forget about it

Forget about it
I’m admittin’ I was wrong
And I’ll just take what’s mine
and broken right out the door

Forget about it
I’ll split and I’ll be gone
And you’ll have memories
You’ll find hard to ignore

Cause after all
I’ll see you sometime
Maybe when I will recall
How you drove me crazier

Forget about it
When forever’s over
I won’t remember how much
I loved you anymore

Forget about it
Put me out of your head
Now that you’re free and easy
Out there on the town

Forget about it
When you’re lying in bed just wishing
I was there to lay you down

Cause after all
I’ll see you sometime maybe
When you will recall
How I drove you crazier

Forget about those starlit nights
Laying by the fireside
Holding you tight
I can’t remember why it felt so right
So just forget about it

Forget about it
When you see me on the street
Don’t wink, don’t wave
Don’t try to tease me with your smile

Forget about it
If we chance to meet somewhere
Don’t think it’s cause I’m trying to reconcile

‘Cause after all
I’ll see you sometime baby
When I will recall
How you drove me crazier

Forget about those starlit nights
Laying by the fireside
Holding you tight
I can’t remember when I felt so right
So just forget about it

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If I were you

I was waxing poetic again tonight! I blame Simone de Beauvoir.

She can feel you
drifting far away
but she can’t see through
what you do not say

Take a step back
don’t lose your ground
remember how you felt before
and if you care about her
show her that you’re sure

If I were you
My prized possessions
would be the ones I’d hold so close
Because when you lose your love
You lose what means the most

Wise men hold affection
higher than any star in sight
Take this to heart
and you’ll never part
This is exactly what I’d do
if I were you

Simple pleasures are
The hardest to be found
These can’t be measured
til they’re not around

Maybe she’ll go
Maybe she’ll stay
But she’d rather go
than fade away

sometimes the sweetest sorrow
is the saddest fate
Give her your heart
please don’t hesitate

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Running to Stand Still

The shiny new 2009 Subraru WRX STI swerved up and around the scenic curves of a quiet forest road on Raccoon Mountain. It’s engine roared with pleasure as its driver shifted and the vehicle shot forward. The carefully tuned AWD suspension hugged every turn regardless of speed, and ensured optimum control.
I tailed it closely in the 2007 Subaru Legacy GT, my hands poised over the paddle shifters. The setting sun was protruding beautifully through the dense leaves, giving a dappled effect over the pavement. I pressed the window button, and felt the cool evening breeze hit my face. Our engines sang in unison as we raced up a hill, doing what they were made to do. We were young and full of life, and far too stubborn to settle for dinner and a movie.

“This is so beautiful,” I said, pressing a button on my headphones.

“Let’s kick it up a notch,” replied a voice over my walkie talkie.

I smiled.

“You wanna race me in the wagon? Hardly seems fair.”

“Not after all the mods I did to it. It’s itching to stretch its legs. Keep your eye on the turbo gauge. Let’s do this.”

We reached our favorite part of the road; for a very short distance two drivers could drive side by side, presumably for tourists to pass the government vehicles which would periodically trim the trees or remove eroded rocks from the road. Tennessee forests don’t like to be docile for long; much like me.

The WRX driver sped up, turning wide to keep me from daring to pass him. He looked back at me in his rearview mirror and grinned. I grinned back, knowing he would not approve of what I was about to do.
Lurching sideways, I turned off onto a gravel road and accelerated hard. Gravel pelted the sides of the car and disappeared in a foggy white cloud behind me.
“You better not ding up the paint job!” the walkie screamed at me.

The Subaru made a noise much like a purring cat. It was so happy to be out of commuter traffic and into the wild. I couldn’t agree more. Through the trees I would occasionally see the WRX nervously trying to keep up speed, but I knew as well as he did that my route was much shorter. He would have to maintain a grueling speed if he was to keep his lead by the time I merged back onto the main road. And even Walter Earle Hooper IV wouldn’t risk that.

With a satisfying “thump”, my Subaru roared out of the forest and back onto pavement. Within seconds I saw him in my rearview mirror and I laughed into my receiver. He knew it was over.

