soul[less] language

Some people connect to others through compassion. I’ve always done it through pain. It’s easy for me to tell when someone is hurting – the sadness around them is palpable. When you’ve been observing people for ages in your solitude, you become strangely familiar with their joys, sorrow, regrets, wishes, desires, disappointments and failures. People lie only when they talk. Take away that option and they become a fragile vase of truth. Nothing is more beautiful.
They were standing on the sidewalk. A man and a woman. I didn’t want to intrude on their aching relationship, it just happened. Maybe it’s become too much of a habit for me to pick up pain whenever it’s near me. I instantly knew what they were saying to each other, even though I was unable to hear a single word.
They were just standing there. People passing by.
She had tried walking away and he had stopped her.
Her arms, loosely handing by her body while he was holding her shoulders with his palms, gently caressing them, whispering something in her ear. That’s the way men hold a woman when they’re trying to calm her down, to get her to reconsider, to give in to his reasons and abandon her emotions.
He was talking to her, but she was avoiding eye contact. Her head was tilting to one side and she was staring at the ground (note: the grimmest sign – when a woman won’t look you in the eyes). She didn’t want to listen to what he had to say, she didn’t want to understand or accept it.
It didn’t matter what his reasons were – that he couldn’t get a divorce, stop seeing his ex, have a future with her – I was witnessing a scene when a woman had just understood just how unnecessary she was in his life. For a woman to understand this, means she will gradually come to terms with just how undesired she is [by that guy] too. Once she does she is free. It’s one of the longest and most painful paths to walk. Men enviously call it ‘moving on without regrets’ and think it resembles rebirth. Truth is – it’s a thousand deaths by your own hand – relentless, graphic and continuous.
I was strangely drawn to them and as I passed them by I kept looking back just to catch one last glimpse of their final moments together. People are either fixated on what they have or (more often) on what they don’t, so they rarely have the chance to stop for a while and witness the ending of something (and actually realize they are witnessing an end). They start fixating on it only after it’s long gone and has passed in the category of things they ‘don’t have’. I find that strangely mesmerizing.
Then I walked away.

she’s a lady

The worst mistake a man can make is stay back and wait for forgiveness. Everyone you love will eventually disappoint you and, sadly, they have no place in your life afterwards. Women know that, they sense it in their very core. Men don’t. They are proficient at clinging onto things that have long fallen apart and religiously trying to hold dust between their fingers. The day a woman stops loving a man is the day she’s able to forgive him.
And a new woman is born. Men always underestimate the power they have on the women whose lives they’ve passed through. Men are the driving force behind any… every change in a woman – constructive or destructive. It starts very subtly (as everything else): she begins to forget all disillusions, hurt, moments of pain and alienation, times she hated him (yes, it’s a good sign when a woman is capable of hating you – it means there’s still enough passion in her to care) and starts remembering the nice gestures, long conversations, late and cosy mornings in bed, hot late nights. The paradox is that the more she remembers reasons to justify her love for him, the less she loves him. The image of the man as a partner, protector and friend falls behind to give way to the new one of a dear old friend from another ‘here and now’. One that quite possibly never existed or whose existence is irrelevant to say the least, because it’s no longer her living in it. She was a different person. She is a different person.
The day she’s capable of forgiving everything, a woman’s heart awakens hollow, renewed and free. It’s a high prize to pay for only having wanted to be loved. And loved back, of course. But love is a tricky business: it fears loss, it never forgets and is easily offended; it gets jealous of past ghosts and present back-up plans; it craves genuine kindness and warmth instead of fake romanticism; it suffers from unbalanced accounts because it always seeks the emotional equilibrium; love is pure and simple – it looks for no more and no less than love itself.
More often than never it’s not necessary to stop believing in something for it to perish – it perishes regardless if we believe or not. Only women are strong and cruel enough to euthanise their feelings and carry on branded as ‘cold-hearted’ and ‘not-caring’, consecutively crushing any sign of belief, hope or emotion they might still have left . After all, it’s the only luxury we can afford, unable to externalise our pain as men do.

in sickness and in health long till boredom do us part

People don’t change. We just don’t. We become disillusioned, tired, lost, resigned, disheartened and more adaptable, but that’s an entirely different thing. I guess that’s why she hates me. She thinks he was better with me than he was with her. That’s not true. He’s the same. I’m just far less patient than she was. I wonder though – is her patience a blessing or a burden…
I often think of her and it saddens me – she’ll spend her hole life trying, doubting herself, wondering what she lacks, comparing herself to me. Me? I’m free. I’ve been given the divine ability of letting go and moving on. Of knowing exactly what I want and how to get it. Most women (and men for that matter) allow to be soul-broken and linger in a relationship far below their needs and expectations, convincing themselves it’s how it’s supposed to be. ‘No one gets everything they want, right?’ – It’s ridiculous. Everyone has the right to be happy; not everyone puts it to use, though. I applaud their benevolent resignation – the more others give up, the more there is for me to take.
I guess the main difference between me and her is that she settles. Most of them do. She gets out of him just as much as I got at the time, but when I found it far too insufficient and unsatisfactory, I just walked away. I know she stays out of fear – of solitude, of failure, of what others will say. They are all powerful catalysts. Powerful enough to drive us into a life of indifference, cynicism, mediocrity and detachment.
Grinding her teeth with the disapproval of what her life has turned into, she’ll look into his eyes and search for the sparkle of a first-timer, trying in vain to recreate the butterfly-effect feeling in her stomach. Each time they’ll seem less empty and familiar. But she’ll stay. Because she knows what to expect for the rest of her life. There is some security in that.
Me? I refuse to be weak for the person who’s supposed to make me strong. Dead-end relationships are for people who aren’t familiar with their own capabilities and needs. It’s empowering how many doors open once you admit and face your limitations. I am incapable of settling for anything less than what I need and want. What about you?