Yes, I remember the threats: i would not be able to afford an apartment by myself and he might kill himself if I left.
less money, living alone or living with roommates didn't faze me.
But the suicide threat did hold me for a while
On this particular day though when i was tired, hungry, overworked and spent, i decided it was ok for him to kill himself.
After all the verbal abuse, it might be difficult to draw a tear
i was sorting my things at our apartment in fear that he would return although he promised not to.
i was afraid he would hit
me and then, i would have to kill him as my mother had instructed, should such an event happen
it would have been so ghetto
i imagined myself in prison,
trying my best to tailor the orange jumper to my figure
i would be like Sor Juana, writing poetry in a cell - maybe, i would teach a couple of classes too
except, after killing a man, no one would ask me to teach a life skills course and the how-to-handle-difficult-people class
would be out too.
I had approached him like a charity chase, a person whose childhood had created a roadmap from which he could find no
I had diagrams and maps and brilliant explanations to link each behavior with an occurence early in his life.
i took on this fixer-upper determined to make it work
maybe to be a good samaratin or to feel important.
i don't know
But suddenly, the strange fever of martyrdom broke
i gave up
i let go
i stopped giving a fuck
My pragmatism was not going to work in this instance.
I cut my losses like a gambler not wanting to risk absolutely everything
My intuition said the next stop might be a violent end.
The only friend with whom I had shared stories about this horrible situation didn’t do an analysis.
She didn’t tie an invisible string from a current action to a past experience and stand back nodding in an understanding
She said, “he’s an asshole.”
I was speechless.
She said what my wanting-to-be-Mother Teresa brain never dared uttered.
He is an asshole.
She had the clarity of a businessman
- something I needed at that moment because I was dealing with him from a poet’s perspective.
Plain-speak was effective and got to the root and tore it out
Her words were decisive and this was unusual for her.
God spoke through her – the tone firm and language curt
In four words, she summed it up.
Sometimes, the details don’t matter.
I learned to save
I don’t entertain people determined to kill themselves
they can go have tea and crumpets with someone else
I’m not haunted by this or him or his kind