If Only Life was Like in the Movies
Now playing: Beth Rowley - Nobody's Fault But Mine
via FoxyTunes

"But life is not like in the movies. Everyone lies, good guys lose, and love does not conquer all."
-Swimming with Sharks

Although I have been able to hide it through my Paris posts, and even my first day post-I've been becoming more depressed. Drinking more, relying on ever increasing doses of tylenol PM, spending days in bed without the motivation to leave the apartment. Of course, I have LOTS of things to do, but I find myself sitting on the couch unable to find the will to do them. This is real depression-when you don't have the energy to eat or vacuum. My crochet project sits across the living room in a bag-I should finish it-or the needlepoint project-or read Antunes-or my student papers (oh the pain begins already)-or write part of the screenplay--or get printer paper-or go to the farmer's market or just take a walk and enjoy the last days of summer which I will miss when they are gone-but I find myself scanning over the same channels on the tv over and over trying to find something that will interest me. And when I do the first eharmony ad, the first match.com, the first debeers ad will send me into paroxyms of rage and hopelessness.

"Where did I go wrong?" I think as it seems everything now sends me ever further down the rabbit hole. My mother taking her boyfriend to see my grandmother. My continued failure to get my karma to 70 on plurk, but just hover around 69. My unringing cellphone.

I walk with Office Elf after watching a movie. He has a present for his new girlfriend in his hand-he wonders outloud if she will like it. "Of course she will. It's from you." He looks at me, perhaps he is surprised that I was once a young romantic girl. "It hasn't been so long since I've forgotten what it's like." But I wish it was. God I wish I could forget what it was like to come home to lights already on in my apartment. To us sitting on the couch reading aloud to each other. To him putting peanut butter sandwiches on my pillow when I came home from work exhausted and starving. The reassuring warmth of going to bed curled up next to his soft sticky warmth and to waking up next to him. And how with him, I felt, for theonly time, like a normal girl. How we argued about how many children we were going to have and where we going to get married. He's married now to another woman-with a child. Claims we never were engaged and that I'm pathetic and cray. But still I'm haunted by it, by the loss of him. And how I only find brief flickers of it in the least appropriate of places.

And the stupid part is this is not only all my own fault, but it's the same pattern. I made the mistake of falling in love with someone I shouldn't have. I know, I know. What are the odds? To my credit I didn't know that when I fell. But, of course, I should have known because it's me. Because no decent appropriate guy would walk my way. That would just be a fundamental violation of the universal order. But I decided to stay with him even when I knew I shouldn't because the choice came down, or so I thought, between hurt now or hurt later. I thought if I hurt later, I would at last have some pleasure.

I said it once, I'll say it again. The worst decision of your life will seem like a good idea at the time.

And he was the only man to tell me he loved me in so long. To push me to open up. To send me text messages in the morning, every morning, or at least he did. To make me feel that maybe there was some hope for me yet.

But hope is a demon bitch no matter what Pandora says.

But now I find, that I am hurting now with only the prospect of more pain in the future. He comes over and when he's here, I'm thinking, "I have to leave him. I'm not happy. I'm getting worse and it's him. I was better before I met him." And I was. And I've been through this before-the increasing depression, the rage, the resentment, the staying in the completely blind hope that happiness wil return. The other side of my brain says, leave him for what? More empty lonely nights? At least this way you occasionally get hot sex. How easy I've been on him, how undemanding, how trusting I've been-and now I will begin to hate him for not treating better-where are the dinners out and the little presents just because? Christ, where did my morning phone calls go and the long long evenings together?

Why can't I be happy?

If only my life were more like a movie or an Oprah Book of the Month Club book like Open House. Predictable with happy ending. Instead, I find myself writing on bar napkins "When Eric left, I thought I had no hope. But I pushed through anyway. To get through every day by any means necessary-and if that meant taking anti depressants or drinking on an empty stomach or having yet another night of meaningless sex with someone I would normally not want to talk to for more than five minutes or all three at the same time-if it got me to the next day without throwing myself under the 6 train or drinking a drano martini or slashing open my throat while I tried to make dinner, well, then that's what I did. And then I began to come to, to come back to life, only to discover it was too late. To discover that I really was already dead and now I am the ghost of a perfect stranger. Because if I had known what was waiting for me in seven years, what I would become, I would have killed myself without hesitation knowing it was the right decision."

I leave the napkin on the table, where he could read it, its hard to miss if he were so inclined. But he doesn't even bother to look. Just walks by it, intent on kissing me hello even as I think, "I have to leave him. I have to.I have to."

I have to, but I don't. Nor do I tell him anything is wrong. I just kiss him back.

And when he leaves, the smell of his sweat still in my nose, I pour myself a drink and take half a dose of tylenol pm and think I hve to leave him. Even as I wait for him to call. And I try to decide, in the end, who I will hate more:myself, him, or Eric. But I know the answer to this one too, it has to be me. After all, I'm the one who will end up suffering.

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