Monday, March 03, 2008

On Wishing I Could Set Your Hair On Fire With My Mind

The thing about the end of relationships that always gets me is not the heartbreak or the rearranging of my life, or even the inevitable, generalized disappointment (“I gave two years of my life to this?”)—it’s the anger. And by anger, I mean the white hot, eyeball-melting demon-driven fury. Whenever I get out of a relationship, my feelings of sadness and relief are soon overtaken by a shaking rage that transforms me into a hoarse, screaming, bug-eyed sasquatch with long claws and fangs that drip poison. This usually happens around the time the ex starts dating New Girlfriend. Coincidentally! Hah hah!

Really though, it is around this time after every breakup that my inner postal worker shows up to my brain with an AK-47 and starts firing rounds into the crowd. It would be easy if I could chalk this up to simple jealousy, which has been enraging ex-girlfriends since at least 1856. But jealousy is too easy. Besides, I’m the one doing the breaking up here! The only thing I’m truly jealous of is the fact that the house I eagerly moved out of in December has a lot more counter space in the kitchen than my current apartment. No, it’s not jealousy. I think it’s something far weirder and more embarrassing. On the downward spiral toward a break-up, I usually manage to get myself worked up into such a self-righteous lather (often fueled by the advice and encouragement of well-meaning girlfriends and mothers) that when the whole thing falls apart and my life as I know it (or at least, have known it lately) ends, there are two things I am sure of and two things only: 1) Absolutely none of this is my fault and 2) the person who’s fault it is deserves never to be happy again. Ever. And in a perfect world would grow old and die alone, deeply regretting his behavior during the two years we spent together and his choice to date a teenager after we broke up. I imagine Tom Hulce as Mozart in his final, filthy, drunken days.

It’s a shameful and oxymoronic combination—being a vengeful martyr—and it makes quite the asshole out of me. My punishment is that I then I turn the fury inward. And soon all that’s left of my soul is a black, smoldering fist-sized lump of pity and disgust. Sure, death be not proud, but it’s nothing compared to breakups.

So anyway, yes, I seem to be a little bit insane right now, but hey, let those of you without mental health issues cast the first pill, right? Besides, I’d rather be angry and irrational than sad and lonely. Let me to my infantile emotional deflection and I will leave you to whichever specific personality disorder you prefer to indulge.

Luckily, before I wasted too much time trying to think people into spontaneous combustion, I was accepted into the Creative Writing PhD program at the University of Utah. They’ve offered me a full teaching fellowship and I’m inclined to take them up on their offer. It’s one of the best programs of its kind and my trip to Salt Lake City last fall convinced me that I can definitely live there. It’s a beautiful town and there’s a whole population of zealots about which to express intellectual liberal bewilderment. The well of my indignation shall never run dry again! If nothing else, it will be an interesting cultural experience. Plus: Mormons are hot.

In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I have some arts and crafts projects to get done--these voodoo dolls and dartboards aren’t going to paste clumps of hair and photos on themselves!

Update: I changed the title of this post. This was the original title, then I switched it, fearing, I don't know, a psychic restraining order or something, but sincerity won out. I really do wish I could set your hair on fire with my mind, Ex, but only for a second or two. And: Does it make it better or worse that New Girlfriend is not just a teenager, but a teenager who believes in Intelligent Design? Oh gah, raaawr ugh. That makes me want to roll violently around on the floor. Last, I realized that if the Ex is Tom Hulce as Mozart, that would make me F. Murray Abraham as Salieri, which is disgusting but pretty much correct, except for the syphilitic rot part.


Blogger pjdinho said...

Um... congratulations on not having syphilis?

1:26 PM  
Blogger Screwsan said...

Thanks Dihno. Always look on the bright side of life.

10:03 AM  

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