The Art of Letting Go
Written By: Jason Rimbaud
?You don?t have a fucking clue as to what you want much less what you want from me.?
Words, words, and more words designed to cause as much damage as possible without resorting to violence. Maybe I regret those words that were blurted out in the middle of a crowded restaurant the other night. You see, I think I might have come to a crossroad in my life and maybe this once, I?m taking the right path.
Work?where to start with that mess. After Mark and I broke up I did what I?ve always done when I feel lost?I threw myself into work with a frenzy that borders on obsession.
If I would?ve thrown half the energy I?ve been displaying lately into my relationship with Mark, we might still be together. What?s the saying about hindsight? With hindsight we?re all fucking savants.
I have baggage, but who among of us doesn?t? Considering my past and the mistakes I?ve made over the last decade of this so called life, I am somewhat amazed that I still maintain a semblance of positive energy. I enjoy my life and still chase my passions with a single-minded determination that breaks down barriers and move mountains; even if it?s only a pebble at a time.
?I survived the hazards of my past and I am proud that I am so much better than my father could have ever hoped to be.?
And I?ll admit it, there are times when the darkness that I suppress in myself overwhelms me and I fall into depression so black my friends are hesitant to leave me alone in a room with sharp objects. I?ve been known to go on weeklong binges, drinking myself into oblivion just to stop the noise in my head and steal a few hours of sleep before waking up and doing it all over again. And then there are times where I have such a lack of self-worth I start believing the shit my father said all those years ago.
And like all things entailing this journey of life, it?s all a process. And I?m working on it. I can feel my darkness retreating further and further as I work towards the light.
?You are the place I stayed too long, I got trapped in your nightmare and I don?t know how to get out.?
I?ve been accused of giving people small tastes, brief glimpses into my heart where I give just enough information to keep them fooled into thinking I?m something like human.
My capacity for grand gestures and storybook endings are movie perfect. It?s the next day, when the moment has faded into pleasant memory, is where I have the most trouble. The living day to day in the grind and sameness of life is where I feel the most uncomfortable.
I cut people off emotionally; giving just enough of myself to keep them interested before I pull back into whatever state of insecurity that rules my thought process It?s like I get them vested in my wellbeing and then I run away because the look in their eyes is too much for me to handle.
I guess it?s always been hard for me to receive acceptance. Especially from those I am interested in or have a relationship with. It seems I thrive on being the odd man out or at least project that I like being the odd man out. Deep down inside myself I want to be different from the rest of the world even as I strive to become just like everyone/anyone else.
Without going into a long dissertation about my current mental health, I just wanted to briefly link my thoughts together so I can get a better understanding of my patterns of self-destructive behavior.
Love, regret, sadness, joy, anger, contentment, and a host of other emotions seemed to have bypassed my genetic makeup.
One of my employees, F, called me the other day, so distraught he couldn?t string sentences together through his sobs. It seemed his mother, who had been battling cancer for years, passed away the day before and he couldn?t make it in to work that day.
In my fucked up emotionless head, I?m thinking, ?why the hell can?t you work today if she died yesterday, it?s not like it was a surprise. Besides how long does it take to mourn someone??
Now before you go and get all high moral road on me and write me nasty emails, I didn?t say that aloud. I said all the right things, take as much time as you need, let me know if we can help you in any way, don?t worry about covering your shift, blah blah blah.
That is the proper response in that situation but the only reason I said it was because I know I was suppose to say those things. I truly could care less that his mother just died, nor can I fathom why he starts crying at random times three weeks later. This kind of emotional attachment baffles me on every single level.
I wonder if I?m alone in these behaviors. Is the apathy most humans display genuine or is it nothing more than doing/saying the right thing to fit into social norms? Is it a practice adopted by the world to comfort with false feelings those who ?need? it?
I?ve always been good at doing and saying whatever I need to get my desired effect. In my professional career, I act a part. I?m polite, engaging, charming, witty, and extroverted in my dealings with the hundreds of guests I see on a daily basis. But at the end of the day, I do it because I have to pay my bills and make myself a life.
In my personal relationships, I pretend to care. I ask questions of my partner that I don?t care about the answers. I fake sadness when tragedy strikes them or their loved ones. I project happiness with their triumphs, and force tears when I feel it?s needed. Whatever I need to do at that particular time to make them feel better I do it. It doesn?t matter. And for the most part it doesn?t cost me anything.
But it?s all a charade. I don?t care on a very basic and honest level. Am I alone in this behavior?
This is how after three long years of obsessing over Mark, I can get up in the middle of dinner and tell him to fuck off without skipping a beat.
