I could take every word I have written and tear it apart. Destroy this homage, dismember every letter, rupture every articulation so that nothing remains here but a jarring, jumbled mess. You don’t deserve this altar. You don’t deserve to be thought of as one of the good guys. You are not one of the good guys. The only thing I ever got right was your lack of heart. Oh how I wanted to fix that. I gave you my own as if I had one to spare in fact. Always the fixing of your lack. Did you ever consider mine?
You knew that I was alone. You knew each time you stripped back the sheets and pushed me out the door that I had no branches of the tree in reach, no grandmother’s house, no open arms. You knew that I did not live on a street where everyone looks and acts a little like me. I built my own line of defence to survive this isolation – and you watched with dispassion as the armour failed me part by wearied part.
Remember that night, the one night I turned out my palms? How I disintegrated with the force of my submission, how it shook me apart to stand before you like that? As I fell to pieces at your feet you saw only the stain – and you banished me as I bled.
I begged – ‘just let me stay until I can breathe’. But you had dinner plans – ‘they’re waiting’ you said (funny just how you’d kept them waiting the night before). I sat in that hotel lobby and I sobbed for an hour, you know. A grown woman reduced to lost and wailing child. It was a stranger who said ‘are you okay, lady?’ and put me back together. You ate three courses and said nothing at all.
I know I am a villain, let’s be clear. I know there are stakes and stones reserved for women like me. But you! So efficiently switching from night to day, sleeping over broken vows and patching them up by morning. You made the night my fault. You left me every next day to carry the cross alone after your work was done. You never once checked if I was patching myself back up as well.
And finally this. I know how you went from me to her. Directly. I can count backwards from 9. This fence you built for your security – I could make the entire structure crumble with just a little addition. Great men have been brought down for much less than this. But you are not great, or even good. The faithful son, the doting husband, the present father – the modern man.
Take your myth and fucking shove it, because I (alone) know who you are.