The Ties that Bind and Gag

This fucking week. Head. Wall. Repeat. If my life is a great big chess board, this week I was checkmated, the board was set on fire, and the queen was murdered Jon Snow style. But I digress. Things have shifted while I wasn’t paying attention. I was reckless unintentionally and my past came to call. Then I was played. We have so many things to talk about.

There are some ties to people that are made of scars. Tough and ugly, but always present. This is Tim. A sheriff’s deputy showed up at my door during a horrible thunderstorm looking for Tim. The man wanted to serve Tim, wearing Kevlar. He is being sued civilly, again, it appears. I told the deputy that he doesn’t live here, he’s my ex-husband. The deputy went on his way. I called Tim to warn him it was coming. I owe him nothing, but this scar binds me. I don’t want him back. I’m not in love with him. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but when Tim’s life goes to hell, as it often does, I somehow become his person, a confidant, a touchstone. I’ve allowed it. I touch the scars and they don’t hurt anymore. But his still do. Whatever piece of my heart loved him once will listen to his problems, hear his confessions, and say the right words. Is this normal? Probably not. It’s a thing, not a friendship, it’s a tie, a tie that binds, made of ashes, long in history, and finally, after all these years, all the tears, honest.

I was played, but I’m not mad about it. Well, played may be too strong of a word. It went like this. I had been chatting with a man in Fort Worth for a couple of weeks. There were some early signs of his possible douchery, but he was far away, this wasn’t going anywhere, so, carpe diem and whatever. I’ll call him Charger because he sent me a picture of his Dodge Charger… and the engine. The douche mating call. Someone told me a couple of days ago after hearing this story, “You understand that his dick was all of 2 inches, right? They measure you before they sell you one.” There may be some truth to this, there certainly are some giggles. Charger was playing his hand. He said he felt a connection with me, he wanted to see me, blah,blah,blah, but fairly intense blah. As fate would have it, I was flying home from Amarillo and DFW was shut down. I was stuck in Dallas for a night. Well, hell. Girl’s gotta eat. Charger and I went to dinner. I’m trying to remember what we talked about, but we didn’t reinvent the wheel – it was just vanilla conversation, as much my fault as his. No big deal, win some, lose some. A few days after I got home he sent, what can only be, his standard canned monologue of farewell. See below. It seems a little heavy handed, I was going to go with ‘boy bye’, but he might be more grown up than me. Struggling to keep the same feeling that was there initially…Dude, please.

This part is odd. And my response to it is odd. After Tony Oz, I had chilled on E-Harmony a bit, plus the matches the site provided were not really anything I wanted to pursue, until last week. I’ll call him Spiderman. He was a Texas cowboy – funny, interesting, and I was interested. We talked a lot, with the plan to meet in person soon. I liked him. We told one another our stories, we laughed, it was a good beginning. One night after hanging up with him I logged on to E-Harmony and read some more of his profile, looked at his pictures, passing the time before I turned out the light. This is true – I thought, “What’s on my profile?” I made it in December and I don’t really remember. I went and looked, updated some old photos, more out of vanity than any conscience thought. Logged off and went to sleep, thinking no more of it. The next day Spiderman sent some sweet texts in the morning and things were normal cruising altitude. Right before lunch I got a text from him, “You uploaded two new photos to E-Harmony. The search continues???” Honestly, I thought he was joking, it seemed like such a small matter. He was not. He questioned my integrity, and without further ado, he was done. He didn’t want to talk any longer, he no longer wanted to meet me, and he was no longer interested. It was an overreaction, or I thought so, but it hurt my feelings, and it made me feel like I had cheated on him, this simple act of updating photos. It took me a little bit to work out what I was feeling. I was disappointed. I had been excited to meet him, I felt like there was potential. But here’s the thing. What if we had met, and we had clicked, and it had become a thing. In the great scheme of things I would have, with all certainty, done something more hurtful than this, whether it was a couple of months or a couple of years in. Probably not intentionally, but it’s in the nature of humans and relationships that mistakes are made and apologies accepted. There is no grey area for Spiderman, there isn’t any understanding, and there aren’t any second chances. And that’s his right, but it’s better that I know now rather than when there is skin in the game. When I really thought about this, my disappointment faded away, knowing that I need a little more bend, a little more grace, a little more grey.

Now this week is done. Here is what I know. There are ties that bind, and there are ties that wither away like smoke, and sometimes you can’t choose which it is. I know when someone shows you who they are, believe them. Both Charger and Spiderman showed me early on who they were – in the stories they told, in their manner – I just wasn’t paying close enough attention. I know I’m flawed and I know you are, too. This makes a level playing field for us all. And I know I’m ready for a drink. Cheers.

Go forth and conquer.