I can’t stand it. She is laughing. Laughing!
I have had a horrible day. Despite my various efforts at motivating myself, from opening my work documents to reading relevant subject matter, nothing had worked and by the time I finished writing my previous blog entry, I did not know what to do. So I picked up the phone and called my father.
He convinced me to come down to his office. Neither of us knew what for, exactly, but by that point it didn’t really matter. I was not getting any work done at home and staying in was not doing me any good, so visiting my father could not possibly have made anything worse.
I spent only an hour or so there; most of the time out of the house was actually spent travelling to and fro his office on the subway. I managed to complete the first Introduction and the first chapter to Fitness for Dummies, which my brother bought for me after our work out the other day. At my father’s, we spoke little about any actual work.
I left his office with a bag full of computer odds and ends, including a broken hard drive (with a working enclosure, which might come in handy), several RAM chips for my new boxes (I don’t know how much capacity yet), and an old flight simulator for classic Mac OS called Fly!. He also gave me a large sketchpad, which I currently envision doing plenty of database design and mind-mapping on, but for what I haven’t a clue. Absolutely nothing motivated me to do any work.
When I got home, I’m sure I did something equally unproductive. I can’t even remember what at this point. Right now, I am angry at Danica, very angry. That should be warning enough not to take everything I say too seriously, or to add your own grains of salt. Nevertheless, my father noted that whenever I stop blogging, my mood deteriorates, so this is an attempt not to let myself slip deeper into bipolar moodiness than I already have.
The only thing I can accurately recall doing after setting my new possessions in their respective places is vacuuming the living room floor. I remember this because, as I said, I am angry at Danica. The reason I had to vacuum the living room floor (for the third time in four days) is because Danica keeps walking around with her boots and shoes on after she comes home from work and before she leaves in the mornings. I spend most of my days in here, and cannot abide the feeling of dirt and dust and all sorts of other crap on my feet as I walk around, so I end up vacuuming.
Anger, Without the Argument
At approximately 10:50 PM, I went to take a shower. It was yet one more attempt to bring myself out of my bad mood. Near eleven o’clock, Danica buzzed from the building’s front door. I stepped out of the shower and listened for the door. Then I heard yet another insistent buzz from the buzzer.
I grabbed a towel and scurried to the foyer to let her in. I unlocked the apartment’s front door and opened it when I saw her approach through the peephole. “Hello,” I said, “I was in the shower.” She gave me a look, not a blank look but not exactly a compassionate look either (I’m actually not sure what it was) and said, “Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Do you not have a key?” I asked. She said, “I was tired.” That wasn’t at all an answer to my question, but was a typical answer nonetheless. I interpreted it to mean that she was too lazy to actually take out her own keys and open the door herself. This is not entirely her fault: she has been buzzing me to let her in for about as long as we’ve been living together and, like an obedient lapdog, I have always opened the door for her.
To make it obscenely clear: I believe I am too fucking nice all the time, and was too fucking accomodating throughout our relationship. It did not do her, nor I, any good for me to coddle her all this time. It did, however, teach me some valuable lessons on self control.
I asked Danica again, “Do you actually have your keys with you” because I simply wanted to verify that indeed, yes, she had them. She said that she was sorry, but when I opened my mouth quickly added that she did, in fact, have her keys somewhere on her person. She undoubtedly sensed my next question, which would have been the same as my previous two as I had not yet recieved a straight answer.
Of course, there were two ways this conversation could have continued. I was dripping wet, cold, and soapy, and it would have been all too easy to glare at her and tell her to use the damn keys. While potentially making me feel a little better at the moment, I knew that would have been disastrous for the night ahead. Instead, I said, “How was your day?”
She said something about Tori Amos being at her place of work and it being an awful day because of it, but I paid more attention to the way her facial expression relaxed from that worried look she had on. Good, I thought, one potential fight avoided. The night was looking up.
I finished my shower, wrapped myself in the towel, and headed to the living room. Danica was on her computer, bouncing back and forth between a few of her things (I caught a glimpse of her shoes being put away). I went online myself.
Then, some minutes later, I heard her speak. She was talking into her cellphone, and the moment she said the word “Hello” I could tell it was most likely Randy on the other end because of her instant switch into what I have come to call breathy voice. Breathy voice is when, during a moment of noteable drama of one sort or another, Danica silently clears her throat and pays careful (possibly unconscious) attention to the intonation of her speech. Breathy voice is quieter than normal voice because even though it uses more air it produces less vocalizations than normal speech; it is a seductress’ voice.