“let’s go home,” he said glumly.

“What?! The race isn’t over yet! Let’s keep going! You can round me off at the next wide section!”

“Nah, come on, let’s get out of here. There’s projects to work on at the house.”

Ugggh. He couldn’t stand the thought of me beating him in his own car, despite the fact he had taught me everything I knew.

In looking at the real estate market, which was completely in the tanks in late 2008, we had plenty to choose from as affluent young buyers. We eventually settled on the Murray Hills neighborhood, which in addition to its excellent price range (due to dozens of foreclosures) was 10 minutes from downtown, Hixson and Hamilton Place; the triumvirate of Chattanooga logistics and commerce. We had researched our options carefully, and settled on a quaint little 2 story 4 bedroom/ 3 bath home that was built in the late 1950’s. It was walking distance from the dam, and some excellent hiking trails. Between my book keeping salary for a doctor’s office and his engineer income, it was easily afforable. His parents had offered to buy it for us as an early engagement gift, but we declined. Or rather, I declined. The thought of getting engaged seemed a bit lofty a commitment. I still lived in an apartment in a beautiful Victorian house in the historic Fort Wood district, and didn’t really want to move, despite morally Victorian roommates. A mortgage was a big enough first step.
The previous owner was taking their time getting the paperwork together in lieu of numerous repairs Walter wanted to be completed before we put pen to paper, but had graciously allowed us to stay at the house in the mean time.

Ours was a relationship of true predictability. I knew in his car cd player he had Coldplay, The Black Keys, Cake, John Mayer, Ben Folds and Better Than Ezra.
On days we didn’t go driving or on a hike after work, I’d be home around 4:30 and he’d usually get in around 5:30 or 6. One of us would throw together some dinner, or go out to one of our favorite restaurants. This was the time of the evening we’d talk to each other. The rest of it, we’d work on our individual projects. I had bought a floor sander and taught myself from YouTube episodes how to strip the old wood floors and refinish them. I was very proud of this. In the large backyard, I had planted a fall garden, which I tended lovingly every morning and evening. Walter wasn’t a fan of getting hounded by mosquitoes, so he mainly benefitted from the fresh salads and steamed vegetables that showed up as a result.

Life was very comfortable and we had a separate kind of togetherness. He didn’t begrudge me my belly dance lessons, and acquiesced when I planned trips to the Bahamas, Chicago or Ocracoke Island. In return, I helped him tinker with his frankenputer (my nickname for one of his many self-sustained reverse engineering projects) as he ran antifreeze through it or changed the transmission fluid on his Subarus.

As time went by, he steadily grew more ill at ease with his life. He became obsessed with the notion, at the ripe old age of 24, that he had already passed his peak and was trapped at TVA. A trip to a destination wedding in Seattle only made it worse: we talked to intelligent and prosperous engineers who were a part of projects they were genuinely excited about. The city itself buzzed with verve and growth. We canoed around the strait, and flew overhead in his family’s little Cessna 172. We went to shops, and posed for pictures and ate the food. Going back to Chattanooga detonated some time bomb in Walter, through which he deemed himself utterly insufficient as a human being. He proceeded to waffle back and forth between just quitting his job, not buying the house and moving to Seattle and hating himself for leaving me while I was still in college, trying to find a way to be excited about his work here and starting side businesses.
Meanwhile I was on an emotional high: relaxed from vacation, hanging out with creative and engaging friends who were very happy with their lives and writing more than ever.
In an affectionate impulse, I bought him a one way ticket to Seattle, to inspire him to see what was waiting for him out there.
“Just show up at so-and-so’s company, remind him you met at the wedding and admire his work, state your credentials and ask for a job!” I said.
His response was abhorrence.
“Are you….breaking up with me?!”

Its been several years now since my longest relationship tailspun into extinction, and I have enough distance now to look back and wonder what my life could have been like if we had gotten married and bought real estate together. I’d likely be a very unhappy and unfulfilled person, much like he was at the time.
I wouldn’t have any financial worries, or any real restrictions on my time. So why did I run?

I was running to stand still.

