Ballad of Freeloader

This is complete nonsense, and we both know it, even you, in your polka dot dress and pink hair, with boot heels clicking, back and forth, back and forth, across the wood laminate flooring of my front room, pacing in front of me, as I drink tea on the sofa, from my favorite cat mug, curled under a blanket, the dog in my lap, finger tucked into my book, to save my place, not giving a damn about the monologue, you refuse to abandon. You take my silence for weakness, for acquiesce. In truth, I have little to say, on the subject of your conscience.

I think up words, instead. Single word summaries of your argument. Balderdash. Hoodwink. Tedious.

Your chopped logic is puzzling, at best. Skidding across the coffee table, it lands in my lap, with little more weight than a loosened feather. You quarrel and quibble, all on your own, leaving me to decipher that I, somehow, owe you something. A burying of a hatchet, a clean slate, a get out of jail free card.  I smirk. You puff and preen like a peacock, blathering out your fingle-fangled tale of my reactions to you, being our largest hurdle, our worst dilemma, an issue that only I, can overcome. I thank you for the diagnosis, you call me cold. I don’t react, because reactions are wrong, inaction is preferred. Meekness our goal, here.

I think up words, instead. Single word summaries to describe your personality. Opportunist. Trickster. Changeling.

I tell you what I learned years ago, that I don’t anyone a thing, not my time nor a home, not a reaction, nor non-reaction, as seems to be the desired outcome of this little interaction, one in which I am cast to play emotional, toss aside my favorite cat mug and pacify the temper tantrum, on display before me. I don’t owe you a clear conscience, or even a fresh pair of rose colored eyeglasses through which to view yourself, or to flatter yourself. Your vanity is not my necessity.

I think up words, instead. Single word summaries to describe my mental state. Disillusioned. Unresponsive. Stiff.

Opening my book, across my knees, I trace the lines with a finger, each word, a light at the end of this tunnel, each sentence an end to this story of us, I go back to what I know, always, back to the pages that explain this feeling, this release, an honesty that I cannot put into speech. A way to tell you what it is I am thinking, what it is to connect, then disconnect. To walk softly, into the next phase, without urgency, but purpose. You emit a muffled shriek, one screeching sentence, “the answer is not in a book!” Then, the door slams behind you, just as I put my finger on the correct passage. “But, it is,” I say to the empty room, ” it is…”


“The bonds between ourselves and another person exists only in our minds. Memory as it grows fainter loosens them, and not withstanding the illusion by which we want to be duped and which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we dupe other people, we exist alone. Man is the creature who cannot escape from himself, who knows other people only in himself, and when he asserts the contrary, he is lying.” Marcel Proust










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