|Walter Sickert, The Camden Town Murder, or What Shall We Do for the Rent?1|
“I'll just go into work early.” Those words did it. Annihilated an entire universe and sent a wonderful and turbulent and sometimes sad and sometimes hilarious but always lovely history into a frenzied tailspin...I cannot determine whether or not recovery is possible.
Perhaps some context is in order. I laid on the couch, my freshly dried clothes scattered about me from where she had tossed them after taking them from the dryer. I liked the warmth of the fabric. I did not like the bubbling and shlurping going on within my gut. I put forth the effort to make do and act in good spirits; this was, after all the first day off work ushering in a four-day weekend for us. I didn't want to feel lousy, but I did. Then she launched into a chipper and innocent reminder: “don't forget my birthday wednesday. We're going to dinner.”
“what time?” I asked.
I thought about my hours of work, and determined that I could pull it off, but I knew that there would be much work to accomplish-- that I couldn't just “cut out early”; that I'd have to go in early to finish early. But that's not it: the way I said it – like it was a hassle... that's the part I didn't mean for, but no matter, the die is cast. My stomach groaned and the following are
some of the words I vaguely remember her saying: “I prayed you'd...never mind. That is just who you are... Unbelievable... You don't give a shit about me (possibly anybody, I can't recall whether or not she said that)... (after I asked her to forgive me) It's not about forgiveness... This is the worst day in my life... I better get out of here before I say something I'll regret...”
Those words punched into my spirit like ice-cold blades.
Then the universe ended.
Here's the kicker: why did I say that? Had that universe-ending trigger phrase been implanted into me from the beginning and was awaiting just the right opportunity – the proverbial perfect storm upon which spring into action? A trojan horse of a statement that the destroyers had crafted and engineered for this exact moment in time? My primary reaction yields an obvious clue: I immediately knew as the words commenced forth from my mouth the scale and magnitude of the damage they were about to inflict. An overwhelming sense of sadness and regret seized me (and now as I write this very thing a Déjà vu transpires – I have seen these words, this scenario, before- perhaps in a dream...) Though I may hold the state of my stomach accountable, I hold myself in contempt. She is correct. I do not give a shit about anything nor anyone. My entire gig is awaiting the gran-finale, and killing time in the interim. But: just because I do not give a shit about anybody, especially my crazy brown eyed sweetheart, doesn't mean I like hurting people or seeing people hurt. I am no sociopath. I am no sadist.
So that's it: I hurt her, and I wish I hadn't.
I apologized a few times. I went out and bought some ginger-ale for my stomach and some flowers for her.
The flowers are drying-up laying on their side, untouched on the counter in the kitchen.
I noticed the rings laying on the table.
I have killed the universe.