Ouch: November 16

True to type

I didn't sleep much last night. I think I slept between 9am and 11am. I took four melatonin at about 2am, expecting to have trouble sleeping, but instead of knocking me out they just made me delirious all night, so I had these horrible, nonsensical waking nightmares about guns and being left by the woman I love.

I called my mom at about noon, and told her I didn't think I could get out of bed. This was true. It was also scary, because my grandfather has spent the last ten years of his life in a depression so dark that he never leaves his bed, even though he was in perfect mental and physical health otherwise. These are my genes. I guess you always play true to your type.

Mom talked to me for a while, and it helped, although only a limited amount because she lost her soul-mate after about 10 years due to his cheating and becoming fascinated with another woman, and she never really found anyone like him again. But, she did bring me juice, get me to call the doctor, and got me to almost promise to talk to someone before I seriously consider suicide (I told her I wouldn't consider it this week anyways -- it's not really the acute pain I fear, it's the pain next week and the week after that and the week after that that really scares me).

I got my fiancee by stealing her from her last boyfriend, who was not as worldly as me but a lot more loyal, and, well, nice. He got her by stealing her from the boyfriend before that, who was not as worldly. That's basically every boyfriend she's had.

Now she's run off with another man, whose is a not as loyal as me, but a lot more worldly. I guess it shouldn't have been a surprise to me.

The crappy part is that, assuming everyone plays true to type, he's going to cheat on her. He cheated on his old fiancee a lot. He cheated on his last girlfriend. Hell, he cheated with one of my fiancee's best friends. She knows this!

"He's 35 now. Maybe he's grown up," she said to me. I could tell she didn't like me running him down. Yes, I know, it's obvious that I'm going to attack the new man. But I have cause. I've known him for way longer than her, and although he was an acquaintence, he was never a real friend, because he lies, he cheats, and he steals, and I just can't be friends with people like that.

Sure, he's grown up. He's spent the last 5 years pretending to be my friend, lying to me, while trying to seduce you. Yup, he's clearly developed a keen sense of honor.

The problem with cheats and liars is they don't usually look like those greasy, slicked-hair car salesmen. They seem, at first, to be charming, wonderful people. Consider that Bill Clinton is a big cheat. Actually, her new man reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton, in many ways. And, come to think of it, she always said she found Clinton sexy. True to type.

I called her at her hotel. I couldn't help myself. I just got it into my head to, you know, touch base, and then it was like this total compulsion. The idea of hearing from her was just so great. Just to hear her voice. Just to talk to her. To tell her what I'm going through. In my head, she's still my best friend, except she can't be.

I asked her, again, if she'd consider coming back to me if things don't work out. She said yes. This was the first time she'd said yes -- always before she had assumed she could never go back to a guy she'd cheated on, because she could never respect him again.

Just her saying this made me a wierd sort of almost-elated. I started cleaning the house in a frenzy. Mom showed up and I barely said hi, I was so busy taking out garbage and putting stuff away.

Mom made me eat two apple slices, since I hadn't eaten anything except three pieces of sushi the day before. It's wierd not having any hunger -- it's something I've lived with so long, it's like suddenly finding I don't have to breath.

I decided to go to the bank and close down our joint accounts, as a sort of shock therapy in to my new life. I didn't want to get one more statement to both me and her. I don't want to keep having little pain-surprise-bombs in my life.

Getting the check from my old bank took a lot of time, as it was a fair chunk of money and the guy was new, and he screwed up the first check. While I was there I started getting sicker and sicker. First I took off my coat, then my sweater. I started panting. I wanted out with that kind of trapped animal rising fear. Finally I got the check.

At this point I would have bailed, except I had an enormous cashier's check in my pocket (lose it and the money is just gone), and I had no bank accounts and thus really couldn't live. So I went to the new bank I'd picked (I have my business accounts there, so I get an extra degree of butt-kissing, to which I am partial).

It took a while to see a teller, but finally the assistant manager recognized me, and when I showed him the big cashier's check, suddenly I was his new best friend. Butt-kissing, it turns out, was only fun when I could come home and tell her about it, it just seemed hollow and stupid now.

