Reflection

Only now, as I think back, with nothing but air and silence between us, do I realize how much of a mess you were.

Before, when we were inches apart, usually physically and always emotionally, the lust and guilt and love and fears hazed the air. When we stood in front of the mirror, hugging, and looked at each other's reflection, the fog swirled through our brains, through our relationship, and confused me.

I know now that you did love me, in your own, pathetic, self-serving, halfassed way. Through the eddies and swirls, you seemed seven feet tall, a high-priest of protection, all I'd ever need. Ironic to view you that way, when in reality you were watching me destroy myself. "I won't play warden," you always said. You kept your word. Wardens don't go out and score for their inmates.

Although, I guess you did, in a way, play warden. You looked the other way, accepted certain transgressions, as long as there was something in it for you. As long as I said I loved you (and I did love you) and kept the house clean and made money when I could find work, as long as I cuddled with you while you tortured my mind with inane television shows, as long as we were still having the roughest lovemaking sessions possible, you didn't care.

You're so broken, and I doubt you're getting any help. Almost 32 and still drifting, living the life of an irresponsible 19 year old. Still an alcoholic.

I wish I'd realized this before. Maybe the sense of disgust I'm feeling now would have kept me from touching you then. I know it had to end, I can't help but wish it had ended in a less spectacularly messy way. It almost killed me, to lose you. It would have killed me to stay with you.