Sitting alone – together.


Aug. 8, 1983


Fran just left here for the arms of another man.

No, not just any other man: Bill. And I’m full of loathing and self pity.

I keep thinking this will be the end of things, the final straw that breaks to back of our relationship. Yet it never is.

I keep thinking I get angry in the name of self-defense, but I know this is simply not the case.

My mind drifts back to that time at South Mountain Reservation when we made love on one of the paths in the woods and a boot suddenly appeared next to my head, not Bill’s, a strangers, but I thought it was Bill at the time.

Now my mind is filled with all the typical clichés about change: water under that bridge and all that rot, and how painful this affair has been when I should have enjoyed it.

But I live with the expectation of it coming to an end, waiting for the onset of that final storm that brings our house of love down into a pile of wet poker cards.

I am always waiting on the women I love to tell me it is over so that they can go away.

Every woman in my life, starting with my mother, has gone away.

Yet with Fran, she doesn’t ever quite go – like the rippling end of a bad horror movie in which the terrors keep repeating themselves even when I think I can breathe free again. The pain is worse with Fran because of this.

This is not intentional.

We locked in a perpetual dance, nearly perfect partners. All women leave me sooner or later, and Fran has spent a life time leaving things and people. With me, she’s always coming back, giving “us” another chance, but never really gives that chance a chance to work. This, of course, creates additional pain.

I want to blame Fran’s cocaine habit. Yet I know better. Cocaine plays its part, of course, but it only magnifies our personal flaws. I have a history of failure and I love confrontation, and this is as lethal a combination as cocaine ever is.

I am a willing victim to Fran’s fatal tendency, allowing myself to get sucked in by her emotional dramas, and then dwelling in self pity each time I get spit out again.

I ache for our eventual reunion, and then find the reunion unbearable and ache for her to leave again, thinking life will be better when she is gone, only to find myself once more longing for her return.

So I sit here again along, all manipulations expended, knowing that she is on her way to see Bill, who will comfort her, make love to her, and then send her back, worn out and used up, and seeking a reunion with me because Bill doesn’t really want her either.

At the same time, I live next door to my crazy uncle, who spends his days and nights plotting his own doom, trying to figure out how to escape my watch so he can make yet another suicide attempt. With the river a block away, this is almost too easy for him, although as with my love life, it never quite works out for him. He only goes through the motions of dying just in the same way I go through the motions of love. In the end, we both sit along – together.


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