Serendipity

Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way?

Tag: love

259

What is broken may never mend the way we want it to. I loved you and you loved the way I loved you. You watched the life drain out of me and began searching for the nearest exit. You wore my scars like trophies, deep down you wanted to be remembered.

I wish I could love him with the same fearlessness, the same carelessness, the willingness to be hurt. Do you know what it’s like to miss who you could have been? I find myself reverting to old unhealthy habits. I feel myself giving in to darker cravings.

Anything worth having can be lost. Now I have something to lose. Now I can be frightened, all the time, always preparing for the worst. I spent a lifetime around people like you who took pleasure in making me feel small. It’s hard to believe sometimes that he could see differently. He convinces me over and over again and yet I always forget, I keep begging for reminders, all the while convinced that one day he’ll be tired of lying to me. One day he won’t bother.

I was reckless until I met him, as it had never mattered to me before. In a way you can always sense the difference between someone simply passing by and someone who intends to stay. We know before they ever touch us who will be gentle and who will leave a mark. Some lovers leave bitter tastes in our mouth and others we wish for happier endings though we no longer play a part.

You had turned me to a beggar once. I was naive enough to think you loved me and foolish enough to try and make you stay. I kiss his lips and taste your betrayal. You left me with a crooked heart. Oh darling take me back to the start.

258

Do you know what it’s like to wake up one morning and hate the life that you’ve built? A life that so many would envy, a life that some would trade in a heartbeat, a life that perhaps you never deserved to begin with.

The skillfully curated library intended to enlighten your guests to all your class and wisdom. Wallace’s Infinite Jest sprawled open on your bedside table, your chances of actually consuming it growing infinitely smaller with each passing day. No one actually reads books these days, who has the time?

The carefully selected catalog couture stashed neatly in your walk in closet. The grossly overpriced stiletto heels that only a true masochist would fathom walking in. The unethically sourced blood diamonds that satisfies the darkest parts of our selfish nature, the feeling of having won something in this trivial game, of having the upper hand in this meaningless excursion. Petty excuses for a petty existence, self serving because we no longer worship deities, we think we are Gods.

We used to know our place, back when only Emperors wore jewels and gold threaded embroidery. In this age of spin we’re led to believe that we too, can have a chance to experience life as royalty. If not for a lifetime then perhaps a month, a week, a day, an hour. A billion dollar industry designed to make you feel content with what is otherwise a mediocre existence, a mild inconvenience to this planet at best.

Have you ever woken up one morning and no longer recognised yourself? When did the fine lines sink in around your eyes? How many bottles of expensive creams in french labels will it take to erase the tiredness from your soul? When did you grow old? Did anybody notice you were gone? Will anyone notice if you don’t return? Do you fantasise about leaving it all behind? Being dramatic just for once, packing your bags without leaving a forwarding address. It used to be easier to disappear, when we didn’t have devices and accounts that tracked every movement.

I am wary of being called ungrateful, of inviting unpleasant superstitions. But I am so very tired of myself, of what I am becoming, of every day that passes and the days yet to come. I fear becoming a caricature of myself, of withholding my affections for purpose, of a love held together by mutual convenience and bitter compromise. You keep pushing me to be a better version of myself, sometimes I wonder if you ever liked who I am to begin with. I keep chasing your approval and losing myself in the process. I fear when you’re done with me, there’ll be nothing left.

256

I wonder if you ever think of me.

Not in a romantic sense, but just as a passing thought. I wonder if you’re ever haunted by memories of laughs we shared, secret smiles and subtle glances, a stifled giggle now and then.

I don’t have a choice in what reminds me of you. The episodes come and go as if I am a mere bystander and the theatre has decided today it will play you, it will remind me that you’re hilarious and witty and all the things I loved about you are still true, but I was not worthy of being held onto.

I see your face now and then in strangers, boys who hold a shadow of your Nordic features, but never quite capturing your smug yet self deprecating charm.

We stood together at the crossroads and you took the good path, the straight and narrow, the safer road, always so sensible. I was always clamoring to be misunderstood, to be missed, to make mistakes so you could save me. You grew tired of my antics quickly and soon enough, you grew tired of me. Who could really blame you?

