“I don’t know why I do that.” I said to Habibi.
We were talking about how I have realized it is easier to let men go after My Sunshine has met them.
She’s met Giant, the Hulk, Hot Neighbor, Khal Drogo and even Habibi, by proxy. I’d be curled up in bed talking to him on the phone and she’d wander in and join us. She is also the only other human who has seen any messages between me and the Poet.
Gelfling, Wolfling and Football? No, but I wasn’t stuck on them.
Maybe it’s the same reason that it’s easier to accept death after seeing the corpse. A formal goodbye…
That would be a nice tidy explanation, but I am afraid its way worse than that.
I distilled it down to two things.
I had imaginary friends as a kid. Not like Snuffleupagus. I pretended the kids at school actually liked me and played with me when really I was always fighting for a position at the bottom of the popular girl’s totem pole and was snubbed and left alone often. I told stories to the contrary.
I lied a lot as a kid. Not for any gain or manipulation, but because I didn’t really like my life that much and I figured if I could convince others that it was better than it was, then maybe somehow it would be.
It was a bad habit I carried into adulthood, but instead of lying about things that hadn’t happened, I started lying about things I had done when I was afraid I would be judged or left because of my lack of impulse control and the stupid shit I would get myself into.
In the year of our Lord 2011, I stopped.
I made myself confess. I would get so sick with worry that I was going to be abandoned now the thought of even beginning to tell a lie makes me sick to my stomach. So I just don’t.
My life is full, fabulous and weird as fuck. I find myself often saying “I can’t make this shit up.” Truth is, I don’t have to.
I said to my therapist “Why did you believe me when I sat in this chair and told you the story of Mister Almost Famous Poet? It didn’t seem plausible, even to me as I said it out loud.”
I know my truth. I have screenshots and archives. His voice echoes in my ear from time to time. I know what happened. Still doesn’t seem real. Probably because it wasn’t viable, but it happened nonetheless.
She responded “Why would you pay me to sit here and lie.”
So maybe that’s it.
Leftover shame of when I did have to pretend that someone/anyone liked me.
I am still shocked when people who have known me forever treat me like I am worth something.
Scratch that, when anyone does. Even now.
But it helps to have a witness.
Sunshine sees how they look at me, how we interact, their hotness, their actual existence in my life.
So when they go, I let them.
Second thing. My marriage. The other thing I quit in the year of our Lord 2011, not a coincidence.
For 7 years if I wasn’t being seen with him, or in photographs with him, or on social media with him. I wasn’t with him.
It meant he had traded me in for his mistress again and she got a turn with her being seen with him and photos and social media recognition. Facebook came into existence the year we met. He stopped living a real life and just created a persona on social media and lived there, still lives there really.
So, by proxy, I lived there too.
I would feel extra validated when friends would make the trek up to the farm and see me there. It was an excuse to take pictures of how “wonderful” our life was.
Lie detector determines, that was a lie. I’d crop out the fields of junked cars and dogwood. Photoshop out the bags from under my eyes from how fucking tired I was. I had albums upon albums full of fake smiles. Like those pictures of the pyramids taken from exactly the right angle, so it looks like they are sitting pristine in the desert, when really there is a McDonalds a block away.
If it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen.
What a shit philosophy that was.
If it’s on Facebook it’s probably smoke and mirrors, with a bit of Photoshop for good measure.
Exception to that rule was when the mistress would post their dealings on Facebook when it was MY turn to be with him. I would get called crazy and told “Those are old photos”. But honey, I bought you that hat a week ago and it’s on her fucking head.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons I still hold onto the idea that someone else has to see it for it to be real.
Years of her and I playing show and tell with him to feel validated by the other’s loss.
Now I know I don’t lie. My friends do too, both new and old. I even confessed to my folks years ago that I’d candy coated the shit out of the truth to keep them from worrying about me and I promised to stop. And I have.
Every word I write on here is true, sometimes painful, sometimes magical but always literal literature.
I have to forgive myself for the things I did before. I have to stop apologizing for how I survived. I have to tell the little girl who used to be me that there would come a day when she would be loved in all of her weird glory and that it was okay to pretend if that is what got us through the days and nights spent alone.
I could even go so far to give her credit for manifesting this weird wonderful life I have now.
Everything you can imagine is real. Picasso