Wednesday, October 17, 2012
By Mark William Darus.
How many of us take the time to look back on our lives objectively? Sure, as the sharpest edge of depression stab us in the gut, most of us do. But at that point, what do we really feel about ourselves except fear and shame?
A few years back, I was with a woman that wanted someone to kill her. So utterly miserable and painfully scarred, she wanted death like one would crave a rare t-bone after happily leaving a vegan life that failed.
Laying next to me on the dampening grass, she is trembling and eyes looking crazed. Chilled air traveled around us, the moon riding high behind budding trees. The vibrations from trunks thumping from rap music playing way too loud.
“I want to die!. There is nothing for me here. Can’t you see that?” She is whimpering as shadows run across her face displaying eyes that loosen and tense up, fighting tears. Quivering lips, their ends curling up and down.
“No, I can’t. Explain.”
“I can’t do anything right. You’re not happy with me. I hate my job, I hate my life!”
“And what of your son?”
“I’ve failed him! I can’t get him what he needs. I snap at him like I do at you.”
“You have two sons though, did you forget about the other one?”
“You’re a bastard! I hate you.”
“Yeah, I am. Sorry, it was a trick question.”
Laying in a highly public park, I found it nice to know that at least one person could take it upon themselves to leave their safe-place and inquire.
“You guys alright?” Wearing a flowing skirt caught by the breeze, a short crowned blond looked down at us.
“We’re fine. Thanks for asking. She’s just upset that Dominoes is late with our pizza. I mean, really, how hard is it to deliver here?” I sarcastically initiated. Seeing the cock of head, I added, “sort of tense, but I’m handling it.” I then looked squarely into eyes and mouthed the words: ‘do me a favor. Stay close behind her in case I fail, okay?’
Nodding to us, adding, “Don’t let them forget the Cheesy Bread sticks.”
Looking into my girlfriends eyes, “People can be so rude, can’t they?”
“Yes, they can be. But not like me. I’m evil. You have to be able to see this.”
“Evil? You can be very evil. My family and friends saw this about you early on. I’ve known it all along though, kind of what attracted me to you.”
“Attracted you? That’s all you saw in me?”
Staring at her, I am entrenching, getting ready for the storm front of hostility to fly my way, I said, “Sure! I haven’t met many so self loathing and thoroughly unworthy I thought I’d take you for a spin. Do you have a problem with this? C’mon, we’re been together for how many years?”
“I HATE YOU!”
“Good.” I smiled. “But exactly why do you hate me? Because I saw you as you are early on? Because your eyes seldom meet your actions? Because I looked at you as one of the most hypocritical people I have ever met?”
She quickly rose to a sitting posture, glaring at me, arms tensing, fists clinching. Still not speaking verbally.
“You gonna cry? Huh? Are you going to cry like a baby?” I prodded.
“I-I-I! Why don’t you just kill me?”
“Well, sorry, haven’t got a knife handy. Oh, wait, I’m sure there’s a few in this hood that do. Give me a sec. HEY! DOES ANYONE AROUND HERE HAVE A SUITABLE KNIFE FOR A MERCY KILLING? I’m only gonna charge 10 bucks to see it or 20 to vid it.”
If you ever wish to gauge human reaction, just throw that out there. Everyone except the crew-cut blond took staggering flight.
She began to cry slowly at first. “I hate crying. I’m not a baby! I’m not!”
She is rocking in the fetal position, sobbing fully.
Not quite there yet, I say: “Yeah, your sons deserve better than you. They really do! And by the way, I so love watching you crash!”
Snapping too, she lunges at me full force.
I roll away, rollback and plant myself astride on her pinning her arms. My browns never leaving her flashing eyes.
“Do you hate me?!?!” I ask.
“You want to fight me?” I grin at her
“YES. DAMN IT!”
“Good? How’s that good?”
“Well, it means you ain’t done yet.”
Her voice lowering, speaking with heaving breath, “I hate to cry…”
“I know, dear. But crying is necessary. It’s like milk, it does a body good!”
“I love you. I’m so sorry.”
“I know you do and I know you are.”
By this time we are embracing each other. Her tears hit both my face and chest with their warmth as we roll across the dewy grasses.
“Why do you put up with me?” Her tone quieted and nearly even.
“What makes you think I have a choice?”
“But you’ve never left me.”
“Why would I? You’re not the monster you think you are. That and the fact you have a talent to say things in odd vocal inflections that nail you to me.”
“Where would I be without you?”
“If it hadn’t been me, it would have been someone else…”
So many are the times I reflect on this frequent event in my life. I’ve experienced things similar to this with many a fine woman in 34 years of dating.
What things do you reflect on? Have you ever been the ‘her or I’ at some point in your life?
As you close your eyes, perhaps laying with another, falling into the land of sleep alone, do you regret anything? Do you reflect on anything across the decades of your life and how it causes tosses and turns from things not dealt with?
Looking back, what would you change knowing that any change you could do would alter what you know now?
Sure, if you could go backward and not date that woman that you hastily learned to hate with your friends and family. You could chop her from your past and thus trash the very children you love created only through her in the process. Where would be then?
Standing one morning in front of full length mirror, taking inventory of areas needing a work out while hearing the sound of her ex husband on voicemail asking for her to fill the kids meds again. Thinking ‘So, he has custody, but I’m trying to do something here! Can’t he understand? I wish I never met him…’
Imagine, or don’t imagine anything as I think these things do occur, where people end up when their thoughts are heard?
I believe it to be the total sum of our lives that make us what we are where we are.
We are where we are, and we best learn to appreciate it. There a beauty out there.
I wouldn’t change any element in my life no matter how bad it is…
Mark William Darus10172012
Authors note: Photo subject was Rachel Anne Darus. Always a great shoot.