Our body has a natural fight-or-flight instinct and mine was to run away and pursue my own interests, but instead it felt like stop and go traffic. I’d run and explore my potential, but then having to come to a screeching halt when Walter would complain I was staying out too late, or rubbing elbows with “starving artists who won’t amount to anything.”

In essence, I reached a point where I had a gangrenous limb, but hesitated to cut it off and be free because said limb was my boyfriend and I felt I owed him loyalty. But it occurred to me there was still so much I wanted to do with my life, and all I had on my resume thus far was “good at writing, accounting and being someone’s girlfriend.”

I wanted so much more than that, and since then, I haven’t compromised. I like driving off the pavement and getting my tires a little dirty!

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Thicker Than Water

I was 7 years old the first time that little sleeping meatloaf was placed in my arms, but the bond we had was instantaneous. He was small, crimson and wrinkly like some bizarre extraterrestrial baby, but he had my eyes and lips. I had been praying for a little brother for years, and he was everything I imagined and more. A confirmed tomboy, I had long forgone the dolls purchased for me over the years by my female relatives, but I couldn’t resist holding, feeding and amusing Jonny all day long. Nomatter how crappy of a day I had, all it took was a loving nuzzle from the chubby little cheeks of that sweet kid, and nothing else mattered.
Shortly after giving birth, my mom went through menopause. She had had us both late in life (me at 37 and him at 44), and a new infant was far beyond her energy level. I recall random emotional outbursts of anger, then joy, then despair. The transitions were unpredictable. One day, we sat in the kitchen while she was making us sandwiches. She reached into the fridge for a glass jar of mustard, which slipped and shattered on the floor. Jonny and I watched, transfixed by the powers of physics, as the thick yellow sauce made impact with the Spanish tile floor, and then flew upward, splattering the cabinets and even the ceiling.
My mother completely lost her shit. I specifically remember this instance because she kept ranting how it was the Devil. There was absolutely no way the mustard could reach the ceiling without the Devil doing it, just to try and get her to commit sins of anger and impatience. So she switched to a dizzying enthusiasm while she climbed up the counters and cleaned the afflicted surfaces, just to show Lucifer who was in control of her soul’s destiny. Don’t get me wrong, my mother is one of the most intelligent and accomplished women I’ve ever known (which I’m sure will be fodder for my future brain squeezings many times over) but Jonny and I, and to a lesser extent my sister, were completely befuddled.
My dad was rarely around while we grew up, mainly because he was perpetually  immersed in his business ventures. He didn’t make an effort to hide his preference for having a son, and showed mawkish affection towards my sister and I, but did little to be present in our early lives in a meaningful way. This added to my mother’s burden, and led Jonny and I to form an intimate fraternal cadre.
My sister, as I’ve mentioned before, was a rather different breed of youngster than my brother and I. For awhile she and I shared a bedroom with two twin beds. Her side of the room was pink with a Barbie castle and plastered with glitter encrusted drawings of princesses. My side had trophies and awards for Spelling Bees, notebooks full of my stories on a desk etched with faded ink, a portrait I drew of Princess Diana, and a large poster of the world covered in colorful thumbtacks.
On weekends, my mother would put on her old vinyl records, and then she would have my brother and I play them by ear from memory. She would do accompaniment on the organ, I would play my violin, and Jonny would keep tempo on the drums. Susannah would dance around for awhile, but quickly got bored. I’ve often wondered if she resented how my mother doted on her biological children’s talents and aptitude, while excoriating her for not being “exceptional”.
One year at school, Jonny and I made up a very intricate ghost story involving a fictitious little girl who was locked away in one of the janitor’s closets and starved to death. I was the mastermind of our schemes and he was the orator, even as a small child, using colorful rhetoric and personal charm to win over even the harshest skeptic. We relished the looks of mingled horror and awe on our classmates as we learned just how malleable the human mind can be. Regardless of what I wanted to do, he participated with alacrity. For quite a few years, I am told, even after we graduated elementary school, the Ghost of the Closet lived on.

