Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Baby, I said, last time C. and I were fighting about money, baby we're so close to the edge. I can work three days a week and pay for rent and bills and groceries and car insurance and gas and your art-school installment and your paints and brushes and canvases and stretchers and my crazy-meds. I can do all this. And I will have time enough left over to work on the dayjob project which is the thing I want and need and love to do.

But nothing, you understand me, nothing can go wrong. We cannot get sick and go to the doctor. The car cannot break down. Because any little thing, any unforseen incident, will send us spinning.

Then I cried and he clucked and the conversation was over, and he never answered me. And then last night we got spun.

The break light on the car is broken. It's been broken for a week. Somebody dinged me while I was parked downtown. I meant to get it fixed as soon as I had some money.

I left the club last night at 2am, turning onto the access road of the highway, and the cruisers were parked right there. They camp there, waiting for drunks to leave the club after last call. Red and blue lights in the mirror and I pulled over into the grass.

I told the officer right away that my license is suspended -- I wasn't carrying insurance when that van T-boned me three years ago come December and left me with the zipper-scar. Another thing I meant to do when I had some money. He asks where I'm coming from and I say I'm leaving work. He says the name of the club, like a question. Well, duh. There's nothing else down that road that's open at 2am.

Yes, I say. He says he smells alcohol and please step out of the car. I had a beer around midnight with a Mexican tour-bus driver named Alberto. I pray this doesn't put me over the legal limit. Seriously, I pray. I get out of the car. He shines a light in my face and tells me to follow his pen with my eyes. We do this for what seems like thirty minutes before he turns the light off and tells me I don't seem drunk, but I can't leave without a license so he's going to impound the car anyway.

Cab ride home: $75
Cab ride back to the impound lot to pick up the car this morning: $80
Impound fee: $152
Fine for for driving with a suspended license: $500

Not going to jail in hand-cuffs: Priceless, I guess. But fuck.

I don't like I-told-you-so's, so I waited till this morning to say, Listen, baby: this is the unforseen incident. All the money I made this week so far, all the money, gone. That was the bill money.

To which he says, it's no big deal. You make that kind of money in a weekend. Work a few extra days. It'll be fine.

But I don't think it will be fine. Because I'm crying again, and I don't cry this much unless something's wrong. I've cried every day for the last week. Sometimes I'm not even sure why I'm crying; I just get started and can't get stopped.

I don't think for a second that C. would act this way if he really understood how scared and vulnerable I feel. But since I've told him a few times now, using the words "scared" and "vulnerable", I don't think he's going to understand.

I don't mind supporting C. I don't mind working. I don't mind paying for things. But somebody asked me in an earlier post what I was getting back, and I don't know the answer. And by "something back" I don't mean money, or anything material, even. I don't need him to "pay me back." We love each other, and the things we do for the people we love are beyond price. It's a relationship, not a savings and loan. I would be happy if, in return for supporting him, I also felt supported. I don't, really.

I have fantasies about being held and feeling safe, but when C. holds me I still feel afraid.

Baby, I said last time we were having this argument, what if I get sick? What if I break my leg? What will we do? To which he says, "You could start temp-ing again, couldn't you?"

That sound like leaves underfoot is my heart breaking. It's a softer sound than you'd expect.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you are making a man weak, but he is in fact weakening you. Hence, the crying and guilt. He's sending you to your breaking point and not taking heed to the signs. You need to assert yourself and your worth and understand that you deserve as much support and compassion as the other partner.

I know this will be a drawn out and tough decision, but I do truly wish you luck.

Chelsea said...

oh my gooood, i'm sorry to hear about that. i live in nyc and don't need a car anymore, but i'll never forget what a money-trap accidents and insurance and repairs could be back in the midwest.

for me, dancing is hard on my psyche and it's not always possible for me to "work a few extra days."

Nathaniel said...


I've been there, done that on the other side. I let someone down without really knowing I was doing so, without realizing how much I was taking emotionally until there was nothing left for her to give.

She was right to go, honestly it was the only way for me to learn that lesson. We simply have to make some mistakes for ourselves in order to learn, which sucks for everyone involved because sometimes the mistakes are too damaging to go back and undo.

I think, quite frankly, you need someone to pet your head.

Brian Moon said...

I think crying is, for want of a better word, a normal response to stress. Most anyone in your situation would cry. At least.

I know it's not quite the same thing when it comes from some random commenter on the internet, but here goes:

Just for today, you have your health. You have a roof over your head. You have food to eat. You have friends, and family, that loves you, just as you love them. Just for today, you have everything you need.

You are a strong and self-sufficient person. You are valued.

If I, some random person on the internet, can see this in you - then who knows what amazing strengths you can see in yourself?

Anonymous said...

Aw babe. I'm sorry you're going through this; that degree of imbalance is not cool nor fair. I know how it feels to love someone and be devoted but also give...and give...and give...and give...and have to tell that person what you need in order to get it. That constant reminding, in and of itself, can be incredibly draining.

Sending warm thoughts and thinkin' of ya,

Emily said...

