I told myself, as you may recall, that I would wait to pseudo-dump the Creature (pseudo-dump insofar as we have a pseudo-relationship) until he got a new job and could move away from his horrible little town. He was dangerously depressed, I told myself.
Whether that was my motivation or I held off because it was so flattering and potentiating to be wanted (see above), I honestly can’t say.
Not knowing this does not please me, but having no way of knowing which of the two sides of something dread important seems to be quite the leitmotif, or even the backbone, of adulthood. For example, is there no God, or is all the blankness and occasional spurts of startling horror in the world just part of a larger scheme I can’t comprehend because I am not omniscient? Does God not answer my pleas to tell me what is the right thing, the truth, because there is no right thing, or because I was raised Protestant and thus he has already shown me? If I ask for a sign, and I perceive one, is that a combination of circumstance and confirmation bias, or is it genuinely a sign? If I achieve certainty, or believe something truly, is that because I am having a genuinely supernatural experience of what is true, or is it because the human brain is designed for belief and credulity and pattern-imposition because having those things makes it easier for a sapient creature to survive?
There is no way to tell. Absolutely none. That’s scary as hell.
I digress from my main point. Creature has been hired to a new job, which starts at the beginning of the year (less than a month away!) and is in a proper Big City and pays nearly $90,000 a year, an utterly ridiculous amount of money. I am still waiting with bated breath, watching, because I want him secure in his new disaster (a pretty turn of phrase, not an impugnance [is that a word? must look this up; surely it must be related to repugnance, in which case repugnance should have a verb form repugn] of his life) with his feet under him before I take myself away. It’s not time just yet, but the time is close enough that I need to start preparing.
And close enough to begin reviewing. There is a part of me—not overwhelmingly big, but certainly overwhelmingly loud, if you understand my meaning, not the majority opinion, perhaps, but one given volume by panic and guilt and all those things that lie under me, under the antidepressants, and are in some matters my first resort—that is thinking, strongly, “What have I done?” Because it is of course true that, by expressing interest in him for a few months and then not retracting that, but letting it lie, I have been stringing him along, deliberately and consciously, with no intention of ever giving him a damned thing of me.
Tonight he told me in our phone conversation, apropos of nothing, that although he very much wants to fly me out to Big City to see him (God, it was one of the first things he mentioned in rhapsodizing about having enough money to live on and some to spare), the offer of that plane ticket is not contingent upon my sleeping with him while I’m out there. “I’d very much like that to happen,” he said, “but I don’t want you to think that you have to. That’s not the only reason I want to see you.”
Knowing him as I do, I recognize this as a rather profound statement. I know him to be . . . a dude. He doesn’t like to think about emotions, doesn’t like to think (his acknowledgement, not my aspersion), doesn’t like verbally to show affection. He likes comedy, likes to laugh, likes crudeness and destroying and killing things. He’s thoughtless and careless and an utter barbarian, and wants to do absolutely nothing to improve or even maintain himself, though he does not like the self in question. He is incredibly, deeply sexist, and he spends a lot of time talking about my tits.
There are thus two aspects to his announcement, both alarming. The first is that he might be a better person than I give him credit for being. The second, less disputable, is that he likes me a great deal more, and more sincerely, than I thought he did.
Has this affection increased with time and my indulgence (or at least lack of discouragement)? Am I responsible for this, as well? I don’t know. I don’t know, either, whether I wouldn’t still think that the decision I made—not to reject him timely—was the best one in the circumstances even if that were the case.
So. The time for . . . putting him down draws near. God, how am I to do that? What is there to say? (I must admit that there is a part of me, an awful, craven, prideful part of me, that interprets that question more “What can I say so that I don’t look cruel and capricious?”—caring about my image in his eyes even knowing full well that cruel and capricious is exactly what I have been.)
Ugh. As I say, I’m not sure that the decision I made to string him along wasn’t the right one, but several of my motivations for it are utterly disgusting.