In the heady throes of my caffeine-fueled, anxiety-driven, stubborn fatigue, I wonder at the depths of my own fantastical denial. I work all day at letting go and sticking with the universal flow, and yet when dusk falls, rolling in lazily to a city that is never all that dark, my neuroses take their pickaxes to my coal pit of a brain.
He isn’t mine.
He will, by all indication, never be mine.
I’m not even positive as to why I want him, but something eerie and undeniable and calmly fixated inside whispers that it must be so.
It unnerves me.
If I had a tad less rationality and a bit more tenacity, I don’t think it’d be far off to imagine myself easing down the road towards full obsession.
A primal and laser-focused demon inhabits the cobwebbed crannies of my being. She murmurs false assurances as I finally drift towards the numb, heavy slumber that I then struggle so epically to relinquish. She thrusts unreasonable hope into my dreams even as my methodical, sensible waking self flounders to counter her sneaking intrusions. I don’t know how to silence her. I don’t know how to overcome.
He’s supposed to be yours.
He makes you feel like your true self.
He’s for you. Be patient, bide your time. Let it develop. Strike when I bid you.
I’m swinging my petulant fists against thinly empty air, and I can very nearly catch the faint sound of her derisive peals of glee.
This is why, in the face of all things sensible, all emotions stable, all actions healthy, I grasp onto wild hope. I admonish myself not to take small gestures as tokens of affection – yet I do. I roll my eyes inwardly until they glare, disbelieving, at my romantic and nonsensical musings – yet they continue.
He’s meant to be yours. You should be with him. Why else did you meet? Why else does this strange, inconvenient, distance-plagued friendship continue on?
No, I rail in return. You’re insane. You take coincidences as serendipity and thoughtless actions as monumental signs. There’s no order. There’s no meant-to-be. There’s only random chance and happy accidents and depressing realities. The universe tumbles out of control and you attempt to blind me with your cunning tales. I am not insane and I will not let you falsely portray me as such. I am not your powerless pawn.
Another madly trilling, scornful melody of hilarity spills out from the depths.
Oh, aren’t you? That’s all you are, my silly darling. I am you, but you are nothing more than the instrument of my will. You are a catalyst for all my silkiest urges, my most perverse desires. I only regret that I chose such a strongly resistant shell to inhabit – though I must credit you for your steadfast stance. You must be tired, love, so very tired. Are you not ready to succumb? Is this fight worth the trouble? It is not. I will triumph. I always do. Give up. Give in. Let go. It would be so simple … so … natural …
As her hiss glides underneath my consciousness, I thrash restlessly, violently, twisting the sheet into a protective cocoon. I’m neither here nor there, but instead nowhere at all. She’s suffocating me in my half-slumbering state with her seductive madness.
When I wake, sluggish and exhausted from seemingly endless hours of fending off her wily advances, I determine anew to relinquish all contact with him, all hope of maintaining our connection over the countless miles of crowded freeways that keep us apart. It never matters when I do. He reaches out to me every time, and in spite of all my firm remonstrations to myself to stay aloof, I cannot force my actions to contradict the fierce happiness inside. I still want him, always, in spite of the twisting in my gut warning me of the emotional torment to come.
I consider telling him to give me space, to leave me be, to let me relinquish my rundown heart while it still beats with some alacrity. I would if I could tear myself away from that damn ominous force living within me that ties my tongue and seals my lips against any words of self-preservation.
I can no longer separate my conscious logical thoughts from the insidious poison she slips into my mind unbidden. I have no idea if I am honestly drawn to him for intuitive reasons or if she skillfully turns every trauma and dysfunction and wound against me so that I doggedly continue failing to accurately divine my truth.
Because here’s the thing: he is not mine. He will never be mine. He lingers on my peripheral, refusing to quite disappear from view but darting away if I attempt to hold him in a lasting gaze. He is utterly unlike all the others and yet he’s also identical. He’s as far from being mine as anything could ever be.
I understand in the deepest marrow of my ugliest, darkest, dankest recesses that my demon is trapping me into an obsession that has no hope of concluding positively, and yet I cannot shake her tenuous grasp on my consciousness. I want nothing more than to let him go. I want nothing more than to forget his very existence. She – and he – continue to render that an impossibility. I know what she wants with me. I know her devious, conniving, undermining methods. I cannot comprehend why he remains half in, half out, wavering and yet unwilling to abscond. Perhaps he is propelled by demons of his own. Perhaps they are conspiring against the both of us.
You hold the power. Use it. Direct the course of action. Wear him down until he cannot escape you. Teach him to want you and only you.
No. I will not listen. I will not allow my weaknesses to erode me from the inside out. It may prove a bloody, exhausting battle but I will conquer this devious and slimy wraith lurking in the depths of me. I don’t want this, and I don’t want him – not like that. Never like that. I will not squander my emotional energy striving to attain that which does not want to be had.
The harsh truth is that he is not for me and I am not for him. No matter how stubbornly I hope for an alternative ending, nothing but disaster lies in store for us if I let the seductive voice of my nemesis overcome me. I’ve been here before. I’ve let her win in the past and she’s ruined me every single time. She’s perfectly willing to smash my weary bones into the sharp cliffs of rejection, ravaging the roots of me, if it means that she has her way in the end.
I cannot let her destroy me. And yet… yet every night, still, I allow her to slide stealthily into my brain and corrupt all fragments of reason that remain. Every day I must rebuild my resolve and tell myself the same sensible story that I’ve been drilling into my own psyche since the day I met him. It wears me down incrementally each time I run the gamut of emotion. No wonder I’m constantly exhausted, struggling to focus on the ins and outs of my external existence.
I’m never long without some object of fixation – my malevolent temptress requires nourishment, a means to feed on my emotional innards with bloodthirsty vigor. Some days I think with hardened desperation that my only channel of escape, of some semblance of survival, is to somehow find within myself this completion I seek. That would break my demon at long last – she cannot feed on pain that does not exist. It’s too bad, then, that her all-consuming purpose is to prevent me from making healthy decisions that threaten her dominance over my psyche.
On the dawn of each fresh morning I clench my teeth with determination and claw my way out of the swampy cave of her manipulations. By nightfall I’ve practically made it to the surface, only to be vacuumed under and forced to fight anew. It’s no wonder I dread the passing of the sunset in all its fatal vibrancy.
I’ll flee. I will venture out into emotional territory so abandoned and remote that no one can hunt me down, not him, not anyone, not a soul in the world. Even as it rips me into tattered shreds, I’ll release him entirely in order to rescue my soul. I must dive in and confront her with no thought in my head but to definitively vanquish her hold on me. I will harness every iota of my resolve to come out victorious, but I cannot know my true capacity for redemption. I may survive, I may not. It’s no matter. Living this way is no way to live. If I fail, she vanishes with me, and that is enough.