I’ve taken to writing once a week at a new spot that opened in town. They serve killer cappuccino and incredible fare. The fact that the spot I’ve made mine is close to the fireplace has nothing to do with it. I’ll admit, as I was driving here this afternoon, I had zero inspiration. I even asked Allan to send me some random topics, but nothing jumped out at me. I don’t know how some authors, like JT Lawrence, who I was at school for a while does it – the woman is a machine!
I was going to write a piece about something Elizabeth shared with me about a guy in an open relationship being dosed with an experimental drug by his date for the evening – because seriously, what could go wrong, right? Said experiment stupidity has resulted in him having had an erection for ten days already and he is concerned that he may not be able to have sex again. First thing that popped into my head is that he has Viagra poisoning (because if you take the little blue pill, and you have a boner for more than four hours, you need to call the doctor) or he has a spinal injury resulting in this priapism. The spinal injury theory had my picture-brain spinning colourful theories of kinky, pretzel-bending sex. I was ripped from this porn-fest when an ambulance nearly took me out on its way to the scene of an accident.
Now, that I’ve got your attention…
It’s been said that there’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity, which is kind of illustrated by the example above. There’s also, in my humble opinion, a fine line between self-assurance and arrogance, and between arrogance and stupidity too.
Four years ago, I met someone, who I really cared about. Things were complicated. Long story short, it didn’t work out, because about six weeks after his divorce was finalized, he got engaged – to a waitress who is a decade younger than me that he met two weeks earlier at a party he’d attended with me. I admit I was stupid to have become close to him while he was still married, but the rejection still hurt. I woke up one morning and forgave him because I was drinking poison expecting him to die. The best thing to come out of this disaster is that I made friends with his (first) ex-wife, Angelique. For those of you a little slow on the uptake, he is now divorced from the waitress too. I heard what happened from Angelique and it sounds like anything but a fairytale.
So, imagine my surprise when I got a text out of the blue last week from him, which read “Hi P, it’s me D. I’d really like to catch up with you again. Can we talk, please?”
Stunned doesn’t begin to describe it. Neither do speechless, gobsmacked or flabbergasted. I suppose aghast is close. My knee-jerk reaction was one of immediate animosity. Elizabeth and Angelique both told me he’d asked them for my number but they were unwilling to offer it up without having spoken to me first. Turns out he got my number elsewhere from another friend who wasn’t fully acquainted with this particular episode of the soap-opera that is my life.
I spent that evening with Eliza and Nathan, and slept on my reply, because therapy has taught me that knee-jerk reactions often lead to regrets. I expected that I might toss and turn during the night, but I rested, like the Sleeping Beauty.
Staying with what therapy has taught me, I put myself first and sent an honest, to-the-point reply.
“It seems that in almost five years you haven’t learning anything about respecting another’s wishes. You asked both Elizabeth and Angelique for my number and when you didn’t come right with them (because they respect me- and our respective friendships), and Elizabeth told you I’m in a fragile state of mind, you forced things and got my number elsewhere. I have no desire whatsoever to see-, nor ever hear from you again. Please don’t contact me again.”
I didn’t expect a reply, but seconds later I got this:
“I am truly sorry. I got your number from someone else and did not get an answer from Angelique and Elizabeth, that’s why I contacted you. I did not know that you didn’t want to speak to me. I do apologize P. I was a dick. I know that. You were only good to me and I hurt you. I pray that one day you may forgive me for what I did to you. I AM SORRY.”
I suppose many of you reading this may be thinking Ah, have empathy with the guy, but my reaction was the opposite. My blood B.O.I.L.E.D to the point of me feeling I could knot a rattlesnake with my bare hands – and I was out of CalmTheFuckDown capsules. The arrogance and/or stupidity (or both!) of his whole approach had me seeing more red than a livid bull being taunted by a tiny matador, triggering me into a spiral of binge-eating and sleeping during the day. Thank God I’m not allowed to drink on my medication, because I might have ended up day-drinking too.
Catch up – as if we are buddies.
I didn’t know you didn’t want to speak to me – Hello?! What. The. Actual. Fuck? Is this man serious? The tragic thing is, is that he probably is.
I opted for the final word. Possibly cut-throat, but the self-care of my mental health is number one on my list of priorities at the moment.
“I’m sure you are, but seeing or talking is not going to change the past. You can make peace with yourself as far as I am concerned knowing that I am making this decision on your behalf, the same way you made a decision on mine when you walked away to be with (the waitress). There is nothing left to say. What’s done is done and no amount of “I’m sorry” will ever bring me to a point of trusting you. I accept your apology and I forgave you a long time ago – for my own peace. I wish you well for the future, but ask that you respect my wishes and don’t contact me again.”
He’s heeded my request at least.
So, now it’s back to the recovery board, and re-answering some of the same questions I asked myself five years ago. I’m glad to report that the answers have changed, and that they now reflect growth, acceptance and excitement about the future… particularly my upcoming solo-vacation to Victoria Falls – a destination I’ve dreamed of since fifth grade! But that dear readers, is another post, for another time.
For now, I’m going to bid you all adieu, I have a Coq au Vin to enjoy.
‘Til next time…