As we have grown up, I’ve tried to be the big sister who explains how to imbibe alcoholic beverages intelligently rather than censor them, or how to write a coherent rhetorical analysis paper the night before it’s due. It’s been my policy to offer advice when it’s solicited, rather than imposing my views on a stubborn teenage mind. While my mother threatens impending punishment to the young man who plays video games later than she would like, I am the sister who gives fair warning that his music is too loud before hiding a crucial power cable the next morning and silently daring him to cry foul. It’s far more effective and elicits respect rather than rebellion. His golden tongue can talk its way out of my mother’s consternation, but he knows his sister’s mind cannot be swayed or manipulated if sound reasoning is not also present in contradiction. I think he’ll be an excellent lawyer!

When I went to college, and then he eventually went to high school, our relationship shifted to one of a much more low maintenance nature. We would text now and then, but didn’t see each other near enough.

Last week he turned 18, and we celebrated by going out to lunch. He’s planning to go to Vanderbilt on a full National Merit Scholarship, although he really just wants to get as far away from our proud parents as possible for awhile. I watched the confident young man talk about all the potential he had been afforded, and all the paths he might take. More flattering, he asked my opinion on what he should do. Seeing as how I’m currently drifting like a twig on the shoulders of a mighty stream, this was puzzling to me. Not that I’m ashamed of where I am right now, but it caught me off guard. My brother, for all his glibness and love of verbal discourse, never offers false compliments.

He confided in me that he has been leaning towards a humanistic/agnostic belief system and envied my “don’t-give-a-fuck” attitude towards people who would undermine this.
He said that all our lives while we grew up, I was the one who would stick loyally by his side and defend him to our friends, parents or teachers, and then behind the scenes tell him what an idiot he had been and why.

“I admire you, Beth, because no matter what you’ve never given up on someone you love. Even if you’d really like to kick them in the nuts. And if you want something to happen, you find a way to make it a reality instead of just talking about it.”

Hearing this visage of me was very inspiring. I need to make sure my butt is going in the direction I want it to. I need to take all the necessary steps, no matter how dull or minuscule, to ensure my goals are becomomh realities. And above all else, while I’m getting lost in the engineering of my future, I must keep my family (blood or otherwise) close to my heart.  Because the family we choose, is thicker than water.

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I have this recurring dream. It’s very short and simple, but for some reason it evokes some very powerful emotions.  The setting is always a large outdoor patio in the middle of a summer night, and the only illumination comes from floating candle-lit orbs which cast an ethereal glow over the scene.

Couples dance slowly around me, all with blindfolds. As for me, I’m wearing a black mask, not dissimilar to the one used by the Phantom of the Opera. I sway to the music, and smile at the people around me, but I have no partner.  The first dance is a waltz; methodical and measured. I can hear the orchestra, but they are sitting in the dark, and I only occasionally see the light glint off their instruments.

One by one,  blindfolded men in formal attire approach me and ask to dance. Some ask, others just take my hand. Regardless, I always politely decline. There’s something strange about dancing with someone who won’t show you their face. One man informs me if I keep turning down invitations, I’ll eventually stop receiving them altogether. Just the same, I smile and shake my head. Several times, I ask the gentlemen to remove their blindfolds if they’d like to dance.
“But, that would spoil the fun!” they reply.

Suddenly, I see this one man approach the dance floor. He doesn’t have his eyes covered, and is smiling as if he’s tremendously amused by what he sees. Even in the dark, I can tell how dazzlingly handsome he is; it’s almost as if he is giving off a light of his own.
Our eyes lock, and he bows low. I smile, and return the gesture with a curtsy, but then I slowly walk away and speak to the Master of Ceremonies, a silver haired man who is looking around at the full floor with energetic gusto. The unmasked man seems confused for a moment, but it doesn’t phase him for long.
With a mischievous twinkle in his eye, he comes up behind the dancing ladies and lures them away from their partners. The gentlemen look annoyed, but what can they do? I watch him move with unusual skill and grace and its apparent that his style makes movement into an art.
As he glides from one partner to the next, he playfully tries to get the ladies to smile. They seem to be taking themselves far too seriously. When they refuse to offer more than docile banter, he reaches up, letting his fingertips glide across their delicate necks and tries to remove their blindfolds. The reaction is always the same; they blush and turn away before the knot comes loose. The man just shrugs, and moves on to the next lady who catches his eye.
I watch, transfixed, as the ladies exit the dance floor and the spurned gentlemen chase after them, begging their former partners to give it another go.

“Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones starts playing. I’m momentarily distracted from the amusing man, and allow the Master of Ceremonies to lead me to the floor. Our conversation is engaging, and the song is one of my favorites. It fits the night perfectly.
Some of the gentlemen have persuaded a few ladies to return to the dance floor, and they have timidly begun to step to the music.
I sense a pair of eyes following me, and I feel my cheeks burn.
The Master of Ceremonies notices the gallant figure approaching us, and vigorously encourages us to enjoy the cool night air and the beautiful music.
“I would love nothing else, sir, ” the man says, “but the lady does not seem inclined to dance. One must wonder why, seeing as how such a lady was never meant to be a wall flower.”
“It’s not that I am disinclined, ” I reply, meeting his gaze, “I have only been waiting for the right partner.”
“You wear a mask, and not a blindfold,” the man continues, smiling at my remark, “I’m intrigued. You’re not afraid to see the world and the people in it for what they are, but you like to keep a boundary between them and yourself. Most curious, if you ask me.”

“As opposed to you, sir, who cares not who he shares himself with or for how long.”

“That is untrue, miss. I would have been content to dance with the first person I saw all evening, had she felt the same.”

“Very well,” I say, the corners of my mouth twisting upward, despite my best efforts.
I reach up and pull the mask off, and toss it aside. I beam at him, reveling in his reaction.
He looks at me with a mixture of delight and awe. Before I can react, his hand darts up and tenderly grazes my cheek. An electricity courses through my body, and I find myself unable (or unwilling) to push the hand away.
He grins, and bows low again.
“Thank you,” he says.
“What for?”
“For being worth the wait.”

He doesn’t have to ask me to dance, we seem to melt into each other’s arms. He is unlike any other dance partner I’ve had before. Our bodies move together naturally; his leading mine with the slightest of indications. We intuitively understand each other, without a sense of direction or rhythm. After a few songs, it’s evident we have forgotten where one ends and the other begins.
His hands explore my back and shoulders, caressing me tenderly. I look up and a piece of my hair falls across my face. I can feel his breath, his heartbeat, his warmth. He reaches up and sweeps the stray lock behind my ear. One last time our eyes lock and all my hesitation fades away when our lips touch in one maddening kiss.

Suddenly I’m not on a dance floor anymore. Suddenly he is not a mysterious partner.
It’s not even a dream. We are different people.
All I can feel is his forehead pressed firmly against mine, his hands cradling my head.
“Beth, you know I love you, right? So much, and so completely. Please let your guard down.”
I kiss the bridge of his nose.
“I’m afraid if I do, you’ll disappear. I’ll wake up, all this will just be a dream and then I’ll have to pick up all the pieces of my heart and carefully glue them back together.”
“It’s not a dream,” he says firmly, “we found each other in a crowded room full of blindfolded dancers. Tomorrow night it could be a desert and you could be in a herd of camels. And I’d be a cactus….

“…Or a mirage.”

“We’d still find each other. Let me earn your trust making memories of us.”

He holds me tighter.

“Listen to me. This is not a dream. I will still be here. I promise. Tell me that you love me and you know this is real.”

I am silent. I want to say something, but it’s like my mouth is sewn shut.

“This is not a dream,” he keeps repeating. “This is real.”

And then I wake up. It was definitely just a dream.