You sound like you're drowing.

aija said...

I'm so sorry. Listen, you don't know me from Adam, but I spent a good chunk of time "not minding" supporting a man in my life, and I terribly, terribly regretted it later. I know you made promises, I know you "can" take care of him while he invests his earnings back only into himself... but it doesn't mean you *should*. Not minding is not the same as wanting... and why would you want to keep on letting this man drain you both financially and emotionally by not listening (or caring) about these things that mean so much to you?

I know love, I know I loved mine-- I know I loved taking care of him. I know I loved the feeling of being relied upon... and I also know the sucking sound of my heart slowly realizing it is not enough for one person to listen, to care, to TAKE care. You can't just "work a few extra days"-- and money and this bind isn't just your problem.

I disagree with the above commenters who say he doesn't know what he's doing. You're a smart girl, you wouldn't love a dumb guy. He knows, and says nothing because saying something would change you, might make you see that he knows but lives quietly and without helping you because he wants to do so for as long as he can. He is not willing to upset the boat, wants to ride as long as he can. And it will break your fucking heart when he lashes out at you when you finally have enough of the drain and ask for help... because he probably won't give it. He will be angry at your "betrayal"... while in reality, he has betrayed your kind heart and offers and illustrations of love by taking, taking advantage and not giving back anything tangible or worthy. Bodies are unworthy, hearts and minds are.

I know I sound bitter, I know. But I'm not... it took a long time for me to be able to look back and recognize these things-- that there are people in the world that you will throw love and money and your life at, but it still doesn't make them right for you just because they take it, because they make you feel beautiful and alive. There ARE men in the world who will love you equally, support you equally (not just money-- yours isn't supporting you by asking you to work more, bear the burden of *everything* while he wiles away at school and wasting money on drugs, partying...)

This is too long for a comment. But I wanted you to know I heard you, and hope the best for you. If you'd like to bend my ear, by all means (my email is associated with my profile).

Best of luck to both of you (and I truly mean that).

JEBA said...

This latest was soul-crushing enough just to read. Writing it must have been at least ten times worse; living it, infinitely.

Like many others have stated, I only know what I have read, but I know what I have done. I don't pretend to know all the inner details, but the flow of the conversation sounds like the way I spoke to my ex when we were done but just in a comfort zone where neither of us had the guts to end it.

I realize now I took her for granted. I think I knew it at the time, but was stupid and thought it would have no ill effect...until she left.

Good luck. Seriously. Whatever is right is right, and what is right for you may not be for everyone, so ... good luck. I think I've rambled.

Susan said...

Can I buy your ticket for the show on Saturday night? Or at least feed you on Sunday? Anything?

Nathaniel said...

Apropos of Susan's offer, a bunch of friends and my sister and I are heading out to the shows this weekend, too. You should go out and get the stink blown off, I think we have some extra $25 passes that aren't being used both nights, email me if you want to swipe one (no hanging out with creepy internet strangers required, some parts not for use with some sets, small parts not suitable for children under 3, ask your parent's permission before calling).

a friend said...

His response was that you could work more days?!!!!

Leave him.

Seriously. It's going to happen anyway. He is clearly using you and you know it. Let him live on his own for awhile and come back to you as an equal. There is no reason on earth you should support him.

Leave him. Leave him now. And just skip over all the drama. You will be better off for it.

And get your license and insurance taken care of. You cannot be supporting someone else when you're not paying for important things like this.

You are a good and special person. you deserve happiness and security. Only you can make it happen. Do it.

Tara said...

That's how it was last winter with me and my ex.

I'm sorry. *hugs*

Susan said...

Dammit, Grace, you don't call, you don't write, and I kept looking for a tall redhead last night. Check your SW PMs.


stage name was Grace said...

this reminds me of that sad joke, Q. "What does the stripper do with her asshole before work?"
A. "She drops him off at band practice"
or in this case at art school

sorry, he sounds like a suburban wimpy -assed, pissy version of a Pimp. How dare any man ever tell a dancer she can just go and make more money - EZ Pleazy- forget the sleazy
he has no idea- I'd love to have a sit down with him.
Of course he is likely high and little to none would get thru his parasitic, possibly narcissistic, altered mind....

OR maybe he can go out and turn a trick or dance at a gay bar for your bills.


Anonymous said...

I am reading your blog in what I consider proper chronology going from first to most recent so although I know your life story has evolved (& hopefully not devolved since you are still posting) beyond this point. I am the one who commented on the yoga post regarding hip flexors and lunges. I have to say that your blog has me rivited and I have forgone much of the mindless but required paperwork us finance guys are constantly required to complete in order to simply keep reading. You write in what I would term gutteral prose. That is to say the prose comes beautifully from a place deep within.

Anonymous said...

My second comment on this as Annonymous. After reading the other responses, no-one could say it better than Aija.

Unknown said...

I've caught myself talking bout 'I don't mind this' & I don't mind that.' But if O didn't mind I wouldn't need to bring it up. Just realized that reading this.