why did I go

tuesday 5 july 2011…        (new post)

If anyone’s been keeping up with the last seven or so posts, anyone might be wondering why I even kept accepting Matthew’s invitations. All this wrangling, all this refusal to answer my questions, the cloak-and-dagger baloney, the tears and anger, both his and mine. There isn’t one pat answer. Layers of answers, because I’m a multi-layered, deep-feeling and deep-thinking person. Everything in life, absolutely everything, has facets and nuances.

Here are the answers, plural, to the question of why I went:

1. Matthew was the one who’d told me about this ugly, criminal situation in my life. He was the bearer of the bad news. Because he was the one who told me, I wanted to stay in his sphere.

2. I wanted information, and he was the one who had it. If all he would give me were crumbs, then I wanted those crumbs. And I stupidly kept hoping for more than that.

3. I was extremely alone. Animals gone, my way of life torn to shreds, only one friend who lived some distance away and didn’t come to greenfield very often. Matthew was the only company at my disposal. And with him, I didn’t have to keep all of the same secrets I had to keep with other people. With him I could at least talk about the landlady and the mafia chick and the protection. And as weird things happened out on the streets, Matthew was the only person on the planet with whom I could talk about them and not be treated like a nut.

4. I was in love with him, after all. And as totally abnormal and twisted as this relationship and this crime situation were, it was the one and only place in my existence where love made an appearance, however mangled and distorted that appearance might have been.

Not every single moment with Matthew was a moment of tears or anger or refusal to answer questions or cloak-and-dagger tricks. Most of them were, but not all. There were moments of laughter and mutual teasing. And others when we talked about books or music or our pasts. Once I brought bubble-soap and blew bubbles over to his chair for him to catch. He didn’t want to at first. I suppose it struck a macho crime-fighter like him as too childish. But after he’d grudgingly caught a few, he started smiling and getting into it. Then I blew the bubbles over his head so he’d have to reach for them. There were the rare times when we’d talk about the things we would do together after this was over. There was the time he had bought tea for me, and even made it for me, and served it to me in a little white china cup. He had some too, in an identical cup, even though he is a coffee person. It was the one and only time he ever behaved as if I were a special guest. Never happened again, at least not to that degree. Sometimes he would find me on the street sick from the humidity and my attacking immune system. Often at those times he’d take me back to his hovel, turn on the air conditioner, and make us rice for supper. He’d watch me very intently when I was sick. No matter what idiot face or idiot voice he might be using, his eyes were always real, and on many occasions I saw the unmitigated concern there in those large blue eyes that bored into mine. Once I’d fallen out of bed right onto a wooden captain’s chair and had got a huge hematoma on my right leg. When he saw the thing, he lost a great deal of his facade. Worry, worry, that’s all he was. How did you get that? he wanted to know. I told him, and he didn’t believe me, evidenced by the fact that he continued to ask me throughout the afternoon. He asked me if I didn’t think I should have a doctor look at it, and would it go away, and did it hurt. About the fifth time he asked me how I got it, I got exasperated. I told you how I got it, and I told you the truth. You know I’d tell you if anyone hurt me. Then he looked at me with puppy-longing eyes and said: You promise? I promised.

That was some of the good stuff that passed between Matthew and me. There’s more, but I’ve made my point. And though there wasn’t nearly enough of it, and though all the dark stuff outweighed it by far, it was the only good stuff available to me in the world. In every empty, ugly minute of every empty, ugly day, it was the only good stuff I could lay my hands on.

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read…    Poison and snowflake trees…   Mental hell

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