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A Place Of Yes

I stared at the red “cancel” button on the fax machine. It blinked at me, pleadingly.
Just press me Beth. You don’t want to do this. Cancel this fax before its too late.
As I watched the paper feed through the scanner, heard the little wheels whir and the modem line screech, I considered for the millionteenth time what I was doing.
Like most decisions, I had contemplated it for awhile before taking the jump, but I was still somewhat stunned by the austerity of it. I was also a little embarrassed I had gotten cold feet after buying the metaphorical kayak and starting to paddle down the rapids.
But then, I heard the final three “fax complete” beeps, and knew my fate had been sealed.
I had withdrawn from my classes and would not be a graduate student this Fall.
My first day back at my Alma mater was eye opening. My teachers were thoughtful and delighted with my decision to continue a path towards a very lucrative career.The coursework, even though I was only taking 6 hours, was challenging and useful.
My path was clear, my mind was open. I had that glowing letter of recommendation from Dr. Willis still ringing in my ears.
And then it happened. I had a panic attack.
I knew this was not what I wanted; even though it was a sound choice. I was staying in school because I was afraid to create something on my own, which could possibly fail. The analytical, practical side of me hates risks and loves win/win decisions, but my heart knows I need these to really be satisfied. I need that butterflies in my stomach feeling which reminds me I’m alive and testing my wings.
The short months I spent unemployed this year were some of the best of my life, mainly because every hour of the day was mine to be as productive or lazy as I chose. I read, and wrote, and dreamed. Sure, I spent some of that time bored out of my mind, yet I learned so much about myself. I had to.
I work best when I have complete autonomy over place and time. My dad was right when he said you’ll never be satisfied working for someone else once you’ve been your own boss.
When I started dabbling back in the freelance writing pool earlier this year, I resuscitated my ennui-plagued soul.
It also occurred to me that I spend the majority of my day at “real” work telling our clients what they can’t do. I’m a master of explaining limitations.
That’s essentially what an accountant does. Sure, I enjoy helping small businesses thrive and saving people money, but the majority of my time is spent telling people what they cant do, rather than what they can. Our clients are betting against their own judgment and deferring to me to tell them how they can best finance their dreams and hard work.
My boss and coworker joke that I have the unique ability to say no, and make it sound like they’re still getting what they want.
For example, “you’re right. You absolutely don’t have to sign the PCI compliance form. However, due to new regulations enforced this fiscal year, the IRS will penalize your noncompliance to the tune of $7000. But if you don’t mind this, there’s no reason for you to sign that form.”

And of course they fill out the tedious 27 page form with me. Because without knowing it, i made them do what was “best”.
Most recently, a woman not much older than I talked about wanting to cash out her 401k, and going on a road trip across the country. To my heart, it sounded like a great idea. I could relate with her need to unchain herself from her cubicle and actually enjoy her youth. Her desire to be liberate inspired me, when she told me about hating herself every day when she went to work.
But, as her accountant, I said no. Your 401k will be taxed 3 times before you get it, and the money you get will be less than half of what you had in there. Put it in a CD instead, avoid Uncle getting his cut(s), and watch it grow.
I hated myself a little for saying that; for talking her out of her dream. What I said was true; from a monetary point of view, it’s a huge waste to cash out your 401k as a 29 year old woman. The sinking look of despair in her eyes told me, however, that she should have just told me to fuck myself with a spatula and she was going to go on that road trip.
I hate it. I hate telling people their dreams are not rational, because mine arent either.
I’m a very good accountant. If I wanted to, I have no doubt I could take the fast track to a giant firm and audit corporations. But, really, there is nothing I’d despise more.
I want to be a positive “yes” person, who shows people how to make things happen. To take a little and create a lot. And I don’t think I can do this best where I am now.

So I’ve made a decision: I quit grad school 2 weeks in and I’m taking my savings and going vagabonding next year. I’m not putting it off a minute longer than I have to.
I’m starting to shift the majority of my income towards freelancing. In order to truly motivate myself (instead of riding on the comfortable coat-tails of good feelings) I requested to cut back my hours at work. Crazy right? Taking a hit on my own income! Truth is, if I’m comfortable, it won’t feel as imperative to take initiative in the direction I really want to grow. sometimes to love ourselves, we have to take the good advice we’d give a friend.

And that advice is, what are you waiting for? If you want it, make it happen. Work hard, and surprising things may happen!

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Coup De Gras

She called me sobbing hysterically, past the point of comprehension. It was exactly an hour ago.
“please…”, she begged at last ,”I can’t be alone right now, Beth.”
I was close to sleep, and while the thought of having an unexpected apartment guest at 2 AM didn’t exactly appeal to me, I told her to come over.

