I don’t know how to take this.
I don’t see why he moves me.
He’s a man. He’s just a man.
And I’ve had so many men before,
In very many ways,
He’s just one more. - Tim Rice, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”
Deep down, I always knew this day was coming, but I simply didn’t want to believe it; like any other woman, I desperately clung to the belief that I was somehow different, that I was the one you would never leave. Or failing that, at least that it wouldn’t hurt so much when you eventually said goodbye.
When we met, I was so sure of my self-control, so confident of my resistance to male sweet-talk. I thought I had heard it all, learned how to deflect every line, every strategy, every silver-tongued attempt to circumvent my barriers to get some special deal. But you outmanoeuvered me at every turn. I guess it isn’t surprising, considering that you had already racked up a long tally of broken hearts before I was even born, but I didn’t know that then; I couldn’t imagine how completely outclassed I was until it was far too late.
But the bait was so tempting, the deal so apparently straightforward: “Come travel with me,” you said; “I’ll pay you all you ask and more, and you’ll see and do things few other women have ever seen and done.” Coming from anyone else that would’ve been an obvious lure, but you managed to make it sound so convincing – especially considering what I had already learned about you in our first chance encounter. I’m not saying it was a lie; you were as good as your word. You’ve showered me with money and gifts, so generously that if I invest wisely I’ll never have to work again. And if anyone else has ever done some of the things we’ve done together, I’ve never heard of it. I’ve seen wonders I could only have dreamed of, walked in places I never knew existed, and experienced feelings ranging from near-bliss to mortal terror. I’ll certainly have no dearth of stories to tell my grandchildren, though I doubt they’ll believe me.
Of course, you weren’t really travelling all those places for me; you were going anyway, and just wanted some company on the journey. And wealth comes so easily to you; pick up a few things cheap in places where they’re common, sell them dear in places they’re rare or unique, and before you know it you’re as rich as Croesus with less effort than it takes to decide what you want for tea. Everything comes to you like that – travel, money, women – and because it does you don’t truly value any of it. Money becomes merely a means to your ends, one place is a great deal like another and women are as replaceable as any other creature comfort.
Don’t say I’m being unfair; yes, I know, you love everybody. But don’t you see, loving everybody is the same as loving nobody? When love is just a principle rather than a feeling, it loses all personal meaning; I’m sure you want “justice” for me as well, but that will hardly be a comfort during all the long, lonely nights to come.
Have you picked her out yet, my replacement I mean? I can think of a few likely candidates; I’ve seen the way you looked at some of the women we’ve encountered of late. And I know you have a knack for “accidentally” running into someone again when you want to, even though you and I both know that with the way you travel, the odds against such a second meeting occurring purely by coincidence are completely astronomical. It’s just one more example of the way you fix the game to get the outcome you want.
Please, don’t look at me like that, and don’t act as though I’m really hurting your feelings; I’m sure that I’m not the first woman to react in this fashion. You probably can’t even count the number of similar scenes you’ve played, much less remember the names of the actresses. And now it’s my turn; “Exit, stage left”. My goodies are all packed, and I see we’ve arrived at the home I left all those many months ago (or is it years? It’s been so hard to keep track). All that remains now is for me to walk out that door with my valises, then turn around and watch you quite literally vanish from my life forever, off on new adventures with a new companion.
One Year Ago Today
“February Updates (Part Two)” reports on a judge forbidding a retarded man from having sex, the dismissal of a really stupid lawsuit against a Las Vegas escort, a woman who died from a botched butt enlargement, and the epic failure of the “sex trafficking” predictions for last year’s Super Bowl.