Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

My Photo
Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The wrenching conversation

The wrenching conversation took place first thing this morning.

I told him I thought we shouldn't talk for the forseeable future, at least. That he couldn't really be my friend right now, because how could I tell him about lying awake at night, wondering whether I'd even be able to trust a good person again if he did come along? Or about bursting into tears on the street when I saw a little girl with eyes like his? Or how I'm struggling to find a place to do my work because when he left me, he took that too? And, on the other hand, how could I just edit my life for him in order to excise all that?

And, on the other hand, if I were really going to try to be his friend, I'd want to stay on his ass about figuring out why he did this to the two of us--and more especially why he did this to himself--so he doesn't repeat the pattern. And that's not my responsibility. It also would reduce me to little better than Marley's ghost, which is one of the most screwed-up possible outcomes for this whole thing. So I can't really be his friend right now, either.

He agreed.

I said I was a fool to keep trusting people so thoroughly; that I had to get better at protecting myself. He said it made me a better person that I believed in people so much. And I said I was really tired of being a new-and-improved, stronger, better, more resilient, Existential Paper Towel. I don't want to be a better person: I'm good enough already. I want to be happy, and I want other people to stop fucking things up for me.

He wants to email me every once in a while, and says I don't need to answer if I don't want to. I may not.

And he says he knows what we had and that he threw it away, even if he sometimes tries to tell himself another story.

He says he knows what he did isn't forgiveable and that he doesn't expect to be forgiven. But I know he wants me to forgive him, and I want to forgive him, too. I just can't do it yet.

The thing is, I've been with the con artists: the ones who say one thing and feel another. And Stan isn't a con artist. He feels what he says; he just got too scared to do what he said, in the end. Which makes him a coward and a fool. But he has to live with that a lot more--and for a lot longer--than I do.