This angered me for several reasons, plenty of which are surely obvious and needn’t be repeated. One of the potentially not-so-obvious reasons was that just the other day I had explicitly asked her not to speak to Randy on the phone when I was unable to get away from the conversation. To be specific, I did not (and still do not) want to hear conversations she has with Randy and I especially don’t want to hear one side of them!
In this apartment there is no real way to avoid hearing phone conversations. Sure, I could put on headphones and blast the music, but why should I fucking have to do that? Okay, maybe I am not that nice. But that’s fine by me: I am through being nice.
More to the point, however, was the fact that she agreed not to talk with him on the phone while I was around. Despite her earlier (pseudo-)promise, however, there she was, talking, no, flirting with Randy on the phone and setting up another date for Friday night a mere two feet away from me. Perhaps I should have been able to ignore it, and I did try, but the more she talked with him the louder she became and soon I just could not stand it anymore.
So I rolled my chair out in front of her and started tapping my fingers on the arm rests firmly. It took a few moments before she got the hint, but she did eventually get it. Unfortunately, it did not do me much good. She told Randy,
Hold on, I have to move to another room, went to the bedroom and closed the door behind her.
A valiant effort, perhaps, but not completely satisfactory. I am sure she tried to remain quieter, but I could still hear her decently well from my computer chair. After a few minutes, I wanted to somehow express my feelings.
I walked to the bedroom door and knocked three times. She told Randy to hold on and asked me what I wanted. I opened the door, and informed her that I needed to grab my pajamas. (And that was true, I was still wrapped in a towel at that point.) She asked me if she was bothering me (at last) and I sighed, saying
I thought you agreed that you wouldn’t talk on the phone with—. She interuppted me with
I know, I know, but he left me a message and I called him back and— something else about what happened.
Of course, all of that was true. Randy had left her a message on her voicemail (I heard his voice when she checked her messages) and then she had called him back. Here’s my point: She called him back. And the topic of discussion wasn’t even something urgent like the apartment lease she wants to get on his place. No, she called him back and made plans for Friday night!
Where is the integrity? Where is the personal responsibility? Where is the awareness? Where is the fucking consideration? (Okay, that last one is probably too subjective to be called anaylitcal, but then again most of this entry suffers from that. Hence the earlier disclaimer.)
In the end, she got up and put on her sweater and shoes. She left the apartment to talk to Randy (who was still waiting on hold on the phone) in the hallway of the building, outside the apartment. This was better; I couldn’t hear her anymore.
She came back, off the phone and finished with the discussion with Randy, only minutes later. On her way in, she held up the cell phone to me as if holding up her arms and said
That’s it, it’s finished, I’m calling my mom now. And she did, in order to stress the importance of moving out as soon as possible.
Obviously, I began writing this entry back when she was on the phone with Randy, laughing and flirting. I was angry for a while, during that phone conversation, and even after she finished talking with her mother. Ironically, I had hoped tonight would be far more mellow, since I had had a pretty mellow, if unmotivated day.
After she spoke with her mother, Danica came to the living room couch and layed on it to rest. I was blogging. Somewhere in the middle there, she approached me and kissed my shoulder, and said
I’m sorry, Mei. I didn’t really know what she was apologizing for, but I didn’t really want to stop writing. I didn’t answer, or react in any noteworthy way, so she left and went back to the couch.
(Later, I asked her why she had apologized. She said that she was sorry to have caused me pain, because she hates it when she does that and never means to do it. I didn’t say anything in response, but I did not really take what she said to heart. If she truly meant that at the time when she was causing pain, she would have stopped rather than get upset that I was inconveniencing her conversation with Randy. She also mentioned that she called Randy back as a last resort, after having tried to reach him online and having thought that his phone call was urgent. Even if this is true, I still wonder why she did not conduct her conversation with more consideration and awareness of her previous promise.)
Finally, somewhere during writing the previous parts of this entry, I stopped feeling so angry. In the angers place a quiet, uncaring resolve formed. Uncaring, that is, because I realized that I should no longer care what Danica’s intentions are. They should no longer constitute any part of any equation with which I form my reactions to situations that involve her. In other words: no more being nice.
I stopped blogging right before this subsection (the “New Attitude” section) and went to the kitchen to make myself dinner. I thought I’d prepare some pasta, but when I looked at the available ingredients I decided I’d make myself a sandwhich instead. While I was preparing the sandwhich, Danica came into the kitchen and sat down at the kitchen table.
