It was a subject that he didn’t like to talk about anymore. He’d been in love with her in high school. His first love. Or really, he couldn’t make that claim. She’d never been in love with him. Never in the mood to reciprocate the assumption of passion that he felt duty bound to perform. Too many Saturday afternoon Hollywood scripts! In any case he played the good companion and bit his lip through all of it until he had had enough and couldn’t take anymore. He could still remember that night when he had obliged her with his car. Taken her on a trip to north of the river at the center of town. And she got out on a corner by a hotel and yelled and screamed and raged at the indifference of her absent father. He would only care to recall that last impromptu ride with her across the state at night with his dwindling hopes renewed only to be dashed when the final destination brought her to the bed of what had once been up to that point his friend. It wasn’t long until he put two and two together and realized some things about divorce. Thirty years after. Some nine years after his own divorce to that bright flame that quickly burned out. Now he wondered what would have happened had his first infatuation had indeed thought about him that he very occasionally was reminded not to indulge in thinking about her. Solitude was its own disease. An addiction that one picked up when it was just too damn tiresome to connect anymore. It wasn’t her. But all the others in-between that he continued the thought with. The ones that in some masculine way he replayed the that ongoing disappointment. Something along the lines of being denied the opportunity when it really meant something. And piece by piece getting small parts here and there when it no longer could. Those movie scripts came in handy after the fact. He became so addicted in the intervening years. A mental closet to keep his emotional Pyhrric victories. But now there was no love left. No fiction of love like an eternal flame to fan. His moth knew enough to keep close on certain occasions but stay clear. What if he realized that those women who were so skilled at overlooking you in youth might at the end of their year be capable of wanting to know you once again? Know you when it was safely too late when they had felt that they had lost everything else. Devalued currency. Confederate money.
“Worthless if not damaging!“, he thought. He couldn’t believe in the emotions of women anymore. They seemed to have no faith in conviction themselves. There physical beauty that once suggested some mighty universal power of creation and constancy abrogated by the fault of being just as human and just as lost as he had turned out to be. Two minuses not easily making a plus when forced together contraposed. That linear function of being linear and male not wanting him to go off the highway of what he supposed life would be from this point one and risk more rocks and gravel. He could not imagine the terror he would face if two of the earliest showed up pen night at his door? How hard and vulnerable it might make him. Crazy enough to contemplate murder? Or some form of emotional suicide to end the past. The worst part being the realization that he had given up and he was just mortal. That things had not gone anywhere since. In fact they had descended into the convenient desert of emptiness. The story that lingered on after the greater story of “One day!“. “One day.“, when he would finally fine that perfect one. The one that if he could have been honest along the way he would have known never existed. And for that fact, never could. It was all a crapshoot. People died on you after letting you down in every way possible for years. It didn’t lessen that time bomb of fidelity and attachment that ticked on within. So . . . That other world of the emotions that he had left in others. All the unrequited hopes that he had generated by the promise of his indefinite presence in their lives. Their fantasies and not his . . . Who’s fantasies meant more? How pathetic to think that any of them, especially the first one in that long line, might be thinking of him this very same night and wondering how it might have turned out otherwise? One day long overdue and now judged D.O.A
“Thank God!“, he thought in that empty room with all the lights turned off. Thank God that he was now buried in the blanket of failure. As if that would have made a difference either way to one or two that might have had some real heart behind the effort. How sad and pathetic was life. Is life! Fire and brimstone! “Did cavemen and women have such convoluted existences?”, he thought? It was dark and he lay on his bad hearing the fading melodies of the old melodrama making its way from his mental auditorium back out to where such things go when they seem long forgotten. It told him that women were not clowns or villains or even emotional refrigerators that waited patiently at one’s pleasure. It remind him if that which he did not want to know. That he daily avoided. That all were pathetic or vulnerable whiteout that other. Rusty wrecks with engines, cars without wheels. Going nowhere for yet another day farther past where they should have been. With that someone that they so successfully avoided but should should have been with. The irreparable lesson of life.