“I never loved someone like that. I never loved the joker.” My spouse and I were lying in bed, and I was talking about the man I loved who came and went, the painful house guest. Thinking of that small sound he made, the “uh, uh” in a rap song. I was crying about what I lost. He had access to worlds I’ll never understand.
The jokes were good, but they were instead of truth–I prefer jokes that are truth. Jokes don’t need to be a distraction.
I was wishing the joker friend could have been who I needed him to be. I regret I never got to look into his eyes. He didn’t want that with me. He’s just fucking around.
I’ve been thinking about love, which I think about all the time, but I was thinking about romantic love in particular. That house guest, I wanted to matter to him. So badly, I wanted him to slide his dick into me–I wanted to come with him, to be pure pleasure with him. My deepest self.
Sometimes having sex is the only way to relax, with someone. All that desire swirled around in me, and it would be such a relaxing joy, to let go of the holding back and take him inside of me.
Yes, to envaginate. That desire to hold him was to hold his anxiety and pain, to hold is sacred body, to hold his dick inside me if only for a moment. Such heavy burdens he carries. Of course I welcomed his joker joy. But I don’t think he needed help carrying that.
There’s sex, but I wanted romance too. Romance could be a kiss in the moonlight. Or walking in the light rain, holding hands. The painful house guest kissed my breasts, before I left his bed. But I wanted a kiss on the lips, a choice intentional and direct. It would mean, “You matter to me–I want to build a life with you.”
You can’t make someone choose you. Nothing I could do or not do could make him want me central to his life, healing and strong. If I’m good for anything, it’s to be a cornerstone. Sometimes it seems like he wanted that, but he was just joking.
I gave him my art, some books, countless zines, collaboration, a fuckton of attention, more than a year of my life focused on his well-being, consistency, many letters, necklaces I made for him. Two rings, one of which he doesn’t even remember: the rosary ring, with the Virgin of Guadalupe on it. I got that at the gift shop of a mission in my homeland. It’s ok he lost it, but that’s how everything was for him.
He had a little Ganesha in his pouch that he said I gave to him, but he was mistaken. “Some other nice lady must have given that to you,” I said. Yes, so many nice ladies he charmed, and we’re scattered around, hearts broken, wondering what hit us.
My friend in Brazil was confused, as I told him part of the joker story. “Why didn’t you tell him you didn’t like him? You asked him to leave your house. Obviously you didn’t like him.”
“Oh, but I adored him,” I explained. “I wanted him more than anything; my body wanted him completely. But he wasn’t who I needed him to be. He was hurting me so badly, I stopped sleeping and was headed for a manic episode myself.”
Yes, it’s confusing. Asking the person I most wanted in my house to leave my house was a difficult thing to do. If I didn’t like him, I could just ignore him, not care he was making phone calls in the courtyard and blowing smoke all around. I could feed or not feed him, and ignore his well-being and needs. But I loved him beyond love, which didn’t turn off, when he hurt me.
Does the alcoholic not like alcohol? The alcoholic loves alcohol more than anything–that’s the problem. But on some level, the alcoholic understands that it’s killing them.
That was me. I need you, but you’re killing me. Please go.
Another friend was telling me I’m ok, my love is good, and she doesn’t understand why I say I’m fucked in the head. I explained to her, “If he hit me with an ax, I would ask him to please not hit me with an ax and keep loving him.” A reasonable person stops loving someone when they do a certain amount of harm. My fuckedness is partly about lack of self-preservation.
Part of me is like, “I don’t care how you hurt me. Just love me, and everything is fine.” That’s a damaged part of me who watched my parents do addiction-related domestic violence for decades. Part of me thinks that’s normal and ok.
If only love made sense, and my body, mind, and spirit all stayed in alignment about this man or anything. It reminds me of dogs–when a dog attacked me and my spouse while we were riding bikes, I had zero impulse to kick the dog. My spouse is a reasonable person who is ok to kick a dog that’s trying to bite him.
Me, I don’t believe my life is worth more than a dog’s. Well, rationally I do. But my body does not. So I fled the dog, but nothing in me said to fight back.
When I was a kid, my life was filled with violence. All impulses to fight back were destroyed. I believed I deserved what was done to me–my worth was nothing. I was taught that with words, but mostly through actions, as I was violenced, neglected, and my needs were ignored.
How do I unlearn what I’ve known since I was two years old? My belief in my own worthlessness is part of my body, as real as muscle and bone.
“Hello, I’m a person,” someone says to a stranger.
“Hello–I’m a person also,” replies the stranger. There can be so many assumptions about who someone is, their past, and how their past formed them. But I’m not normal.
Who’s normal? Certainly not me, the joker, or my spouse. We’re weirdass people, trying to get our needs met as well as possible, in creative ways. Blessings to the joker wherever he is tonight, hopefully getting his needs met in a way that doesn’t harm others.
image credit Ganesha Yantra by Hasanthi, unchanged, CC3 license: