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Thursday, May 05, 2005

you're not doing it right

Tugging all day at perverse life:
The indignity of it!

--Weed Puller, Theodore Roethke

(money)

when something is taken from you--and i mean really taken away, never to return--it's a terribly agonizing emotion that begins to develop in response. like a nasty rash that is merely a vague itch at first, but by the end, has you so enraged that you are considering self-amputation.

on Tuesday, i drove homeward on 84 with my gas light on for almost the duration of the 25 minute trip. my anxiety and slight excitement of possibly running out of fuel without an immediate means of assistance must have given me a headache, so after spending over $30 to fill the tank i walked into the store to buy some coffee.

about an hour later, i am home waiting for a friend to call. we're supposed to meet up because she's in town. the time has been moved back a few times because of unforseen circumstances, so i keep busy by unpacking some summer clothes. so, when the phone rang, i assumed it was her.

this was certainly not her, notably because it was a male.

"hello?"

"this is Officer [somethingorother] from the Town Police. i believe we have some property of yours."

immediately i think of my purse, which had been stolen from the kitchen of a bar i worked at last summer.

"yeah, i don't think it's that. it was just turned in today. i'll have it at the desk so you can come pick it up."

"uh, ok, yeah. i'll be right there."

confused, i run to my purse. moments later i realize that the man in blue is correct. it was my wallet. i drove over to the station (making a few wrong turns along the way) and asked the morbidly obese clerk for my wallet. he summoned an officer, who came out and presented it to me. everything was there. minus about $50. my money for the week.

the manner in which all this unfolded is really the point of interest. i must hae lost my wallet during the gas-getting stop. the station was right off the exit ramp of 84. evidently, the wallet, my wallet, was discovered in Chestnut Road which is less than one minute from where i live. literally. by deduction, either i carried my wallet nearly to my house, was compelled to toss it through the window, and then promptly developed memory loss to forget both the tossing and the initial compulsion. i suppose the more realistic option is that the wallet rode with me, almost entirely, somewhere on the exterior of my car, finally leaping to freedom as we rounded the bend toward my house. sadly, it saw very little freedom. to keep with the timeline, it must have been found within 30 minutes. the finder then drove the wallet to the other side of town, a drive of about 10-15 minutes, taking the money somewhere along the way. i just cannot concede that my wayward billfold was stumbled upon twice, by chance, in such a small window of time.

so, i grab the wallet from the short officer asking him to give me a call if anyone turns in $50.

he laughs.

*****

(mutual consideration)

in the midst, my friend keeps me waiting for the remainder of the evening, only to cancel on her ride home, citing shitting problems. i tell her i'm angry and hang up very abruptly.

about an hour later she leaves me a very diplomatic, assuaging apology. she even mentioned it would be understandable if i just needed to be pissed for a few days. but that, definitely, we'd hang out and party this weekend. on her.

*****

(time & tears)

today, i saw the culmination of these petty disturbances. Mr. Married Man initiated the old game of "returning gifts." i complied, with ardor.

how this started, today, is vague even to myself, but it did lead to more discussion between the two of us than there has been in months.

"i'm sorry."

"get the fuck out of my room."

"i just didn't realize we were heading in that direction..."

"wait." my sniffles cease and my brow tightens. "you didn't KNOW? you, are the one that came to me with all this "i have feelings" crap last year! you didn't KNOW? bullshit!"

silence. "i'm just trying to smooth things over."

"fuck you. i'm done with this. go away. now."

more sniffles from me, even more tightened brows, and mostly vulgar language followed.

he's sorry.

but there wasn't enough there for me to latch onto. an apology needs substance. it cannot be airy and clandestine. it must be--inherently!--passionate, painful, and full of anguish. you must prove the amount of suffering is at least equal to that which you caused.

i believe it should be something like this:

it might start straightfaced, but it won't remain that way.
your fingers may tremble, and shortly after so will your voice.
if you are a man, it will even crack for a moment, notching down your pride a tad more.
if you are a woman, your voice will revert to a childhood pitch.
you will let out a deep sigh that sends spittle to your lips.
your eyes will narrow, inward i think, because it hurts to keep them open.
eventually there will either be intense reddening in your cheeks or your tears will break from your eyes suddenly. the crying will never beome full, but it will begin.
you will recite to me all the small details that i want to hear as i continue to sit on my anger.
you will allow me to remain in possession of my dignity, my pain, my time, my paper-cut frustration.
you will take the blurry vision away from my brain with the concrete resolution of your selfish ways.
you will take that grey cloud that has covered me, banished me, underscored my presence. you will take it and make me proud it was there. it will be warmer here as you talk.
you will break it all down, break yourself in so many pieces that i am almost sick with the drama--almost, but not quite. for each piece, i will know you are hurting. i will know you are sad. i will know you are determined enough to show me that you just might spin the globe.
and then, you will slowly build me back up again, as i allow you to do the same.

that is how you apologize, my friend.

1 Comments:

At 5/13/2005 11:29:00 PM, Blogger gijoewade said...

Wow. And you never cease to amaze me. Very good work.

 

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