Losing My Religion
You become the child of your parents more than you ever wanted to.

My parents wanted an intellectual who did the right thing without the expectation of reward. And I grew into this person expecting that not only my parents would love me for it, but that others would do so also.

"Her blog's been so depressed lately," he says to Nutreena. As if I'm not sitting there. Drinking my wine. Forced to watch Saturday Night Live on mute since no one is actually speaking to me. His body leaning forward towards her. He was supposed to be having drinks with me.

I've spent the day in tears. "Promise me something," says the Doberman earlier in the day while I'm wiping tears from my eyes. "Promise me you'll stop crying in time for your mother to arrive."

I manage not to cry at dinner. Which is very nice. My mother gives me some lovely earrings.


Still At lunch my two friends talk about the jewelry they have gotten from their men, one an engagement ring, the other an emerald bracelet. I'm still getting jewelry from my mother.

All these years I've spent studying people. Body language. Word choice. Sublties of facial expression. Thinking that if I could understand, if I could read them, I would be happy.

All those years wasted. I might as well have been at the roller rink or skipping class or huffing glue or made out with boys, not that any boy ever wanted to touch me.

I realize now the real reason I never wanted to paint of decorate this apartment. It was never supposed to be a permanent home. This was a just a temporary stop until Eric Kinsman and I were supposed to move in together...after we were married of course.

When he left, as much as I wouldn't admit it to other people, I had hope. Hope that he would return. Hope that someone else would fall in love with me. He was the one who talked me into children-we used to argue about it one or two. He promised to take care of me, even if I was wheelchair bound. Before him I never even wanted children.

Six years later, I have to admit failure. Paint the damn apartment. Get shelves built. Those kids who made fun of me all those years-mocked that I thought I could get any guy, not even a cute guy, just a guy to dance with me, never mind a date-they were right. All those years ago, they were right.

I've tried so hard to prove them wrong. I moved here thinking I would have better luck meeting someone here. I should have just locked myself in a fucking attic like Emily Dickinson.

There is, of course, still time for that. Only if I did it then, I would have been saving myself a lot of humialtion. Being rejected now by an old man of all things. A man who should praise what forces exist in the universe that woman as young as myself would not only find him attractive, but be so dedicated in her pursuit.

And now for this, this man old enough to be my father, who talks about what a gem I am, how brilliant I am, how I need to get over my own pain, sits in front of my ignoring me while telling my friend how depressing my blog has been lately and then hits on her while I am in the bathroom. I come back to the bar in time to hear it. And act like I don't. I still have manners even as the whole world around me wallows in the mud like a pig in heat. (Do pigs go into heat? Well, if Saturday night is any evidence they certainly do.)

Just when I think I've hit rock bottom, someone throws me a shovel and hits me in the back of the head.

This man who I threw myself at on birthday, and he rebuffed me, even knowing how depressed I was, how much it would mean to me, and how low my self esteem was, not even a brief make out session, hits on my friend in such an indelicate way that I have to pretend I haven't overheard it.

I get a manicure with her today. "You aren't angry with me are you?"

She doesn't know.

She doesn't know that one night last year we slept together. "Now you won't blog about this," he says to me the next morning.

All these men so concerned about what my unknown readers think about them. And they don't realize that if they don't piss me off, that if they do the right thing, they wouldn't have to worry. This same man who suggested that I seemed "loose" on the blog.

I fucking wish.

I'll tell you what I haven't done. I've never turned down a guy to hit on his friend. Not in front of him, not in his absence. Never. I've never turned away a man I loved for any reason. And I've never stood in the way of the happiness of other people.

Even when I was 14, I did the same thing I'm doing now. Allowing my closest friend to go after some guy that I had desperately wanted. Who flirted with me, but then hit on and made out with her. I just walked away and never said a word.

I do the right thing because it's the right thing, not for the expectation of reward. Although it would be nice, if it didn't hurt me so much.

I want to tell him that it would be a lot easier for me to get over my pain if someone else might ever briefly try and take into consideration.

I sit there getting my nails painted blood red. "No, I'm not." It's true. I'm not angry at her. She doesn't know.

I could tell her. I take a breath while the woman files my nails.

"You can go out with him; it's not a problem."

"I was just going to ask you that. We had dinner last night, and he asked me out for dinner on Friday. I said yes."

This man who I threw myself at-who thinks I'm a gem-now joins the long ranks of men I'm not good enough for. I try to hide that my eyes are filling with tears.

It's not her fault.

It's his.

Still I could say something. I could stop this relationship right here. Tell her I slept with him. Tell her it bothers me.

I just turn away and wonder why I bothered to not to kill myself six years ago. Why not save myself all this humiliation and just die.

Still I remain silent.

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