My Tower of Truth


Clyde came home from Italy, completely exhausted, having traveled three days with no sleep, and I had taken off work, excited about spending the day with him. We went through his 700 pictures, which were absolutely fabulous, his three pairs of shoes, cologne that smelled so good it could put a spell on you.
I believe Italy turned my Clyde into a metrosexual beekeeper.
He bought me the most fabulous purse.
I am struggling to describe the smell. I went to Italy for several months back in college, and opening that bag put me right in Rome, with just one sniff! It smelled of a leather Americans give half their paycheck to mock. I am not a handbag girl, something I have found throughout my years to be strange. I have found only one woman in my life who got off spending money at Home Depot, a chick who dressed like this hot stripper mom, a furniture maker and mother as well, who used to own a booth across from mine in an antique store. I bought her a miniature sander for her birthday and she was awestruck, promising to tuck it right next to her Raulph Lauren paint collection.
Leave it to Clyde to turn me into a handbag believer.
Leave it to me to have completely unlearned all my lessons since we met, become aware of my heart begging him to want me, an empty painful feeling I had tried to run from, like a trapped hamster trying and failing, trying and failing, its little claws unable to pull out of the wheel or slow down.
I did something awful. I reacted and wrote him this ridiculous painful letter, accusing him of hurting me, not seeing me, not really loving me. I felt these emotions building for a very long time, and I thought I was bigger than them. I believed my intellect and wisdom over time would outweigh them. I do not fall easily or often, a fact that when the dam broke, I must have shocked him, but I terrified myself. I think it was my awakening that he was in fact, the same man he always claimed to be, that my heart just trumped every lesson my life has been built upon. I became this crazy woman, broken wide and open, lashing out from the hurt, not seeing it was clearly the pain I caused myself, not his. His reaction made me feel immediate regret, the kind of sick feeling when you realize you just bitch slapped the best thing in your life. I want to believe and hope I did not destroy us. I am sure there will be forgiveness but the reality is, I may have changed it, lost it, ruined it. It just makes me want to slam my head into concrete.
And yet, I have this feeling of relief. Maybe this tragedy has made me better because all the hiding and lying, not to him, but to myself, which may be what was making me insane in the first place. I finally see who I actually am, and the reality isn’t pretty, and I now I realize that I had this grand illusion in my head. He was supposed to eventually fall in love with me, and everything inside of me wouldn’t hurt, you see. He would cure my emptiness, prove I was someone worthy of greatness, that I was beautiful, lovable, and never alone. It didn’t help that he is brilliant, sexy, and so incredibly kind. It is the kindness that that oozes from every pour, that with all his flaws, is what makes him such a good man. He hung this kindness painting in my heart and instead of gratitude, I took bullshit, my ugliest of colors, and put it in a can of spray paint. Like a child, I acted out and took these toxic fumes and sprayed my favorite painting. And when the impulse was over, I was left with the shock of having altered the most treasured art in my collection, its originality never to be the same. This terrible truth hit me like a thunderbolt, striking me out of this gigantic tower of lies I had built, leaving me with the bare naked truth.
Clyde loved me like a best friend.
Clyde was getting over the woman of his dreams.
Clyde never intended to love me in that way, nor will he ever.
Clyde had been Clyde from start to finish.
Who am I? Why would I have done this? I am a lot of things, am not perfect, but I do know I have the best intentions, a good heart, am aware of other people’s feelings. I feel like a huge fraud.
If love were art, I must be one terrible judge of it. I am one of those wandering souls in a museum, looking up at what every one else seems to get, but I feel utterly confused, not sure if I will ever get what everyone else seems to know effortlessly. How do you understand something so abstract, which I clearly do not, making me wonder if I should stop buying paintings my heart can’t afford to lose anymore.
Perhaps Clyde was a masterpiece, something I pretended to understand, took home, and vandalized.
Maybe I did not understand his painting, my own vandalized version becoming the one that really made sense to me. I hate wanting what I do not understand.
I can only hope that in reality, the big picture of my life is also like one big collection. Perhaps life has not brought along the pieces that make sense yet, the other paintings that will put this one into its proper place. Perhaps I will see his vandalized beautiful painting to be the most brilliant piece of my entire collection, a perfect placement of what has happened and what is to follow.
That is the way I have to think of it right now.
I couldn’t live with myself otherwise, holding this bullshit can of spray paint in my hand.

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