I asked you a long time ago, the first time you said you loved me. I asked what love meant to you. You were confused by the question. I was unwilling to share my answer, knowing it would do more harm than good. Because love meant I’d do almost anything for you. Anything within my power, anything that wouldn’t result in someone else’s pain, anything that wouldn’t destroy me in the process. If some small sacrifice on my part could improve your day, I wouldn’t hesitate, because your happiness meant more to me than anything else. I was so blinded by my infatuation that I refused to see it was never the same for you. “I love you” meant you tolerated my existence. You allowed me to build my life around you out of convenience. You told me lies because they sounded better. You let me live in my own fantasy so you never had to break my heart. You waited for me to break my own.

Still I hear your voice some days, quiet murmurs in the dark. I feel your arms around me sometimes, and you whisper that I’m the prettiest girl you’ve ever known. I didn’t believe it then and I know it was never true, but it still felt good to hear you say it. “I love you” meant you were willing to lie, and that must count for something. You risked a tarnish on your soul in order to make me smile. You loved me the only way you knew how, for a while.

254

“Happiness is the enemy. Now you have something to lose.”

I dread the day I lose you to a prettier smile, a youthful radiance no longer found in our dimly lit study. I fabricate the slow death, the agonizing ache when you must watch helplessly as your lover’s impatience outgrows their affections for you. You stay quiet and watch the threads come apart slowly, or you fight and tear it in two.

I picture your lips on her, every inch of her. How she makes you feel young again with her gaze, how easily she falls for you as I once did. How her innocence reminds you to dream, and how my heart will shatter on the day you decide to stop pretending.

I don’t know how love grows or where it goes when it runs out. But I feel a hollowness in my chest when you’re gone and a tenderness through the long nights when sleeping together feels better than anything else. The kind of love that fills you to the brim and the kind of love that terrifies me to my very core.

I find myself thinking about the others who had lost you, others who now miss you. The  few who still keep in touch, the ones who left enough of a dent for you to miss them too, even if you won’t admit it. The one that your parents liked, the one you thought you might marry. I ponder the possibility of joining their ranks and I don’t very much appreciate my chances of survival.

What does love mean to you? What does it mean when you say you love me? What is it about men that makes women feel so lonely? What is about you that leaves me always wanting?

253

What would you give up for the love of your life?

What would make him worthy?

I have lived enough or am perhaps simply weak enough to admit that love can sometimes not conquer all. There is bitterness to be found in counting copper and your smile still haunts me.

I have learned that forgiveness can be found at the bottom of the glass, and regret follows if we only bend when it is too late.

I used to think that ours was an unbreakable bond, now I know there was simply no one pulling at the strings. We had never really been tested before. It turned out most lies we tell eventually crumble.

There are men who warm you and there are men who burn like fires, who swallow you up in the smoke, leaving only dust and memories. The men who protect you are more often the ones who break you, they know where to push the buttons, they know how to hurt.

He will remain faithful even in his infidelity, and you will be his forever treasure. The perfect solution to all his broken promises, the unjustifiable reward for all his selfishness. But he will love you like you have never been loved before. His love is strange and all consuming, you won’t know how to survive without it.

I still wish you more than happiness. I still love you with my crooked heart.

251

It will rob you of something intricate. In your desperation to be watched, to be remembered, the catastrophic amount of stress you will experience from the urge to impress will swallow you, it will turn you into a shell of who you used to be.

People will stay acquaintances because it’s safer that way, and because it becomes harder to have conversations when you’re used to hiding behind a screen. Social anxiety is a euphemism we made up so we could sound special instead of broken, because we won’t admit we broke ourselves.

We started caring too much about the wrong things, about celebrities whose lives consisted of shallow superficial highs that we pretended to be uninterested in but only because we know we could never afford it. The perverse satisfaction of knowing you have a little more than others, it will turn you. You will become difficult and unpleasant to be around.

You start to suffer for the wrong reasons. Pretending to be happy because it feels good to have others think you are perfect, no matter what is really happening behind closed doors. You start to become proud of how well you hide the ugly truth. Your image starts to become more important than your soul.

You forget how to love and start to believe it was just a way to sell Valentines Day cards to the naive. You mistake his dangerous obsession for gentle infatuation and convince yourself that masterful manipulation is just a cleverer way of caring. But it’s also the greatest indicator of his capacity for violence. He’s the type to leave cities in ruins.