We spoke during my dinner. She cried. I did not really empathize any more. I probably came off as quite distant and aloof. I spoke about my feelings and my decision to no longer be nice or accomodating. I mentioned that it was a conscious, calculated choice intended to do one thing only: protect my emotions.
At one point, Danica asked what time it was. She said she wanted to call her mother to further stress the fact that she really wanted to move out, but that it was too late to do so. (It was about 2:22 AM.) I simply stated that I was glad she found it necessary to move out, and that I was glad I was encouraging that behavior.
She told me, during this conversation, that she had been invited to a party after work but decided not to go because she was hoping things would be better between us tonight. She said she remembered how I said it was still hard for me to be alone (and it still is, regardless of whether I am nice or not) and so she came home for me. I told her not to blame me for her choices, and that I would not succumb to some unfounded reason to feel guilty. (Besides, she had made plans with Randy for Friday and Saturday nights; her social life is looking far better than mine, but you won’t find me guilt-tripping her about my lack of social outlets.)
In short, the fact that she broke her word yet again and I was hurt by it yet again showed me that I really must begin to remove myself emotionally from her. She seemed surprised when I told her it seemed like she was rubbing my nose in it when she called Randy. Maybe she truly doesn’t realize how often she breaks her words or what she was doing to me emotionally, but that is no longer going to temper my reactions. Ignorance is not an excuse to break the law, so shall it be with me.
I told her, when she was trying to explain her actions in that regard, that I no longer cared what her intentions were. I only cared what her actions were and how they affected me. That means they hurt me, and I was going to protect myself in whatever way I could. Obviously, the ways I have been trying so far have failed, so it is time to try a new way.
She claimed that I pushed her out of the apartment. In fact, I explictly told her when I entered the bedroom to get my pajamas, and I quote,
No, I can’t kick you out of the apartment at this late hour. She told me that she should not care if I asked her not to speak with Randy on the phone, that she should just do it because it shouldn’t matter to her what I felt about it.
I told her that she had the right to do whatever she wanted, but that if she behaved that way then I had just as much right to make the environment palpable for me, whatever the cost. I would no longer hesitate to make speaking with Randy on the phone as inconvenient as possible for her in order to dissuade the action if it was hurting me. Childish? Protective.
She expressed fear that I would be “cruel” and do things like “misplace” her belongings. I told her I would do no such thing, that I had no intention of being agressive (or passive-agressive), and that I considered such things to be below me. I told her I was merely going to protect my own feelings at whatever cost necessary, which is reactive, not agressive. This means there would be no more accomodations, no more favors, no more considerations.
By the end of dinner, and our talk, she said she wanted to hurt me physically. (Her actual words were
I want to kill you.) I shrugged, and when asked what I would do if she attacked me I said that I’d defend myself. I don’t believe she has any intent to actually lunge at me with a knife, but I do think she is quite pissed off at me. Good.
I will endeavor to no longer consider her emotions in what I do. Perhaps this is even something I should have done much sooner. At least now she gets to see the difference.
So now, I’m tired. It’s way too late, yet again, and I would actually like to get something done tomorrow. Hopefully, I will find motivation in some shape or form.
I am planning on going to the gym, even if it’s late. The subway ride will give me more time to read Fitness for Dummies and the work out will be beneficial. It may even give me the motivation I’ve been looking for. At the very least, I’ll be burning plenty of calories.
I am hoping that my new attitude will make life less painful, even if it is not necessarily smoother. I am not going to shy away from conflict and I am certainly not going to do any more bending. Typically, I have no tolerance for people whom I am not considerate of. Folks who know me know how caring and how thoughtful I can be. Folks who don’t know me don’t deserve special consideration because they have not earned it.
Danica has just lost all priviledges, and hopefully this will make my life with her here much easier; I don’t have to care anymore.
Meta-Data Notes on This Entry
This entry was written over a time span of about 6 hours. The timestamp is the publishing date and time. That means it’s long, obviously, and now that I’m done with it I’m way too tired to spell check it and go over it more than this brief look-over to find appropriate headlines.
As a result, this is simply not going to be as readable as some of my other entries which have undergone a less subjective write-up. Hopefully, I’ll still be able to pick out the facts from the story I have here.
I’m also just a little concerned that this entry will not accurately reflect all or some of the thoughts I intended to portray or record. I know for a fact that given more energy I could have phrased some things more accurately and included more pertinent details. It’s all good, though, since this is ultimately my entry and that’s all that matters to me.