?You don?t know enough about me to give me what I need.?
Words, words, and more words that make up my particular brand of truth that day, words that do more harm than good to both parties in question.
I imagined my words having the desired effect and I think I can see tears forming in his green eyes. And I imagine him being dumbfounded, something that has never happened over the last three years.
Did I set out on that beautiful southern California night to break Mark?s heart and to end things noisily in a public place? I don?t know. Maybe.
Someone once wrote and said my Blog?s are too confusing because I tend to jump around with dates and time. So for you my dear reader, let?s go back a few days before the above incident. Back to Gay Pride 2011.
I had just met this awesome guy and we were really hitting it off. Matter of fact we had dirty gay hotel sex and it was hot. This guy, R, was really into me and I could feel the vibe between us growing. But the very next day after dirty gay hotel sex with R, Mark called and wanted to know if I?d hang out with him and a few friends of his that were visiting from Russia in San Francisco. And much like a crack addict, I jumped at the chance to get all close and personal with my former straight boy crush.
We had a great time in the city by the bay and we never seemed to have those awkward moments that sometimes creep up with ex-boyfriends. His friends were charming and so straight a little of it rubbed off on me and I actually started thinking about pussy for a quick minute.
Mark was a bit worried that his childhood friends might not be so accepting of his newfound sexuality. But I must say, if they were bothered by it, they hid it pretty well. All day long we?d play this game, when a hot chick walked past, Mark or I would point her out. When a hot guy would walk by, they?d point him out, loudly.
I was amazed by the type of guys they kept pointing out. They were all twinks, thin feminine type guys who fit every gay stereotype in the book. Of course it did cross my mind that they weren?t as straight as they projected but that?s neither here nor over there.
After more than a few drinkie poos, they started asking us questions about our relationship. Like who fucked who, who was more like the girl; you know all the stupid questions clueless straight boys ask. And in a gesture quite out of character for me, I sat back and let Mark field all the questions. I only chimed in when I was asked a direct question.
Mark impressed me that night. Listening to him talk about ?us? made me realize just how close our lives had become and how much I allowed the crazy Russian inside my neurotic mind. The more they talked together and the drunker I become, I started questioning our decision to end our relationship.
I mean we were good together, and the sex was so epic if we ever allowed others to view it they just might implode and become eunuchs because they?d know they?d never reach that level of intimate violence we perfected.
By the end of the night, Mark and I spent more time staring into one another?s eyes than we did listening to his straight friends try to pick up chicks in a gay bar. Seriously, that nights adventures alone is worth it?s very own Blog Entry because by the end of that night we were at an emergency room until two in the morning while one of the chicks got bandaged up after she was clipped by a taxi cab. But that story will have to wait for another day.
?Life is what happens while you stare up into the future looking for that perfect sum of one.?
The next afternoon I woke in Mark?s arms, hung-over and covered with last night?s pleasure. For a few moments I lay there, content to listen to the soft snoring that escaped his lips and reveling in the feeling of his heartbeat through my hand. With each brush of my hand across his chest, every kiss I softly planted on his neck, I sighed inwardly like a little girl who just finished reading the Twilight Sage and had decided which team she would champion.
?Contentment is a place where you find yourself after you given up on trying to control every aspect of your life.?
It took a moment for me to figure out why I had this overwhelming feeling of contentment as I lay there with my arms wrapped around my little Russian. Connection?plain and simple. We had this connection that a mere one night stand couldn?t hope to ever duplicate.
No matter what had transpired between Mark and I, all the hateful things we had said to one another, the way we used sex as a weapon of control, the callous way we approached our relationship with selfish intentions, none of that mattered because we had this undeniable connection from the moment we met that couldn?t be severed no matter the circumstances.
I?ve always thought connections were the single most important thing in a relationship. After the lust fades and the love becomes easy and predictable, the only thing that keeps two people walking in the same direction is their emotional connection. How intertwined have they become during their journey?
Love is what happens when lust goes horribly wrong. And being connected is what happens when everything falls into place and you forget about love and lust and focus solely on making a life together. Let?s face it, you will lose your looks, your hair will turn gray or fall out, and the little things that you find so cute once upon a time will slowly drive you crazy after years of repetition. What do you have left after that?connection.
That?s why a few days later Mark and I went on a little trip to Southern California. Maybe we forgot about the hurt we caused one another, maybe it was just easier to work on us that it was to find another ?us?, or maybe because deep down inside neither one of us could admit that we failed at something.
Mark and I were good at sex, we were good at planning the future, but we weren?t so good existing in the moment.
