Wednesday, May 15, 2013

No Take-Backs

It was almost as if I could watch the words leave your mouth, round and proud and pulsing. I wanted to shove them back in, but I'm not that kind of guy. It was unfair, a stab from the dark of frustration and fear. It was an attack. I felt the sting, and the parsing of explanations did little to resolve the issue. There are some things you hear that you will never forget hearing. So be it. But don't try and tell me I heard it wrong.

So, I lay in the dark as the stench of awkward silence settled around us. It wasn't a martyr thing. I wasn't getting any joy out of it. I knew I was right. You knew I was right. I still heard it. It doesn't matter. It's in there now, with the other snippets I hear. They go back past my earliest memories. I can't remember a lot of what happened to me when I was a kid. But there are a dozen or so statements that I will never forget. What can I say? I'm a word guy.

I've said a lot of stupid shit in my life. I'll own that. This isn't an exclusive club. We are a fickle breed, humans, lovers. We say things that hurt each other. We get angry. It is the way you deal with the fallout that matters. For instance, why are you yelling at me right after you apologized? That's not how apologies work.

There can be a million apologies and I know you didn't mean it, but unless you're planning some electroshock therapy (which I might be down with), the words are in there. And if there is one thing my brain likes to play with, it is words. 

I sit here now, gentle hum of traffic thrum from the outside. Birds calling tentatively in that way they have before it rains. I look around me and see all the things that I have tethered myself to. I am not a hoarder, but I empathize.

So, there's no real point to this story except that this story is everything. Because this story is erosion. Because one asshole thing you say can ring in my ears for years and years. And you can claim culpability; you can take it back a thousand times. But, really, you can't. You think I'm just being stubborn, but I wish I could forget. A lot of things. I just can't.


  1. I can't get over this piece, It's incredible. It seems different each time I read it. Brilliant. :)

  2. My reaction is much like Audrey's. The reality and emotional truth of this piece are truly brilliant. It is a little part of our worlds that we seldom give voice to yet, in many ways, it is who we are.

    And by the way, the use of the word "tethered" is absolutely perfect.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go and read it again.

    1. Thanks, Jo. Y'all are both too nice to me. ;)


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