You think empathy is for the weak. You mock the less fortunate or feign compassion depending on the circumstances. You know you worked hard for everything you have, so you start to believe they must deserve their suffering. You scoff at the insinuation of a privileged life, you forget it’s all relative.

You start to look down on people who are not necessarily less intelligent, nor less hard working, but simply less fortunate. You discuss people by listing their accomplishments and assets, because that’s the most interesting thing about them. You become dull and petty, incapable of having a meaningful conversation.

You die a slow death long before you stop breathing.

248

That warm feeling in your soul when you’re just beginning to fall in love with someone.

The impatience for you to wake up in the mornings because I’ve missed you after all that sleep. Trivial things like remembering my drink order, watching me struggle to decide between two options and ordering the forfeited one for yourself so I can have both. Reaching your hand behind to grab mine when we cross the road. Kissing me at the intersection while we wait for the lights. Winking at me in the elevator when strangers intrude. Taking me in your arms possessively and declaring: ‘mine‘. I am still in awe at how good it feels to be ‘yours‘.

Digging through the past for stories not skeletons because I’m curious at how you became yourself. Putting up with my childish antics and finding them endearing rather than irritating, promising to let me take advantage of this honeymoon phase for as long as I can. Accidentally calling me ‘darling’ and rushing to defend your mistake, insisting it was meant sarcastically. I let you pretend.

Falling in love to the same song with a different person, because there is cruelty in romance. So this is what it feels like to fall level headed, no butterflies in my stomach but only a calculated passion, reinforcing the suspicion that this is where I belong, what I’ve always wanted. The freedom to let go and fall, trusting you to catch me every time. We’ve made our share of mistakes, the tragedy of meeting the right person at the wrong time. We’ve tasted betrayal before, but it hasn’t left us bitter. I’ve heard of love like this before, lets make it better.

247

There’s a reason I haven’t apologised. There’s a reason I feel entitled, even angry, still. When I loved I left no doors unopened, I was ready, ready, ready for you to come in, to make me a home. The epitome of love is not selfish romance, it’s not two people kissing under the rain in a rose garden. It’s family, it’s beginnings and promises of a lifetime to come, I wanted the sort of love that would ache.

We did not meet so young, we did not have perfect excuses for our failures to be more than what we chose to be. You had no excuses left, I was running out for you. Every day was another day that you refused to change, which in a way was choosing to not be with me. Every day you took another step away from me and I’d run to keep up, I loved your shadows.

I have learned to keep my tongue in cheek, to win less, because small victories are not worth celebrating, especially alone. But I did not know how to let you go. I had forced myself to erase the concept of a life without you. Now I am trying to re-imagine this new life, but it is not as beautiful as my first design. I drew you perfect.

There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, but I know only one. Break your own heart, shatter it to pieces, make them watch. Tell them you still love them, and it’s slowly killing you. Tell them you won’t ever love like that again, no more, no more. I dream of happier endings but I don’t tell you anymore. No more, no more. My heart’s been broken but it doesn’t hurt anymore. No more, no more.

246

There is darkness in all of us, mine is simply louder.

I’ve never been good at taking life or people in small doses. I prefer a more lethal injection, to live recklessly, to love wildly, to be so close to someone that you breathe them in, you forget who you are, you let the good fill you up and the bad consume you whole, every heart break is an evolution, a transfiguration.

I’ve come apart again, crumbling in his hands, falling for pretty words and prettier lies, gentle kisses and dangerous eyes. I watch my own insanity merge into his skin, our infatuations mistaken for passion, every scar and every bite intended to mark his territory, I get lost in a simple word: mine.

I dream of holding your hand. Something about a subtle wave, a small gesture as we navigate through the crowds feels far more intimate than kissing or fucking. I dream of being owned, body and soul, in toxic quantities, I want to forget, I want to let go. I want to be taken, used, beaten, subdued, ravished. I want to feel safe when I come undone. The gentlest touch comes when you’re half asleep but still remember to pull me closer, I feel my head pressed against your chest and your heart beat steadily sends me to slumber. The night is young and full of wonder.

