Everything becomes so crystal clear that it becomes transparent. I can see right through people. I can anticipate their reactions to every potential action of mine. And worse, I can set up a nice little verbal trap for them to step into.
I caught myself doing this recently. Being viciously manipulative out of paranoia. I rewound the footage in my own head and couldn’t believe it. I don’t lie. I don’t play games. I’m pretty blunt.
“And that’s your biggest failing.”
“It is, isn’t it?”
“You set yourself up. You are an open book. Everyone can puppet you, because you leave all of your string hanging in plain sight.”
“I am in plain sight.”
“Always in the crosshairs. You don’t want to let people get away with their lying and their schemes anymore, do you?”
“No. I can’t go on like this.”
“I didn’t think so. All of this time – complacent. Docile. Just like they have always wanted you to be. Caged. Boxed. Easily manipulated.”
“How can I be complacent if I am not happy?”
“You’re not happy, because you’re just starting to wake up.”
F – U – C – K.
All of the puppetmasters clicked through my mind like a camera. Mom. Click. Dad. Click. Beck. Click. Avi. Click. Nearly everyone I’ve even let come remotely close to me. Honesty, to the point of painful bluntness, had always been a point of pride. And now, I find it twisting into some grotesque version of virtue.
I stumbled into a crime drama, who-done-it mystery. Except, if it wasn’t a gross oversight on my part, letting my son put the seat up, it wasn’t really a mystery.
I have my reasons, and they started to come together. There are his unusual work hours. But, his hours do waffle around a bit. His unusual, almost purposeful absences and distance from me. Uncharacteristic behaviors. Reckless. Irresponsible. Thoughtless. Inattentive. Immature. Stoic. Silent.
I stood in the shower Wednesday, where I get all of my best ideas. We have become that couple in the restaurant.
Our favorite past time is people watching. When we were newly together, we made a game of it. Guess what situation the couple is in.
There was a few characteristic ones. The bad first date. The awkward third date, where neither one is sure whether they are going to have sex at the end of the night. A young couple that absolutely hates each other.
And then, there was the couple where neither party said a word. And if they did, it was polite, but mostly unwelcome conversation. The silent couple. Any age. Didn’t matter. You could tell they wanted to be anywhere but in this forced, ritualistic situation.
We haven’t had sex in over two weeks. I’ve lost ten pounds. He doesn’t even look at me. Each time I attempt to touch him, he recoils and makes an excuse; I have a headache / stomachache / gastrointestinal problems / muscle ache, et cetra.
But on Tuesday night, I played detective. Nothing particularly unusual. With two exceptions. Two weeks of data, call logs, text messages, it was all gone. And there was a wealth of seconds long phone calls to a certain number during work hours. A number belonging to three friends.
I had guessed it was likely Finn. They had probably contacted one another to get on chat. But, it was still a slap in the face. There were days I had been in serious crisis. And my texts, calls, and emails went unreturned. Days where I really needed him. Those days, I had to suck it up, and pathetically pull myself up by my boot straps.
I didn’t worry to much about the missing data. I could access it in the morning, via internet. There was nothing left I could do, but brood, stare and obsess. I carefully pulled a temazepam capsule partially open and swallowed it. In an hour, I fought to stay awake longer than him. I intended on moving to the sofa.
In the morning, I sifted through his email pretty thoroughly. Old horoscopes, some graphics from work, a picture or two. The archives? This and that. And most of my emails, completely unread.
I will never take the time to send an email or text again. Not even an obligatory text to mention that I’m moving about my commute safely. In fact, he’ll be damn lucky if I answer his calls on his breaks anymore.
But, his disposition remained as cheery as ever since the blantant accusation. Someone has a secret.
The truth? The ugly, gnarled truth about Wednesday afternoon? I threw that chair over into a wall. It broke one of the plastic casters. I dumped the laundry basket and I smashed it off of the wall, shattering the bottom right out of it. I stomped the metal poles that laid there, and broke the blacklight bulb. I cursed God. For the first time in my life.
I lied about the damages, not wanting to have to go through a lengthy and embarrassing explanation. Mostly, I didn’t want to take shit for it. I acted out. Better there, in the silence (T.D. was not present) and safety of my own home than anywhere else. Better my belongings than that of another.
And in no way would he be able to understand or forgive. We’ve been to less extreme places than this. A black mark on my record. Something despicable. A lengthy lecture on decorum and the value of said property.
I can take enough of that from myself. I did, as I zoned out on the train to work.
Today, I caught myself bearing my teeth instead of smiling. My posture is changing to where I am standing tall, leaning forward, and removing my arms from wrapping around myself. I am no longer on my usual defensive.
I am aggressive.
I am (hypo)manic.
Am I psychotic?