I Place My Muscle at the Mercy of Your Fear-Sparked Claws.
I’ve been told many times that I need to move on from you, that you’re not good for me. My friends don’t like to hear your name anymore. I get it. I’ve been on their side of this deal too. And they’re right; you’re not good for me. You hurt me, and you will continue to hurt me. But here’s why that’s okay for now.
I choose my own fate. I am the maestro of the four-plus year opera we’re performing. You are leaving small nicks on my heart because I want you to. I want those.
My heart is not made of porcelain; it is not your precious piggy bank full of comfort that you can break whenever you want to. My heart is a muscle. The scratches you’re leaving on it merely give it character.
I want your hurt to prepare me for the one after you. I love you, and I won’t walk away from that until I am ready, but make no mistake, I control us. I will call the closing curtain when I’m ready. And I haven’t had my fill yet.
Nothing about this is ever going to be easy; love, sex, romance, flirtation, relationships are the best of times and the worst of times. They are guaranteed to both hurt you and help you and invigorate you. Why can’t I let all of that, the good and the bad, happen and not fight it?
The truth is, I can.
I melt in the brilliance of feeling hurt by you, because hurt invokes passion, and I adore that you and I have that. How privileged it is to be caught in the web that causes you so much disquiet. The moments when your heart beats for me? I can read those moments on your face, and they’re my favorite memories of you.
This is not to say that you’re getting off easy.
The way you reject me after leading me on: awful. The way you tell me I mean more to you than anyone, yet I’m not worthy of anything more: fake. I can’t tell if you’re lying just to me, or if you’re lying to yourself as well. Or if you’re scared. Or all of the above. Which would be okay, because I’m scared too. You used to be the one person I could talk to about fear, but sometimes I think you fear me.
You and I just spent the night together. We spent the next morning drinking wine straight out of the bottle on my kitchen floor, talking about everything and nothing and haphazardly singing silly songs. As is one of my favorite things to do with you.
A week later, you had moved on to someone else.
For the record: (Sunday morning wine and singing) + (Someone else only days later) = Disgusting behavior, unbecoming of a man that I would ever want to call my own.
Everything disgusting about this? It’s on you. I am choosing the bright side of what we’re doing to each other. I love, I learn, I move on. Sometimes, to you.
However, in all actuality, I am using you too.
I am using you for the much needed pinpricks my heart begs for in this life. I refuse to make it through this world without having felt all of the full and brilliant things that come with being human.
My heart is not porcelain. My heart is muscle, and the way you hurt me act like tiny claws. Make me bleed, scratch me, but know that I am a living thing. My heart fills me with life and passion and purpose. Your claws are defense mechanisms that snap out when you get scared.
I know why you flee from me when we get too close. I’m playing with that part of you, all while you think you’re the one hurting me. Every time I let you get close, you get scared and run away. You can’t help but react like a child, out of control and helpless.
Our four-year opera may close after a five-year or ten-year run. But I will be the fat lady who sings. Not you. Not anyone else. My heart. My muscle against your fear-sparked claws.
Who between us is the more unbecoming?
Margaret Dempsey is a writer, businesswoman, runner, and lover of all things chocolate and Disney. Her writing zags between musings on her lovers, her mental illness, her unforgiving humor, and her unabridged gratitude for life. She travels the world alone, because it scares her and thrills her at the same time. The old city of Jerusalem makes her weak in the knees. She has a habit of sniffing bags of coffee in the grocery store for fun. She loves so much, she runs out of places to put it. She kissed a stranger in Budapest in the snow once. She loves run-on sentences and stories that are hard to follow, and writing in a way that makes you think she’s crazy… because she is a little mad, but adores being so.