245

Love is…
Socially acceptable insanity
Unsustainable
Unattainable
Little white lies
Broken promises
Drinking alone at 3 am
18 missed calls on a Saturday night
4 deleted voice messages
Waking up to empty vodka bottles

Love is…
A birthday cake with too many candles
Red roses
Box of chocolates
Her favourite perfume
Meaningful silence
A perfectly harmless lethal injection
A beautiful mistake
Breathing next to each other
Drinking tea in the morning

Love is…
A slap to the face
Bloody cheeks
Bruised shoulders and broken bones
A kick to the stomach
Promises to change
The right shade of foundation
A perfectly timed embrace
My missing chapter
Your broken heart

243

Why do we love the sunset? Do we admire the colours or do we cherish what it represents? Another day, you’ve survived another. There are days that are easy and there are days when you lose the fight. There are days you breathe peace and days that you’re lost to the storm.

I should have kept quiet. I should have seen the signs, known what was coming. I’ve seen love like this before, I’ve tasted the bloody roots, I’ve left a mark or two. He remembers every bit of nightmare I put him through. Our addictions were never as problematic as our affections for each other. In this twisted world you can be proud of specific substance abuse. You could mistake it for achievement, you needed to reach a certain level of success to have these sorts of problems. Only the poor are degenerate alcoholics. When the whiskey is top shelf you can hide behind the facade of good taste.

Whenever I lose a friend I find myself wondering how they would feel if I were to die in an accident the very next day. Would they regret not picking up the phone? What if they never have a chance to speak the truth? Suddenly I find myself filled with a perverse sense of satisfaction at the idea of denying them that opportunity. I fantasize about having the last word.

But I don’t really want the last word. I don’t like to let go of people. I still believe that there is meaning to be found in this world. So I find myself extending the olive branch, time and time again to those who may not deserve it. I let myself get hurt over and over again by those who have let me down before, on the off chance that this time it might be different. Because there is always the perfect possibility that it could be different. I let my crippling depression and my never ending optimism compete for control, and I am accustomed to losing the battle. I have my scars to prove it.

But I love you I love you I love you. I could never let you go. You break me but I can’t walk away. I am shattered and yet I am still. Be the sun, be the stars, be broken but unbent. Be the song, be the wind, be the rose and the thorn. I have loved you, I did my best.

242

I let people affect me too much. I’m terrible at being alone. I detest crowds but loneliness consumes me. I don’t pay attention during conversations but I reminisce the past. There can be such a thing as too much reflection. I am too comfortable with myself, I make others uncomfortable. I say I love you too much, I mean it too often.

I obsess about men the way Chinaski obsessed over women. I can fall in and out of love in the space of three minutes. I can fall in love with a smile, a raised eyebrow, a sly grin, the way he runs his fingers through his hair. It’s been lucky for me, in a way, how much society has liberated women. We’re still judged, viciously sometimes, but we are free to do. Free to suffer the consequences, but no longer burned at the stake. You can be anything as long as you’re willing to pay the price.

I have paid in name, in rumours, in lost friends. I have witnessed undisguised contempt and disdain, up close and personal. I have hurt myself for redemption, but I will never have it. I can laugh away jokes about rape, violence, the darker the better. But I cannot laugh away betrayal. The moment when you realise you were alone all along, they had taken you for a ride, and now it’s time to get off, you’ve reached your destination. You’ve lost all your value, not that there was much to begin with.

It’s a crude wake up call, when you think you’ve finally reached a point of self acceptance, to find one of those closest to you still looks down on you for the very essence of who you are. Everything you represent, what you love and why you love, it’s not good enough. You’re not good enough. You’ll never be good enough for them. But you know love, you have felt it. It runs through you like a river, you breathe it, you are the light. So may the bridges they burn light your way.

241

I need constant reminders that this is meaningless. It doesn’t matter how important you think you are, how real all of it is, there will come a day when we’re all gone and none of this will matter to anyone. It will be like we never existed at all. Billions of years will feel like a split second to the creator of this madness, if there even is a creator.

You could mean the world to someone and then in the blink of an eye mean nothing at all. I had watched her fade into a ghost of who she used to be, buried under his shadows. I let her convince me that she was happy and I believed her, I thought love came in different shapes and sizes. Some were always more volatile than others. I sat by idly as our values fell out of sync and I let her slip away. The nausea you feel when your entire world is crumbling but you can only watch it burn. I let the smoke swallow me.

