Friday, December 03, 2010


'I hate you, I hate everything about you, I hate your smile, I hate your laugh, I hate what you make me do, and I hate how you make me feel.' These words were just the beginning, of what would become a tirade of epic length, and proportion, launched at me like a heat seeking missile at an invading jet fighter that has invaded enemy airspace. I say 'at me' but that isn't exactly true (or maybe it is). These words could have been aimed in my direction, or I could have just been handed a letter written by a friend's (so to be ex) girlfriend. That is for me to know, and for you to find out (if you care), and I can't give all my secrets away. After all, they are all just my secrets, but a lot of other people's secrets as well, and I don't have their permission to give them away.
Either way, back to the tirade. After that opening salvo, things got much more interesting, and in spite of everything, quite poetic. 'You make my voice shake when I talk about you. People understand, without knowing you, or our history, what you do to me. They listen, but they don't actually have to hear WHAT I am saying, they can tell by the catch in my voice when I say you name aloud the effect you have on me. You make me wonder about the meaning of life, about the meaning of MY life, about why I am here, and about why you are here with me. I sometimes wonder if you are here on this planet for the sole purpose of enslaving me. I wonder is maybe I was put on Earth for the sole purpose of being your victim. You make me shake. You make me wonder how anyone, anyhow, or anywhere could possibly think they have a grasp on reality. You are a dream and a nightmare rolled into one, wonderfully awful package. I wax poetic about you and yours to people who actually know you, but just don't see what I see in you. They shrug their shoulders at my declamations, and make me wonder if perhaps I have lost my fucking mind. I sometimes envision pushing you down a flight of stairs, just to see how your fall would make me feel. You make me want to board a tramp steamer to Norway, and toss my identity over the side as I sail far, far, away from you.'
'I almost did, I had a place booked on a plane to anywhere but here, I had a whole new life, without you, planned out to the finest detail.' Then you called, and asked for the recipe for my mother's apple pie, and I cancelled it all. I hate you for that with the type of passion than an Ottoman emperor reserves for only the most prized member of his seraglio. I tried blaming my friends for not taking me outside, and beating some sense into me, but they told me I am an adult (despite the overwhelming mountain of evidence to the contrary), and I could "take care of myself." I came very close to "taking care of myself" with the strong desire that maybe, just maybe you would have felt some sort of guilt if I had. I now know that you are incapable of feeling guilt. I am not sure what you are capable of feeling, or if you are capable of feeling anything at all.'
Not a lot one can do when faced with this sort of organized assault upon one's self, but sit there and hope that you are going to be able to salvage some small amount of self respect. I mean Hallmark does not make a card for this kind of thing. Nor should they, this should be an experience that is unique to you, and you alone. If you are lucky, the lashing you are receiving will be written down, placed into a plain envelope, and slid under your door at some bizarre time of the night (while you are dead asleep). Tirades are all well and good if they are heated and short, but a true 'dressing down' should be done in writing. That way you can re-read it over and over again to see if you truly deserved it or not. If you survive it, you will probably (hopefully) be a better person, but survival is the first step. You really have no one to blame but yourself, and that is the point. They want you to blame yourself. That is what the tirade (in many ways) is designed to do, get you to blame yourself. It is a very effective tool in the wars that we wage against each other, and people have been doing it for centuries.
Not that that makes you feel any better, you sit there reading those carefully written lines with an ever growing sense of dread, maybe you let out a nervous chuckle, but that is just for show. A well written, carefully planned 'dressing down' is a dismantling, and if done properly leaves you shaking for days. Both for the now damaged sense of self you possess, and for the person wielding the sledgehammer against that sense of self. Because, at the end of the day, you understand that a reply is necessary, and in polite society (of which you claim to be a member) is expected, and you have just been 'put on the clock' as it were. And like most things in life, the timing of answering a tirade is critical. Good luck, you are going to need it.

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