a brutally honest post

I got caught in the trap that some people get caught up in and I’ve been beating myself up for it for the last few days.

I found an ad on craigslist for a woman who wanted a friends with benefits and after I inquired, she wrote back “If you help me, I’ll help you”. I asked is this like cash in exchange for favors? She said that it was and I said “I never do that”. Well, I guess that’s not true because I sent her money from my PayPal account and I allowed my reason and gut feelings to be overruled by the attractive offer of intimacy and affection. I really don’t’ understand how I can be so stupid. What a few of you know but most of you don’t is that, I am in a marriage that is lacking in sex and intimacy, not by original design but just after years, she no longer has the interest in any of that stuff at all. She doesn’t have the desire, energy or time for it. I understood that low thyroid played a big part which explains the energy and desire components, but the lack of time is clearly on her and after all, her career and house projects are more important to her than either me or the kids that she wanted. Okay, so this is a blunt and bitter post so I’m hoping that those attributes will at least be overlooked in the context that, this is just another therapy session and maybe someone out there has gone through something similar, if not identical.

A long time ago, when we entered into this whole open marriage idea, we both agreed that we would never pay anyone for anything. But what was it when I was taking care of our daughter when she was spending time and gas going 45 minutes away to get impregnated by another man, the same one who she had our daughter by? Is that not indirectly paying for sex? I brought that up and she had some logical glib answer like always. And after all these years, the other day she said “I thought having another child would be like having the first one, he was so easy and we had so much fun, going to the park, having big breakfasts when his friends were over, cuddling in bed on Saturday mornings…” And then our daughter came along and she was the most high maintenance child either of us had ever experienced, and that was my first newborn to deal with and it was me who had the post-partem depression, not her.

Maybe 9 months to a year afterwards, she said that she wanted another one. I explicitly didn’t and I asked her why she wanted another one and she gave me all the reasons above plus things like “they’ll grow up together and play together” and, by the way, when we were thinking of adopting and I said “well, it’ll be cool for him, meaning the older one who is now a teenager, to have a brother or sister to play with” and she said “that’s a horrible reason to want a child”. she even went as far as to say that if I resented her for a couple of years for having the child that she so desperately wanted but that I didn’t, she would be okay with that because, if she never had another one, she would regret it for the rest of her life.

So after all that, her thyroid is low which explained why she didn’t have any energy and somewhere along in there, the subject of sex came up which is when she gave the energy, desire and time excuses for not wanting it anymore.

I was thinking of writing to the email address that this con artist gave me but I figure that really wouldn’t do anything anyway. I don’t play the victim, being fully aware and cognizant that this error in judgement was my own doing and if there’s a lesson to be learned here, I suppose it is to just trust your intuition no matter how attractive an offer seems to be on the other side.

I still can’t believe how gullible and stupid I was to do something that dumb.

this makes me wonder why I’m thinking about all this right now? Maybe it’s always been there, like the shadow of a great nemesis just waiting to attack and further break the cracked hollow spirit inside of me? A little on the dramatic side? Probably but it’s honest and real and if I can’t speak of it in my own blog then to whom shall it be voiced? The people who have been complicit in the removal of my own voice in a way? Absolutely not but then, I suppose I also allowed that process to happen as well. You know, this whole taking responsibility for oneself, which is lost on our modern culture, I wonder if with people are prone to mental health issues, do we take that concept to its most illogical and extreme place, shouldering all the actions of others as if those very actions were a consequence of the choices that we make along the way? I don’t know if any or all of this makes any sense or if it is just a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? Everyone knows that reference. And now that my soliloquy has ended, if I didn’t have to put on a happy face for the kids, I’d probably go somewhere and have a good cry because, though I don’t often feel that way, that too is catching up with me as the result of a need to run from whatever I feel is always in the shadows, ready to chase me, especially when I am in my bedroom. And all this reminds me of something I wrote for one of my albums, which I may have shared but for the benefit or agony of new followers, and for the benefit of my ever-failing memory routines, here it is anyway.

“the man stood resolutely, remorsefully, as the thick fog enveloped his figure, a lonely physical form on a bridge, overlooking the calm river, 200 feet below his feet.

He was out here on a mission, well, in his mind it was a mission, even if the goal was a passageway into the afterlife.

The afterlife, it had to be better than the life on this planet, the life he has lived for so many unfulfilled years, or was it decades, or even centuries…it seemed eternal.

when had this gradual descent into the chamber of darkness begin? Maybe it has always been there, calling him, whispering to him hauntingly, beckoning him to embrace it. It was always so desolate in the dark, surrounded by nothing but regret, wrong turns, the steps that seemed to go nowhere, climbing aimlessly, always being out of focus, feeling that there was something more but wondering, yes wondering how to obtain it, and if he could, maybe there would be hope.

