Friday, November 12, 2010

on promises

It occurs to me that I never, in all our correspondence or during the relationship, promised to be faithful to him, although physically, I absolutely was. I never so much as smooched anyone. Obviously, in mind and heart, I roved, but only once, and in desperation, near the breaking point of hope, and towards aesthetic ends.

He, on the other hand, did promise to be faithful, and characterized himself as such, in writing.

It's ironic.

He accused me of "retributive behavior when things don't work out the way [I] wanted." Well, it's true, my behavior has been retributive. That sucks, no one likes it, not even me, but I'm distraught, terribly, horribly distraught, and I can't seem to control myself. One of these days I will be able to drop it, but I can't yet. You know why, because it's not just about "things" "not work[ing] out the way [I] wanted." It's because things did not work out the way he promised.

If he had framed himself as a chest-scratching rambling cowboy from the beginning, it would be one thing. But he didn't. This was the Grand Passion I had always wanted.

He would gaze at me, in the beginning, with those sweet, imploring blue eyes and wrinkly forehead in utter adoration. I remember that look. And he said the sweetest, sweetest things.

O ladies: beware, O beware, that look. And beware, beware, those promises.

An astrologer told me recently, the greater the idealization, the greater the disappointment. And there you have it.


John B-R said...

If I may: some promises ARE promises. And their breaking justifies retributive responses. However much we might think we're above or should be above such things, we shouldn't be. This isn't a game, it's real life.

Kathy has told me that were I to break my promises to her she would kill me.

Frankly, since I've let her believe - I've given her reason to believe - all these years that I have meant my promises - which I have - she's in essence given her life to them. Were I to break her trust I wouldn't think she was out of line if she did in fact kill me. I would actually deserve it.

I will go out on a limb here and say that a guy who lied to you no longer has any right to judge your behavior, not any right.

Nada Gordon: 2 ludic 4 U said...

Well, but, people keep pointing out that the retributive behavior actually hurts *me*.

John B-R said...

Nada, we have to go thru the shit, A-Z. Some of the time, in the middle of it, we're insane, and uh ... do ... things ... or say ... things ...

As for the people who keep pointing things out to you, I'd ask, how long ago did all this happen? If you answered 5 years, or 10 years, I might agree with them. But it hasn't been that long, has it?

To quote another poet, again unfortunately male, just "be kind to yourself, it is one and holy." And don't do anything that will get you hard time ...

My belief is that if you can emerge from all this some day with your conscience reasonably clean so what if it's only reasonably?

Unless, that is, you're hoping to be made a saint ...