“Boys do damage that you can measure in dollars, like a hurricane. Girls leave scars in your psyche that you find later, like an atrocity or a genocide.” Louie CK
Hysteria took over my senses, a mix of disbelief and uncontrollable laughter. My whole body was shaking. A tightness in the chest squeezed my lungs and shortened my breath. I fell on my back, gasped and laughed out loud, a plead for air, a laugh of agony.
Laughter turned to anger. It spread through me like wildfire. I had a murderous intent. Blinded by anger, I wanted to grab her head, smash it against the logs, and shove it into the ashes. Madness.
- Ind tbe… lone
- Lvem lone
- What did you say?
- GET! OUT! NOW!!!!!
I locked the door after her. The anger imploded in a burst of rage. I bit the pillow and screamed. And screamed and screamed and screamed. Emotions swung to the extreme. Hate shifted to empathy, empathy for the wicked. I felt for murderers. I understood crimes of passion.
I had to step off it, to escape the rage tantrum. I stormed out of the cabin and sprinted half a kilometre up the hill. At the top I halted, lightheaded and exhausted. The pain was still there, a steady cold burn in the sternum. I needed help. There was no reception but in the village. The cold air smelled of pine and unease. I walked on.
A cab stopped and dropped me in town. I called my friend Bani the wise. He listened methodically, then in his neutral accountant tone, he said“People change. You think you know someone and one day you wake up with a dildo up your ass hole. It hurts and it’s unfair but it’s there. What you do with it is up to you." He made me laugh, a laugh sour with self-pity. Bani added: "Oh! and by the way...welcome to adulthood, it happens to the best of us”. His words sounded like a tap on the back. He was right. What happened happened. The rest was up to me.
I had come to the cabin with the purest intentions. I believed Karleen was the one. Her revelation was traumatizing. I called my angel Mireyita for support, broken and miserable. As always, she offered me her shoulder to cry on. She listened with compassion, she empathized. The madness had left. The pain was still there.
I returned to the camp a few hours later, sane but clueless. At least I was not going to end up in a Mexican prison, that was good news. I covered myself with indifference and stepped into the cabin. Karleen was sitting by the fire. We talked it out. We fucked it out. Nothing changed.
It was an unknown feeling, a strange pain I had never experienced, crueller than grief. A constant tightness in the chest that burnt harder with every thought of her. I could smother the pain with drugs, yes I could. The universe had slashed me in the face with a Shakespearean drama I had brought on myself. Already cut, I might as well learn something from it. I put the weed aside and decided to take responsibility, to face the beast, to grow from pain.
What followed was pure torture. For months I replayed that movie over, rubbing salt on the open wound. Bursts of anger punctuated my days. I woke up shivering at night and cried myself back to sleep. It was a beast of resentment and hate. Every thought of her strengthened the beast. And the beast was eating me alive, chunks at a time while I watched. Yet, I could not look away.
Time, supportive friends and lots of crying cleared my thoughts. The pain wasn’t because Karleen had bailed out of our long-planned threesome. It wasn’t that she had one without me. It wasn’t even that she slept with another guy. The cut went bone-deep, through flesh and soul, the sharp and clean cut of betrayal.
Since the day I met her, Karleen rehearsed the same narrative. Every time I acted too pushy, she made me wait. She stated she reserved her intimacy to partners she trusted and no one else. She had me believe she was a person of principles, a person who walks the talk. I respected and grew fond of her for that. Despite our differences, I admired her courage. She was true to her word, true to herself, or so I thought.
Thirty-two years of a person’s identity were blown away in two hours. All it took was alcohol and MDMA. She admitted her mistake. She regretted it. She apologized. I admitted my mistakes and apologized. There was truth in her tears. Her letter comforted me a bit, but the damage was done. I respected, trusted and loved a fraud. Deception and betrayal left a nasty aftertaste, like licking the bottom of an ashtray. I had lost my respect for her as a human. You can't get any lower than that. I wished her well in a letter, our last words.
Cheating on somebody is a slow dripping torture, an evil manipulation of someone’s trust. It is the abuse and the destruction of their core beliefs. You vouch heart and soul for something, only to realize it was a lie. That fucking hurts, it causes irreparable damage, trauma, and sometimes leads to worse. Cheating is the coward's weapon. I promised myself to never inflict that on anyone, to never be a coward. Thank you for that, I guess.
As I’m writing these lines, I still feel a slight pinch in my chest. Putting words on thoughts helped a lot, to dissociate from what happened. Time added a layer of understanding. As wise Bani said, the rest is up to me. A year and a half later, I can appreciate Louie CK's joke, and savour it like a great vintage.
“A man will cut your arm off and throw it in a river. A man will burn your house down, steal your car, or beat the shit out of you. But he’ll leave you as a human being intact. He won’t fuck with who you are.
Women are non-violent, but they will shit inside of your heart.”
Hahaha... there will always be something to laugh about.