Before he had walked onto this bridge in the middle of the city shrouded in fog, he had come from a church. Actually, it was a cathedral.

Like every night when his work was done, he was alone with his dark intrusive thoughts, the black images that wouldn’t leave his mind. So he walked out the door, leaving his life behind, it wasn’t really unusual since he had always gone for walks at night to try to clear his head before returning to his home for a few hours of repose before he arose in the morning and had to do it all over again. Day in and day out, it was always the same, no variation, nothing different, just the same script that he had to read from, the lines that he had memorized that had been repeated so often that he could no longer distinguish between who he really was and what he was pretending to be.

He walked through the giant door of the cathedral. It was empty but for a couple of people who were kneeling in prayer. Prayer, what was that? He used to know a long time ago, used to talk to God all the time, he had believed what they had told him about God and his Son, that Jesus was the author of peace, the bringer of life and those who were thirsty, he’d give them living water, and to the tired, he’d take their burdens. these words were more abstract than the fundamentalists he’d run into later at college, the ones who would tell him that he needed a “personal relationship with Jesus”.

Now that he was in this sacred space, it all came flooding back to him, the memories, the promises, the hope which was professed to be real by the speakers of the truth.

As Pontius Pilate had said before the crucifixion “what is truth?” Then he had washed his hands…of what, the upcoming deed or the truth which external forces were trying to impose on him?

He looked up at the cross and felt abandoned, the head told him that the man hanging there had died for him. “he died for all of us because he loved us”, fundamentalists had said over and over, maybe in different words but the message was the same. He couldn’t fathom it in his heart, a being of any kind that could love him so much that he’d take the form of a man, be humiliated, put on trial for crimes he didn’t commit and then be brutally executed for him? Why?

It made no sense, none at all to his logical mind where every action had a reaction and every choice had a consequence.

Still looking up at the cross, he heard the words again that he had heard as a child. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish but have everlasting life”. That was close enough for the man in the cathedral.

The debt must be paid, the debt must be paid and yet, conventional wisdom or, what he had come to conclude was mindless dribble, had told him for years that the only way to repay the debt of the death of God was to accept the gift of eternal life.

it was a paradox that he couldn’t get his mind around, it confused him, flew in the face of all he had logically determined as truth for himself after so many years without God.

And yet, the invitation to “be Still and know that I am God” was still there after all this time. He continued staring at the cross, his mind screaming no!!! This isn’t logical, I don’t want his love!!!” Why? because he knew that it would be impossible to love another being as deeply as this one would love him, and that was an enormous obligation that he knew he could never fulfill.

So he ran out of the cathedral and kept running, feeling all the while that he was being chased by something or someone. While he was running faster and faster, he remembered the story of the hound of heaven. Wasn’t that the story where a man was running from himself and he was being chased relentlessly by a hound and when he turned around, it was God? Never mind, it didn’t matter. If he was going to live, he’d look it up on Wikipedia just so he’d have the story straight in his own mind. exact quotes didn’t matter so much but having a narrative the right way in his mind was important.

He felt a presence, actually, he picked up the scent of perfume and while standing on the bridge over the calm river 200 feet below, he heard the soft footfalls. Now he knew that his sense of being chased wasn’t an illusion at all.

The woman put a delicate hand on his shoulder and whispered softly “a dream of Beauty is an illusion in a life of loss”.

The man turned around and realized that she was right. His life had been full of dreams of beauty, but he had always lost all of them by foolish actions, choices that demanded consequences. For him, the consequence was inevitably loss, followed by profound loneliness and isolation.

now he felt his sanity slipping away, a foreshadowing of the life that would be lost at any moment by a choice that he was determined to make.

He stepped closer to the rail and then paused. He had expected her to instinctively pull him back from the rail but she didn’t. did she want him to die? That would be unspeakably cruel and heartless, to want a stranger to die with no cause whatsoever.

He laughed inside at the irony of the situation. Here he was, ready to take his own life because he felt it was empty and yet, he felt that a stranger allowing him to do the very thing that he had come here to do was unspeakable. it was another paradox he couldn’t comprehend.

He turned around to face her, his hound of heaven and she said “I am your dream of Beauty in a life of loss”.

He asked “Are you God?” She said “today I am and tomorrow He’ll be someone else for another person in desperate need of living water and eternal life. Your afterlife is here, you’ve just been unaware of it all this time.”

if you’d like to hear the music that this story was written to, you can visit
https://scottlawlor.bandcamp.com/album/the-absence-of-light-contains-the-sha dow-of-loss

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