There she stands. Alone, aloof. As if my very molecules don’t perform acrobatic feats each time they come close to hers. And, how that makes me feel more like a thing than a person. She must know. The cacophony of firing synapses, the hock-thump of my suddenly inflamed heart, the oozing and aching as each organ wrings itself dry of its own life-giving essence. All of these things that were as much within my control as tomorrow’s weather, surely they must be manifest on the outside of me. How could she not tell that some cascading failure of vital functions was occurring inside of the mediocre version of a man that stood before her? Could she not see some bulging of the eyes or pallor of complexion that would indicate to her that something was dreadfully wrong?
No. No! Nothing from her but coolness and shine. Clean, unpoised but not relaxed – she somehow exists in the line between two states of being. Never one thing or the other, impossible to pinpoint. Just begging one to wonder if she really is unencumbered by the flittering thoughts and nagging anxieties that seem to accompany most people in their lives. Why her? She is lovely, but greater beauties there have surely been – and anyone with a bit of sense knows that physical handsomeness is no cure for unease in one’s self. What has she that others do not? She is smart and able and all those things that can be listed as virtues but maddeningly these things do not bring that calm which from her seems to emanate. Easy as the scent of lavender wafts from the disturbed branch, her temperament appears as if natural and unrehearsed. What is she?
I hate her, I have decided. I yearn to touch her and know I was meant to taste her breath but also I despise her on a whole different level. Deep, deep down I resent that she makes me feel so helpless and foolish. I loathe her ability to take every damned thing in stride and to act so nice, but without attachment. I want to call her bad names and break her down; chipping away everything she thinks is good about herself until nothing remains but raw shame and dirtiness. I need to remind her that the world can be a really rotten place and that she had better get that through her head sooner rather than later. To scream in her ears of her foolishness and naivety. Then, I would scoop her up in my arms - strong only then in her weakness. I would calm her fears and reassure her that I and only I loved her, despite her failings. I would stroke her raven hair and tear-soaked cheeks and sing to her. Cradle her. Be the one to build her back up and to anoint her wounds.
That is the only way this can work, and I know it not because I am cynical but because I am realistic. Because she is too good for her own good. If I, someone who cares for her, don’t tear her down and show her the truth then the brutal world will. And that would be too much for me to bear.
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