Within the next few minutes, I had put my tea kettle on the stove, got out some ice cream and fluffed the cushions on the couch.
She arrived wearing nothing except a blanket wrapped around her torso.
My sister is morbidly obese, and has no concerns for her health. She neglects her body much like she neglects her poor dog, who spends at least 12 hours per day of his miserable existence trapped on her small, dogshit covered porch— in the blistering sun.

I handed her a mug of hot water, and showed her my selection of tea.

“I don’t want any tea,” she said tersely.

“The steam will clear your sinuses and help calm you down,” I persist.

She accepts the tea, grudgingly. I sit across from her, waiting for the deluge I know is inevitable.

The details are irrelevant. The same guy who has treated her like utter dirt for the last 6 months has betrayed her yet again. Only this time was the first time she actually caught him cheating. And this is the time she’s really done. She just got back from trashing his yard, messaging the girl and cussing her out, and slashing his tires.
He called her a crazy bitch and says he’s going to get a restraining order.

Why would he treat her so badly?
How could he say she’s crazy?
He promised that he wanted to be with only her.
She just wanted to be with someone because she’s so lonely
She hates him
She hates herself.

Sounding like a broken record, I repeated my opinion. She’s not in control of his actions, only her own. And her personal dignity was the greatest casualty of the night. She had given him complete control of her emotions by blowing up like that. I kept repeating that she needed to stop the cycle of her dysfunctional relationships with men by realizing how she was contributing to the problem. Once she had respect for herself, she would be able to pinpoint when things were going wrong, and not keep running back when they said the right things to her again.
She looked at me when I talked like she was waiting for me to stop, so she could resume her tirade about how good she was to him and how he had wronged her again.
I resisted the urge to curtail our very one sided conversation and get some sleep.
Regardless of her mood, I’m only able to take my sister in very small doses. She’s a very negative, and very ignorant person.

“I don’t really need your opinion,” she said at last.
“And why is that, seeing as how you’re sitting on my couch asking me where you went wrong?”
“You say weird things.”
I smile.
“Like….you gave money to gay people…”

I’m momentarily thrown off. I picture the couple of times I held a dollar high in the air while techno music pulsed through my body in order to support one of my gorgeous cross-dresser friends at a gay club fashion show.
I don’t think she knows about that, though.

“Huh? What are you talking about Susannah?”

“On Facebook. That Chik-Fil-A thing. You gave money to gay people.”

“I didn’t give money to gay people. I gave money to support the equality of marriage for all consenting adults who love each other.”

“Whatever. That’s just weird.”


“Because the Bible says….”

“Stop,” I say abruptly, shutting my eyes and hanging my head with disgust.

“Get out.”

There will be no bigotry in my home. Ever.

She looks up at me, surprised.

“Are you serious?”

“As a heart attack. Out. Now.”

She gets up and starts talking about the guy who wronged her again. How she would endure and put him behind her. She has such little understanding of her own actions, that she wanted to make the most out of her own talking time while I was still in front of her.
I take her keychain and remove my apartment key, which I have asked for numerous times since last April but never received.

“Out.” I say once again

“Fuck you,” she says, and slams the door.

I can tolerate a lot of things. I can forgive what she’s done to me in the past, and I can listen when she’s been used like a cumrag again and again by men who don’t give two shits about her. But I can not listen to her bemoan why some dude doesn’t love her, and then deny the rights of other human beings to love and be together. It was beyond my pain threshold.

I genuinely hope I never see her again. It’s unfortunate how we live at the same apartment complex. I am honestly so angry right now that I can hardly type. I’ve tried to find the good in her, but she is honestly a toxic person. It hurts to see someone’s life go to waste like hers, but she will never choose to be better. To want more. To understand the cause and effect relationship between her actions and her circumstances.

It also really blows my mind how we were raised in the same exact home with the same exact parents (even though she is not my biological sister) and she has turned into a completely different person. There really is an argument for nature vs. nurture.

This time I really am done.

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