Tuesday, June 2, 2020


This is a journal, after all. I continue to struggle against the sticky boundaries woven into me and out of her. I don't know how many times I've said aloud, "So that's it. It's over." And now I'm doing what I can to stay present instead of dipping back down into this game's syrupy sap. Chess on a board tiled in maple sugar and marshmallow fluff. It's like all the other addictions I've acquired—tempting, titillating. I need to leave the table and wash my hands. I need to walk out of the building, get into a car, drive to an airport, and secure passage on oneway flight to a tiny Pacific island that only receives air travel traffic every year or two. I'm afraid processing the last 3.5 years might be even more difficult.

She told me the reason she broke up with me (yes, it was her this time) was because I didn't trust her. And not just because I didn't have faith in her, she requested my implicit conviction that everything she did was from the standpoint of one whose motives are solely charitable. 

So when I think now about her accusation, "You don't trust me!" It lands more gently. 

No, I don't. I don't trust anyone that way. Only a fool would readily give trust when trust has already been broken. But I do trust that she will always make choices and actions based on her potential benefit. Chess.

And so when she says, "If we have any chance of getting back together it is only on the grounds of complete trust. Those are my boundaries." I think, I've done it. I've arrived at that point in intimacy where there are two choices. I stay and live her lie. Or I let go. 

Let's think about that. Whom do you trust? How much?

I trust my perceptions, induction, and deduction. I trust that if I think long enough about most things, I can figure out the factuality. This informs my belief system, which in turn allows me to navigate my own decisions. If I don't trust myself, I am without belief in reality, and unable to make my own, rational decisions. 

A fool would so carelessly give up their trust. Which means her accusation isn't just gentle, it's the highest compliment. I will not uphold the facade.

I have a ritual—not religious, but deeply human. A couple of miles up the canyon, off the trail in a washout there is a large boulder situated in the center of the drainage field. The canyon walls tower above on either side, and trees surround so as to mask the area from the trail. I call this boulder Mother Rock, and she serves as altar in a weekly edification. Usually by the time I arrive I'm covered in sweat. I shed backpack, jacket, whatever encumbers me, and sit in the washout on a flat stone wide and high enough to serve as a pew. I smoke a cigarette (which, after the required cardiovascular effort it takes to reach the altar, makes no sense even to me: but it's part of the ritual), and then begin to babble. Whatever comes to mind, whatever crosses my lips. Often these are revelations, eurekas, or the solidification of beliefs based on observable evidence. Magic and science. I begin writing, line by line, to purge the fountain of thought. I learn more about myself sitting at the foot of the Mother Rock than I would sometimes like to know. It is a hallowed place, between the crosshairs of the concrete and the abstract. I undress my self-deception, and I see:

I have fallen in love with the Devil

and the Devil has as the Devil can
loved me back for her purposes.

Now I am living life without 

the Devil and his cloak of deceptions,
a life of possibilities,

stepping back into the world of the present
where the right photograph offers everything
you need to know.

I saw through it
from one side to the other,
through the multitude layers of anger and rage—
some more beautiful that you could ever imagine.

Are you better for having loved me, 
because it meant you were worthy 
of worship all of these years of my wanting?

When you are only a lost human
being inside yourself.

She could only withstand 3.5 years
of my worthiness,

as an end to my purpose 3.5 years of her
means. That's what love cost her—money.
3.5 yrs wrapped in the image of the good.

Really tho, to what end?
A new story about the milk of human kindness?

I mentioned that I loved

religion. It's fine with me 
that my performance was lacking,
that I wasn't living up to plan.
It took me three-and-a-half years to figure out
I was no more than a pawn.

In the end, she couldn't
between us

at what was going on—

an animal she had to feed for company.
Like some pet. Like her cats.

After I write I place new stones upon the altar. I lean my weight against Mother Rock's cheek. I thank her for insight. I thank myself for the insight, and then I hike home.

Someday, this too shall pass.

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