Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's All Been A Gorgeous Mistake

Down by the Statue

There's a statue in the middle of the lawn.

No one remembers who it is. Or what he did.

And certainly no one remembers why he's on horseback.

But late one night, Gina and I were walking on the lawn.

And we were talking about her problems. (She had a lot of problems, so this was not the first or the last time we talked about them.)

We stopped by the statue and I could sense that her personal cosmology and belief systems, which ebbed and flowed like mountain springs, were due for another radical change of course. "I'd die for you, you know," she said.

And I said something about how that would not be necessary. Because I didn't want the responsibility. Didn't want her even thinking that way.

And she bent down, picked up an empty bottle of beer someone had thrown onto the lawn.

She smiled. "It's not that big a deal. I've died a thousand times before. I've got a few thousand times to go still."

And she broke the bottle against the base of the statue.

I spun around, thinking someone would have heard us, somewhere security or the police, or a neighbor would come running out and we'd get in trouble.

But no one came.

"It's 3 am," Gina said as I turned back to face her. "No one cares. This is the one time of day when we can be honest with each other."

And she ran her finger across the jagged edges of the broken glass before continuing. "And I'm sure you'd die for me, too."

I looked deep into her eyes and realized this was no small request. She may not have wanted me to die right then and there, but she wanted to know that she could call on me to die whenever she chose.

I knew I wouldn't do that. Much as I cared for her, I wasn't going there. Not that night and not in the future.

I took the broken glass from her hand. And she must have seen the deep-seated fear in me, because she quickly backtracked, claiming she'd never hurt herself for anyone and would never want anyone else to die for her.

She laughed, insisted I'd misunderstood, and tried to play the whole thing off as a joke.

But I knew better.

And anyone else who'd been there knew better too.

But I had no one to share this insight with -- except for the statue. And he (like Gina) wasn't in the mood to listen.

Longtime readers may be interested to know that this song was always targeted for inclusion on my never-went-anywhere Codependency's Greatest Hits collection.

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