Funny, Isn't It?

May 15, 2011

Empty, that's what it is. Full of expectations, a moment that comes and goes like any other. No dramatic pause, no stopping of time, no passionate, life-changing sex. Sad, though. Funny how sometimes you want the pain. The Pain, capital T capital P. Funny how sometimes you'd rather feel anything- even miserable- rather than feel like you should be feeling something, rather than feel nothing, rather than wait for a moment that's gone so fast you're still waiting when he's out the door. 

Funny, isn't it? 

He bends over her, helping her get up. She's fallen, tripped over a hole in the street, an insignificant hole of corruption where money that should go into paving the streets has ended up in a nice little house in Florida - a three bedroom sort of thing where you sit on the veranda to watch the sunset with the latest translation of some angry Russian novel and a chilled Jim Bean. 

They talk. Good conversation starter, these holes in the street. Good conversation starter, and they always want to start a conversation with her don't they? The price of a D-cup. But he seems nice, makes eye contact and everything, and they even have the same alma mater. Well, isn't that nice. And funny. It's always funny, for some reason, when these little things happen, even though funny is a reaction to nonsense, or things that make sense, but sense that we can't understand. So it's a way of hiding, isn't it? It's a way of hiding, from exploring these little coincidences, from taking the time and effort to prove that there's nothing out there, but we're too lazy to do that, too lazy to disprove our own fears, and yet we're so afraid of them, we pretend these little coincidences are funny, that they make sense to us, that there is some meaning, after all. 

Funny, isn't it? 

He drifted from job to job after school, settling down in New York to work as tech support for a publishing company, she went to New York right away, knowing that she was meant- by herself, because it's okay if you know it- to rise to greatness, to join a small firm and bring it to a certain measure of greatness before leaving it for bigger and better things, to be famous. Neither of them has ever really been in love. Oh, they've been with people, but that's only been a taste. And we all know there is nothing more tantalizing than just a taste, just a tiny little excruciatingly wonderful little bit of anything, especially something so intoxicating and powerful as love. They have become romantics, expecting to turn the corner and walk straight into The One, capital T capital O. So it's funny how this whole thing happened isn't it? 

No. No, it's not funny. Now they're fighting. Now comes the interesting part of the relationship, where you see what people really think, what people hide as long as they're warm and well-fed and comfortable and don't have that excuse, that tiny irritation that it takes to unleash The Beast, capital T (we do seem to get a lot of those) capital B, that little thing that chips away at people's hearts.  Now they'll be hurt and apologize and lie to each other- "No, it's okay, I know you didn't mean it" - when instead the wound festers and rots and eats away at them and the next time- the next time, it'll take even less for The Beast to rear it's ugly head. 

Ah, the cycle. The cycle of fighting, storming out, tearful reunions, expensive nothings - material signs of commitment to make up for the lack of intangible commitment, the infinitely more important kind- the only kind, really. But then it begins again. A remark, innocently meant, misheard and misunderstood, suspicions arising, old wounds reopening. Sometimes, she wants it to start. Sometimes, he hasn't recovered from the last  bout of fighting; he wants another chance to hurt her more than she has hurt him. A masochistic, sadistic, pointless action, each knows that he or she will be hurt by it and regret it and regrets it almost before it begins, but does it anyway. 

Funny, isn't it? 

The End, capital T capital E. You can always tell the end, because they have finally become rational. For the first time in this entire ordeal they have subjected themselves to, they have become rational. There is calm, methodical calculation - what to say, how to say it. How to strike away those shared moments, erase those wonderful feelings. How to show that this time is real, when you've done it before so many times out of anger. Do you want to hurt her? No, don't be cruel - but she hurt you, didn't she? You don't want to rise above it, be the better person?-letting her hurt you without revenge, it makes you weak, for sure. What to say to him, how to say it, when to say it - don't want to be too nice, he won't let go- don't want to be too mean, he'll think it's not real. 

And now, to come full circle, the goodbye. Both left unsatisfied, unsure if they were right, unsure if it will last, unsure if they want it to- sure only that the outcome will not be what they want, because what they want will be defined by what they could have had.

So they'll do it again, find someone else, throw away everything for the one chance that it'll last. This hope- that foolish word, that foolish, improbable and therefore illogical hope- it consumes them, doesn't it?  

A funny thing, love, isn't it? 

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