Something Not Me

“I got him back.  He’s shot up in my bones.  It’s the only place I know he’ll stay.”  I write.

I believe we will get back together.  He will want to feel good and I know how to make men feel good.

I know what to say and what to do.  I can make insecure men feel like “The Man.” And they like being The Man.  For awhile.  But after awhile, they feel too good and then I don’t feel too good.   So I don’t act the way they want and they start thinking something better might come along.

Something prettier.  Something easier.  Something…not me.

He was a big man.  He wore glasses and dressed in clothes that look as if they were bought by his mother.  I find out later this is mostly true.  And his eyes…I like his eyes.  He was quiet.  Smart.  His stare was deep like he was looking into a vast space trying to figure out if it was empty or full.  It was empty.  He didn’t talk much at the start.  After awhile he wouldn’t stop.

“Did I tell you about my friend, Christina?”  “When I was in college…”  “Did I tell you about the time in college when Christina and I…” He tells the same stories over and over.  I listen.

“I’m not sure.  What happened again?” I say.

I am sure.  I know what happened.  I always know what happens. I lie to keep him talking because I know too soon, there will be nothing left to say.

He plays his guitar for me.  I like how it sounds but it always sounds the same, the same chords, same strumming pattern.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

“Something is wrong, we just don’t work,” he says.

He let me go.  He let me go before I knew he even had me.  But I don’t let him go.  I can’t.  I obsessively listen to recordings of his guitar.  I buy a guitar.  I teach myself to play the same chords, that same strumming pattern.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  I go shopping in the men’s department.  I find the same shirt he owns and buy it.  I wear it underneath a sweatshirt that I stole from him a month ago.  I get on Facebook and search his name “and Christina” because I am convinced he is in love with her.  I fall apart when I don’t hear from him and I leave where I am to meet him when he gives me the chance.  I lie for more chances.  I do whatever he wants.  I am in love.

I resent love.  I resent him because he ignores me.  I resent him for not loving me back.  I sleep with his brother and make his friends fall in love with me because I know I can.  What I can’t do is make him fall in love with me.  He only falls more and more in love with himself.

And I taught him how to love himself.  Then I taught him how to be a monster because I needed a monster.  I need the pain.  I need it so I can appreciate the moments that are painless.

“You’re right,”  I say.  “Something is wrong.”

Something is wrong with me.

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(Another excerpt from a work in progress, Short Story Fiction)

4 thoughts on “Something Not Me

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