**Warning: Another heavy, emotionally exhausting piece. Easy to write. Hard to read. Harder to hear. **
(press play to listen to the audio)
Brutal is what it’s been. This past week has been nothing short or shy of hellacious. It’s not taxes or divorce or death, it’s truth. It’s me telling myself what I’m about to tell you.
You are my friend, my confident, my lover, my lifelong. Whoever you are, I push you away…unless you’re a stranger. If you’re a stranger, I greet you with smiles and warmth and charm. I offer you all that I have and rather than waiting and being patient and learning and watching our relationship organically unfold and grow, I tell you my secrets and ask for yours. You, being polite and interested in talking to an interested ear, have no trouble opening up and telling me your tales. You share your challenges. You confess your crimes. I tell you I’m proud of you because I am and I’m done. I’ve succeeded in turning you, a stranger into a friend and now that you’re a friend? Well, you know what I do. I just told you. I push you away by making it impossible for you to stay. Why? Because it’s easier that way. It’s easy to be intimate because in doing so, you either friend zone me or either one of us or maybe both of us, becomes a person. You are no longer an object or a puppet and I prefer puppets to people. Instead, you are a human and you have feelings and you have history and awareness and awkwardness and a past and more importantly a future and you’re real and you’re not any longer what I want you to be. I want you to be an object. I want you to be a one night stand. I want you to be the fruit of my fantastic romantic vision. I want you to be Garbo or Monroe. I want you to remain mysterious. Who I don’t want you to be is human because humans have feelings and humans are hard to fuck. If you’re human, I have to worry myself with my conscience. I have to be concerned with your well being. I have to look out for your best interests. So, even though you and your twenty-year-old hard body come up to me after a meeting where you confessed to having only 30 days sober and court me with empty introductions and provocative invitations, I know I’m not getting anywhere near you because at the end of the day or the next morning, I know I’ll care more about preserving your self-respect than you do. Why? Not because I’m a nice guy. Because you’re a person and I don’t want to participate in your damage or your destruction. And more importantly, I don’t want to ever relate to you somewhere in between dinner this evening and a morning twenty years from now when we’re waking our kids telling them it’s time to go school. I don’t want to risk you getting, or me letting, you into my life as anything other than a friend who I’ll eventually push away or a stranger who I’ll let temporarily stay.
Anything, anywhere else is dicey and dodgy and risky. Risky because I might know you and you might know me well enough to run for real. You might know me well enough to leave me. You might know me enough, just enough, to discover my darkness and my secret. You might last long enough and love me and love me enough to know I’m unlovable and then I’ll be lost because you will leave. You will leave like everyone, like every other person before you has left, because leave is what you do and why wouldn’t you when I’ve pushed hard enough and long enough so that your tears and pleas mean nothing to me because regardless of how beautiful you are and how rich in wisdom of a woman you are and how honest you are willing to be with me so you can encourage me to be that man, the one you know I want to become, you will be gone because you will leave and knowing this, believing this, buying this lie is what I do and because of this I insist you leave now, that you leave today, that you leave sooner rather than later like twenty years tomorrow because leave I know you will eventually do, so why not save us all the trouble and the lifetime of tears for the many years lost and why not just end it now and let it be over in a day? Why pull you close only to push you away? Because it’s easier than if you were to stay. It’s easier on me. It’s easier on my ego. It’s easier on my libido and it’s easier on the man who was meant to make the cake we’d eat on our wedding night because there will be no cake, there will be no wedding and there certainly will never be a divorce. The divorce I know is coming because your proposal, your offer, your willingness to be mine is only so that you can leave me later, publicly, for all to see where you stand and say what I’ve always known already: “Peter, you are absolutely unlovable! Not because you beat me or because you cheat on me but because you’re unwilling to pair with me and partner with me and equal with me and love me as I have loved you because you’re afraid that someday I will do what I never wanted or intended to; I will leave you because you showed me the door and insisted I don’t belong in your life or love anymore.”
So, what was this week and why don’t I know you? Why am I not anything other than a therapist and why aren’t you anything other than a friend who’s on your way out? Because I just told you; you were never close to ever being allowed in.