FOOTNOTE

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Does your new person know? What a fraud you are.

Does she fall for you?  Hook line and lie after lie.

Does she speak slowly for you?  Because you can’t keep up.

Does she know?  About your inflated self and your inability to see you for the small man you are.

Does she care?  That you are a colossal disappointment in bed because you secretly yearn for the touch of men.

Does she tire of your darkness?  You keep the blinds closed to hide the stains embedded in your soul.

Does she sigh when the accusations of gas lighting start?  You twist your own thoughts and drive yourself insane while blaming someone else.

Does she trust you?  The anatomy of which you know nothing about.

Does she believe your claim to the famed?  The arms of the angel you think holds you are wrapped firmly around your ex.

Does she grow weary of your neediness? Massaging your ego is full time job.

Does she know the real you?  Is barely a footnote on a marginally famous someone’s Wikipedia page.

 

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BODY

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My body, my choice.

You toss it out so casually.  Like you earned it.

Your mother and I fought so you could use it with such ease.

Suffered.

Endured.

Stood strong.

Not so you could use it as an excuse for self harm.

Because you want a boy to like to you for someone you are not.

STAINED

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Peter Duffin, you are a human stain.

The kind that seeps in, and doesn’t come out.

You are addicted to yourself, among other things.

You treat people like something you would scrape off the bottom of your shoe, and ask forgiveness for it.

The irony is, you think are wonderful.

The truth is, you are not.

I need to scrub myself clean, or throw myself out and start over again.

 

 

BIRTHDAY

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My son asks, why is my birthday so important to you?

I built you,  I say.

I knew you before anyone else did.

My hand instinctively moved to protect you, even though you could not fall.

I dreamed for you. Cried for you. Hoped for you.

I would have traded life for you.

My thoughts were of nothing but you for forty weeks.

I spent my days preparing to meet you.

I spent my nights worrying about how I might fail you.

My life altered in immeasurable ways when I carried you.

I knew you before you knew yourself.

I built you, I say.

My son, your birthday is the most important day I will ever know.

 

SHE

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You don’t need a man in your life.   Says she.

So full of smug righteousness and scarcely hidden contempt for my loneliness.

She. Who has been married since she was 18.

She. Who has never lived on her own.

She. Who has never had to fix the toilet, the sink, the dishwasher.

She. Who doesn’t even know how to start the lawnmower. Or change the oil.

She. Who had help raising her children.

She. Who has someone to talk with. Fight with. Share with. Be with.

She. Who has never come home to an empty and silent house day after day.

She. Who has never felt invisible because she does not have a partner.

She. Who has a two income household.

She. Who has never been told that there are no good men out there.

She. Who has someone to share her meals with.

She. Who has never been left out because she is single.

She. Who has never looked after a sick child or a dying parent on her own.

She. Who judges me for wanting someone to share my life with.

She. Who looks to forward to the future because she has someone to share it with.

She. Who takes vacations because she has someone to go with.

She. Who celebrates holidays instead of wishing they were over before they’ve started.

She. Who has gone to bed every night with someone beside her.

She. Who doesn’t worry about who will find her if she dies.

She. Who knows she is loved.

She. Who has the privilege of complaining about her husband.

She. Who has someone to go to dinner or to the movies with.

She. Who thinks that single women who want someone are weak.

She. Who has no idea what it is like to have no one.

She. Who is not afraid of dying alone.

The woman who could not survive without a man in her life thinks she knows me.

You are better off without a man.  Says she.