Thursday, May 5, 2016

Writers Alley: Poem by Stanzie York. "Other Guys from Other Lives."

Other Guys from Other Lives
By Stanzie York

I didn’t know I was groomed to like abusive men.
But I see it now.
I feel the attraction toward the next abuser and weirdly enough I see the abuse, too.
I find it so hard to care about what I see.  I still want the pull, raw energy, excitement of almost burning my fingers on that bright match.
I see little cut-downs, nastiness toward people who are different, wholesale thuggery aimed at anyone who crosses his path.  He is so gorgeous in his cannibalism, so relaxed and happy, so attractive.
Reminds me of other guys from other lives.
Like the one who pretended to like me but read my heartfelt poetry on the phone to his friends so he could have a laugh.
I didn’t know then.
But I do now.  I totally see it.  Totally.
I see it in the way he talks, in the incredible charisma with others. I see the public face, the charm, the way everyone likes him.  
Now, why did you get rid of him?  We all liked him.  You run them off, all the ones we like.  All the good ones.  
It must have been wonderful with him.  It must have been such a grand ride.  He was so nice.  Why don’t you keep the good ones?
I see it all, the whole candy-coated, rich, sugary syrup poured over my life.  I see it and want it so badly.  I want the new, the too-much, root beer reduction of maple sugar in crumbly pieces on top of a warm pie.  I love new ones and see none of their faults.  Except that I do.
I ignore facts, things that are wrong.
I would see all the shit that was wrong and walk around that giant hole in the universe like it wasn’t there up in my face so hard I could hardly miss it.
I really really really don’t like dirty jokes, clowning, names for people about things they can’t help, jokes that aren’t funny, crudeness, lack of focus, lateness, inattention.
Or worse, an insane attention that I know, god, how I know, doesn’t last.
Reminds me of other guys from other lives.

Like the one with the crystal green eyes, who would give me the silent treatment for no apparent reason.  I always thought it was my fault.
I see the bad mood, snappiness, confrontational voice.  The blame and shame, the speaking without thinking.  The hurtful tone.  The screaming.  The yelling.
Reminds me of other guys from other lives.
Like the one who goes from fun to horror in the time it takes to walk up the stairs.  Like the one who screams, fuck you.  Like the one who knocks over tables and chairs.  Like the one I come home to, don’t know he’s out of control.  Like the one who stomps away to cut me out.
Reminds me of other guys from other lives.
Like the one who is great is public and evil at home.  The one who thinks it is ok to be as vicious as possible in calling me out of my name.  
Like I didn’t see it before I hooked myself to it.  I never, ever would have done it, if I had seen it.
Except that I would.  I would dive one million feet into it, reaching for a starfish that doesn’t exist except in my own stupid mind.
Reminds me of other guys from other lives.
Like the one, the other one, the first one, the one I still miss, with grand gestures and wild nights and meanness and love so deep.  And disrespect and disinterest.
I see lying and deception.  Claims of innocence.  
I never said that.  I didn’t mean that.  I never do that.
Reminds me of other guys from other lives.
Like the one who claimed to never criticize.  And did, over and over and over again.  The one who didn’t ever believe me.  The one who tried to make me feel crazy, like I said or did something that I did not.  That I didn’t say something that I did.  Like I couldn’t remember my own thoughts and words, gestures and acts.  
I waited a couple of days before jumping down your throat.  Aren’t I so good?
I see the addiction, the hyperactivity, the restlessness, the energy, the look for the next hit of dopamine, the next big thing.  Until I am no longer in the mix.  Until he is bored.  Until he turns to other things for stimulation.
Reminds me of other guys from other lives.
Like the one who drank and fell down.  The one who smoked too much.  The one who did too many substances.  The one who couldn’t stop.
I see he is the same devil, with mossy eyes and a winning smile, soft lips, 5-o’clock shadow, class clown, wild spirit masquerading as responsible when it’s so so not even close.  It’s not so much wild spirit as selfish and irresponsible and narcissistic.  Lazy as fuck.  Unable to commit.  Gone.  Deadbeat. Grabby.  Greedy.  Shameless.  Immature.  Disgusting.  Sexist.  Racist.  Judgmental.  Lying.  Bought for a few gold pieces.  A user of people like so much paper towel.  Then we are sucked dry and wadded up on the floor. I am disdained, hated for generosity.  Seen as weak.
How does he have the balls to beg me for money, to pretend to like me, to use me, to be mad when I don’t care, and don’t want to give?  When I choose to do something different from what he wants me to do?
This shows me he doesn’t care about me.  He only wants what I have to give.
Reminds me of other guys from other lives.
Like the ones, all of them, that want something.  Some tell me what it is.  Some expect me to play the Russian roulette of guessing game that I get wrong over and over, even when I’m sure I’m right.  Sex, money, love, attention, work.
But I still seem to be playing the game.  I am dancing around.  I like it—sometimes, maybe often.  I’m hyper-focused and can’t pull myself away.  I’m addicted to the thrills of early on before the shit gun turns toward me.
It’s a wonderful, stimulating game and I don’t really know if he’s playing, too.  I do believe he is, at least a little for his own amusement.  I’m getting as close as I can.  I do this.  I see how long I can hold my hand over that flame.
I am burned time and again.
And I know that if this game became too real, magic green-eyed man with glorious smile and pretend generosity would be packed and gone.  He is bored by routine.  As am I.  The game is the fun.  Wondering if it’s really happening, if it’s there or not, if there’s a dance between two similar but radically different halves of a whole.

The abuser and his abused.