He kept trying to tell me about all the free things I would get with this account, and I just wanted to leave so bad so I could cry. "And it comes with free checks! Just pick the one you want!" I stared dumbly at the page for a while and said I'd order computer checks. "But they're free!" No thanks. "And a free credit card, just fill this out." I have enough credit cards, maybe I'll fill it out later. "Normally I like for people to fill it all out at once -- but, sure, later is good. Did I mention the free safety deposit box?"

Finally he went off to deposit my check, and cut a new cashier's check for her to live on while she gets herself set up with him. I put my head on his desk and tried to cry softly, but it's actually pretty hard to desguise that wail-gasp when you breath in after you've run out of air.

He came back and had me endorse the cashier's check, because he'd forgotten. He made a joke about how messy my signature was, and I totally didn't understand him, I just tried to sign again and do a better job, but he took the checks away and gently said he was just kidding. He must have wondered how someone so obviously a basket case had gotten so much money. Come to think of it, I wonder that myself.

Finally I got my new passbook, and the new check. To her credit, after tearing out out my heart she didn't hand me a bill: she didn't ask for any money, and offered to give me back the car I gave her. I told her the car was supposed to be hers no matter what, and this was definitely what, and that she'd need some money to live on, and, besides, she really had helped me build my business, and she deserved some share of that.

In the end I gave her far less than she deserved, because I knew how badly she felt killing me the way she did, and giving her more money would have just compounded her guilt. But I told her if she ever needed more to just call me. I really doubt she would, but I said it, and I meant it, and that's enough.

So I staggered out to the car, and I couldn't even close the door before I started wailing. Finally I got it closed so everyone wouldn't stare at me. When I got control of myself, I started to drive the two blocks back to the office, and realised I was going to be violently ill. Burp. Gasp. Must breath deep, to control nausea. Burp. Burp. Breath. Breath.

I got myself under control, and pulled up in front of work. Opened the door. Took a step out. BAAAAAAAAAAAARF. There were the two apple slices I'd had earlier. Nice try, mom.

I sat at work for about 15 minutes before I figured out there was no chance I was going to be able to do any work. I had to go home. I knew that as soon as I got there I'd want to leave, to escape, since home was really where she was, and where she was I couldn't go. But, I figured I'd just keep driving back and forth between work and home until I got tired and could go to sleep again.

Sleep is so great. I live for it now. I'm just counting the hours until I can sleep again. When's the most logical time to go to bed? If I go too early, I'll wake up in the middle of the night, and that will be Bad. But, the sooner to bed, the sooner the pain stops, for a little while.

Luckily, some friends showed up, in one of those nice conspiracies. Hey, suddenly five of my friends are on my front step, the day after I've been dumped! What a coincidence. And they're all asking me to come eat something with them!

Food did not interest me, I told them. Well, what would you like. So far, I said, I liked crying and throwing up. Really. Those are the happy moments.

Kevin suggested chicken soup. Since I hadn't stopped drinking, just eating, I decided this was a reasonable compromise. Also, the friendly conspiracy was working: five people were staring at me, and so I had to do something to be a good host, even if that meant being a good victim.

So we drove over to Kevin's. Surge asked if he could ride with me, which was especially transparent since I'd told them all to go ahead and they hadn't and there was plenty of room in Kevin's car. But, hey, good host. I said, sure, but that meant I wouldn't be able to pull in front of a Mac truck along the way.

So we got to Kevin's and Lois and Britta made me soup. And we talked, and for 20 or 30 seconds at a time I'd forget that I lost everything. Even knowing that they were trying to distract me, even being aware that it was a ruse, the ruse still worked, because it was a ruse borne out of their caring for me, and that's what I needed.

Rob and then Ken showed up later. This conspiracy was obviously wide-spread. Someone had obviously spread the word that I was in trouble, and told everyone to show up. My main suspect was Wolfe, because he's always had a huge heart and an undeniable need to help those in trouble. He was just being true to type.

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