. Even if one person really loved me for a moment, that's something. It's not nothing. While compiling the list, many large, heavy-breathing concepts were considered. Naturally, one is love. Images of Burt Lancaster as "Elmer Gantry" danced in my head all morning. What is love? Love is the morning and the evening star.

What inspires melancholy instead of bliss and rapture, however, is not that four people not in my family have loved me. One can't consider that without tripping on another hairy fact; those four people are now all over the known world and perfectly happy without me. Worse still, they are all very tired of me.

In a way, that's the worst part of all this. They have all lost their patience with me and my shenanigans. I'm an exhausting person to live with, love and even know. But I've known that for a long, long time.

Today's epiphany, as I mentioned, is that there is nobody to even speak to for advice. Everyone has better things to do than counsel a mental patient. So with nobody to speak to about a major life decision, I have to stare at the dot on the wall and think about it.

I suppose that that's part of being a person of no consequence. And if any of the people on the list call to provide advice, I have to feign well-being. Because I sincerely, with all of me, want them to be happy. The prime directive is simple...

Do no (more) harm. Be there for them only if they want you there.

It's sort of like owing a lot of money. If you can, you pay it back. But even if you can't, be sure not to borrow any more.

These four women. All of them are the bee's knees. And at any time it would have satisfied me to die for them. Protect her from a mugger? That would have been sweet. Very romantic. Put her on a plane with her true love, and make a great sacrifice for her? Oh, if only. If only.

Instead, I got to live long enough to become the person they needed to be saved from, and that's a dagger that gets caught up under the ribs. Nothing clean or honorable or romantic or beautiful about that. And all the time in the world to think about it, with a strong inclination to do so. Why did it have to play out this way?

Will no one grant Marc Antony an honorable way to die?

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