Settle down, lovelies! Settle down! I didn’t write that line above (although I wish I did).
Behold: The genius of C. Bukowksi — exactly the man to keep me company last night, in bed.
Which, by the sound of him, is where he best belonged in life: Under the sweat-soaked sheets, with some well-lived-in broad (behold: me) who had the potential to be brilliant; and who every once in a her saddest while, lived up to that potential. But all other times, she bounced between being brutal and angelic, and maybe a lil’ bit childlike.
Yeah. C. and I could’ve had some fun! That poignant alcoholic who on paper insisted sounding like a bastard! Was he, indeed? Or was he, like me, bouncing between being brutal and… well, something else.
“R u home?” I got interrupted by a text from an ex, at around midnight. A text from an ex — seeking sex? But I already had a man in bed: C. Period.
But why be rude, I thought, and I responded: “Yep.”
“Want me 2 come over?” (I pondered: Could I be in the mood for some sex with an ex?)
“I’m in bed, with my lites off.” I half-lied. Apparently: I wasn’t in the mood.
“Well get dressed and turn your lites ON!”
Oh. So it wasn’t about sex! The ex was concerned. Earlier in the day, I remembered he asked me about my head: He knew how that fucking thing got, all messy ‘n’ shit, post break-up. After all, he’d seen me handle his own departure, three years ago.
This ex-player always had a talent to be rougher than most. Not mean, just stronger. The most assertive I’ve ever had. On the phone and in bed, he always he treated me like a handful, but never a pain in the ass, acting as if he would rather do nothing else but figure me out. He left though — surprise, surprise! — after a couple of months of such riddle solving.
“Timing,” he said at the time. (Funny: That’s the same explanation I got from this latest guy.)
So, I thought of all the voices in my head that get set off by a man’s departure. Between brutal and angelic I usually bounce, grappling with the worst, darkest thoughts — just so I could come out on top, illuminated by grace: On top, just the way I like it. The departed are rarely made privy to the brutality of my head, because I never want to be “that girl”: Name-calling her formerly beloved — or her beloved still! — and destroying whatever bits of beauty remained in the post-break-up’s ground zero; only to find herself not living up to HER better self. I exorcise my own head, in private. That way, years down the road, after other women, my players will always think:
“But Vera was kinder than most.” (Settle down, lovelies: I didn’t write this line either. C. Bukowski did. Period.)
These voices: Every woman gets them. And because of the privilege I’ve earned via kindness and empathy, I’ve listened to other broads’ voices before: Name-calling their exes, damning them to never be loved again, suddenly taking for granted the reasons for which they loved those poor bastards in the first place. Sometimes, they wonder about where they themselves have gone wrong. But that’s too brutal, you see, so they lash out at the guy again.
Here are just a couple of these gems, for your viewing, my lovelies: A couple of those brutal voices — and, in return, my now habitual responses to them. Because I’ve spent the night with C. Bukowski, you see. That poignant alcoholic knows no lullabies. So, I ain’t really in the mood for angelic right now:
— “What an asshole!”
That’s the most reoccurring voice from my girls, when they lash out at the man they’ve just finished adoring five minutes ago. Sometimes, the name varies, depending on my girls’ demographics. And oh how they expect me to echo that name of choice — but I don’t! I SHALL NOT.
Instead, my rebuttal is — always: He may be that, my ladies. He may be that (insert a name according to the girl’s demographic). But chances are that, like you, he is just one hurtin’ mother fucker, trying to get through the chaos of life the best way he can.
— “He doesn’t deserve me!”
I’ve made it quite obvious that I am a fan of my own gender. But regardless the accusations by a slew of haters this year, I don’t always side with it. I do try my very, very best to see both points of view. I’m brutal and angelic that way, ‘member?
But “deserve” is a funny word. Not “funny” funny, but reeking of hubris — of taking the place of divinity. And it is my personal belief that one’s divinity should only be applied when striving for one’s own best potential. It CANNOT be practiced on others. It is too brutal that way.
So, what I tell my girls (and myself, in this state of lapsed graces) is this: May be. He may be an undeserving man. But instead of waiting for someone else to step-up, why not give YOURSELF what you think you deserve?
(Most of the time, my girls’ response to that is, “I don’t know how to do that…” Sad, ain’t it? But that’s a discussion for another day.)
— “No one will ever love him the way I did!” (SHIT: Speaking of brutal.)
May I just say, ladies: I hate this one! As someone who’s been on the receiving end of that line, I cannot think of the most absolute way of erasing the love that preceded the break-up. Because a thought like that betrays your own twisted intensions. During the love affair, you may not have loved unconditionally — but for the sake of your own validation; and just how fucked up is that? Not fucked up, but perfectly human. But I do know — but you can do better than that. YOU CAN BE — BETTER THAN THAT.
“And who the fuck do you think you are — to predict another person’s life?” (Oops. I think I just spoke directly to the ex who damned me with that same line. “What an asshole!”)
All said and done, my lovelies: Lovers come and go. That’s their very purpose, you see. During an affair, whatever your trip may be — that’s the trip they take with you. That’s the trip they teach you. But there are no better lessons — no better tests of your own character — when these lovers depart. For in that seemingly most brutal stretch of days, they teach you your own worth. Your grace. Your personal divinity.
That way, years down the road, after other women, your players will think:
“she has hurt fewer people than
anybody I know,
and if you look at it like that,
she has created a better world.
(Settle down, my lovelies. I didn’t write that line either. That’s my C. Period.)