Don’t you remember? He is not your king, your maker; he is fire, he burns. But you are the sun, you are the sun. Don’t you remember? How it was to be carefree, to not feel the weight of his world on your shoulders. He breathes lies. Now you are the one. You are the one. Don’t you remember? When we laughed under the stars, when our hearts beat as one. But life goes on. Life goes on.

Now I have loved you and failed you. I have found you and lost you. He followed your heart and there was no space for two. He will break you then save you. He will hurt you then mend you. He will crush you then raise you. He will love you and kill you.

240

I get lost inside people. I spend so much time trying to understand them, I forget who I am in the process. I’d do anything to get inside your head, to be someone else for a moment, to imagine how you’re feeling, if only because the narcissist in me wants to know how I make you feel. I want to know if being with me can change you, as being with you has changed me.

I need something more than time or effort or feeling. I need chemistry that can’t be manufactured by words or actions. Some inexplicable connection, something intangible that grabs you by the throat and makes your heart pound against your chest so fast that you forget how to breathe. The first kiss feels like a punch. I leave marks on his chest so his other lovers would know that I was here.

His palm strikes my cheek and I’m awake for the first time in weeks. I feel the weight of his body closing in on me, and I kiss him like I was afraid to say “I missed you.” I wear my bruises with twisted pride and he admires his handiwork with childlike glee. We are bad for each other, we know how to bring out the worst in each other. I can see cruelty in his eyes, no hint of remorse. I adore the cold, calculated sadist. I crave the satisfaction of making him lose control. I smile innocently at his rage, I become his worst addiction.

I understand obsession, I have a perverted desire for the absurd. He’ll never love me the way that I need to be loved, so I’ll never grow tired of chasing his approval. I’d rather be heartbroken than submit to a mediocre love affair. I’d rather be hurt than feel nothing at all. I kiss him like he’s my favourite mistake.

238

I am constantly torn between wanting to stay true to myself and wanting to fit into the category that would make those around me more comfortable. Frequently battling the urge to pursue my own happiness against the habit of pleasing everyone around me. I spent so many years of my life pretending to be someone else that becoming myself felt like I was being ripped apart somehow, as if I was losing the last bit of good that society had hammered into me.

I’ve never had anyone explain sex to me. Not the logistics of it nor the emotional ramifications. Everything came from messy uneducated research and a lot of trial and error. My introduction to porn was a disturbing video of a Japanese “schoolgirl” being groped in an empty classroom by an older unattractive man. I wasn’t sure what he was doing to her but she didn’t sound like she was enjoying any of it. It didn’t look “sexy” to me and I couldn’t understand why the boy who sent it to me would enjoy it. I filed it away as “something weird and icky and unpleasant and I don’t need to try that ever because she sounded like she was dying a slow painful death”. If sixteen year old me had a sneak preview of my internet history now she’d probably pass out from the shock.

Being from a conservative family and surrounded by judgemental peers during my university years meant I spent most of my sexually active years feeling ashamed of all my explicit desires. Nothing that I was doing felt good and nothing that I wanted to do felt right. I had a string of vanilla boyfriends who were either horrified or unenthusiastic, either obvious in their disgust or proclaimed they ‘did not want to hurt me’. The backlash was me diving head first into anyone who did share my sinful interests, the results were just as disappointing. Boys who would feign interest for a good fuck, boys who didn’t know what they were doing, or even better, sadists who simply wanted to beat me to tears and had zero interest in my pleasure.

On a very primal level I have always been obsessed with kink. I’ve always had such a fleeting attention span that vanilla sex would cause my mind to wander and I’d find myself lost in thought about something I’d read on the news that day. The pain and the discipline forced me to focus and remain present. The pleasure always followed.

But the lonelier parts of me have always craved for a deeper connection, believed in some naive fantasy that being naked could sometimes lead to real intimacy. The desire to relinquish control in a way that said: I trust you to hurt me just enough. To be broken and then made whole again. To be loved so fiercely that it left bruises. The transgression, the control, the chaos and the surrender triggered a reaction in me that was more addictive than any sort of drug. I was addicted to the illusion of being understood. To being laid out bare, scars and all, battered and defeated, but loved and kissed, over and over, till I was no longer hurting. Just for a few moments, it would all stop hurting.