Mark is stubborn and will never relent once he gets something in his head. And it would drive me crazy. He?d ask my opinion about something, and for hours and sometimes over days we?d discuss it, look at it from every angle and then he?d go out and do exactly what he originally decided to do even before we even spoke. It didn?t matter what my reaction would be, he?d stumble on seemingly without a clue. He hates to be wrong and never admits when he is.
I?m emotionally distant on my good days, during my bad days, I?m downright icy. I don?t like to chat about my day, I?m not that good at sharing my feelings other than anger, and it would drive him crazy. He?d badger me about what happened that day, he?d pry into my relationship with my brother, and when I?d get angry he accuse me of not loving him and not letting him inside. I hate to be wrong and never admit when I am.
?You can?t go on pretending that I don?t matter to you, I know I do. You?re just too fucking stupid to admit it.?
After all the words that were said a few days ago, after the dust settled down and we returned back to our homes and lives, I now realize that just having a connection isn?t enough. Mark was right. I am too fucking stupid to admit that he matters to me. Emotionally I?m still tender and raw around the edges and maybe my progress isn?t as far along as I thought?or hoped.
But I was also right when I likened him to a place I stayed too long. Love shouldn?t/isn?t that difficult, and if it is, then it?s not right. So what we were connected. Do we stay together when we are drowning and dragging each other down? Or do we severe the connection so that we both have a fighting chance at happiness?
?I?ve kind of been seeing someone.?
Mark is staring at me in his own unique way that made/makes me feel like I was the only human on this fucking planet. I looked at him, as if to say, really. More words, more platitudes, more selfish impulses designed to force the issue we always seem to avoid.
He met this guy at school and for the last month they?ve been seeing a lot of each other. He also tells me he really likes this guy. And as usual Mark babblings, he tells me more information about this guy than I ever wanted to know.
I don?t know what to say, what to do, or even how to act. It was his idea to take this trip together; he?s the one that needed to spend some time with me without any distractions. This was day three of a three day trip and we had been like newlyweds the entire time. I was fucking pissed.
Mark was the one person that really got me. He made me feel like I could have a shot at having a normal relationship. And right in the middle of my delusion, he?s ?kind of? seeing someone. Why the hell did he even invite me to the city with him and his friends? Why did he spend the night with me? Why did he always pop back into my life right when I was beginning to heal?
?I love you and I want you to be happy and you?re not. I see it in your eyes; I can?t make you happy no matter what I do. And it?s killing me.?
And that?s the kicker, isn?t? I wasn?t happy and he knew it. No matter that every time I thought about him a goofy smile broke out on my face. Or that I thought about him more than I thought about myself.
I thought back to all the times we shared over the years and I saw us happy and laughing, enjoying the togetherness. Was I angry? Hurt? Confused? Yes and probably more emotions that would be pointless to list. Because in the end, words, words, words, don?t mount up to a possum?s ass.
?I don?t know how to end this?
In my head I?m screaming that we shouldn?t be looking for a way to end ?us?, we should be striving to save our future. And then like some bizarre movie montage, images of our life began floating in my head. Scenes of Mark and I in bed, at dinner, sitting next to each other watching TV, endless combinations of our relationship and on the surface we looked peaceful, serene, and happy. But then I looked harder, like someone turned the focus screw and everything changed. I started seeing the fighting, the bickering, and the dirtiness that was under the allure of connection. We hadn?t been happy together in a long time and it was like somebody shined the light on the exit and the path ahead of me became clear for the first time in three years.
?Sometimes if you love something enough, you have to set it free.?
I?ve heard that statement many times in my life but it wasn?t until I was sitting across from him that I finally understood it. As long as I kept indulging our madness, I was preventing both of us at moving on.
?I really don?t know what to do to make you happy.?
For years I wondered if I was so jaded that I didn?t have emotions towards others. Or that I wasn?t like other humans and that I was somewhat flawed. Over the course of this Blog entry, I think I?ve answered my own questions.
I actually never said those words in that restaurant. You see, Mark wasn?t happy. He hadn?t been happy with me for a long time but felt torn between his love for me and his love for a better life. And hearing those words from him tore me apart.
?You don?t have fucking clue as to what you want much less what you want from me.?
That night I found out that I am selfless. I never told Mark that he was breaking my heart. And when I told him that we shouldn?t see each other anymore because we?d only end up killing whatever good feelings we had for one another, I think I meant it. I looked him right in the eye and lied but you never know.
For the first time in my life, I didn?t tell someone what he wanted to hear to further my own agenda. My motives were honest, even if I was dishonest in my delivery. So maybe I?m not as jaded as I like to think I am.