clean retina


In Iván & Taghrid, upper body on November 12, 2013 at 8:15pm11


1. If able to style yourself, what would you choose as the accoutrements?

A wolf.


2. What say?

She’s the only accoutrement I know at the moment, so why make something up? And to be clear, I was discarded in the wilderness with bits of fig, prosciutto and Bleu du Bocage smeared all over my sweater. What began with my current proprietor licking the hell out of me has devolved into her simply carrying me around. In her mouth. Thank you.

fig 1

3. How does a beautifully crafted specimen such as yourself get left behind in the wilderness?

“I remember the exact moment I knew it had to come to an end. There was a work function, a big to-do and he came and he brought her. Usually, in these situations, I was good at keeping my distance — the obedient ‘side-piece’ as present day vernacular so eloquently puts it. I was caught up in conversation. You know, those discussions with a bunch of people talking shop with everyone talking over each other? Anyway, that’s when I saw her, the wife. She was alone and passing by this line of perfectly barren trees filled with white lights. I remember thinking she looked so beautiful, so strong. This woman who had stayed home to raise his kids and made vows and made his home a happy one. I don’t know why, but I set out after her — forgot to even say goodbye to the people I was talking to. I went to the restroom, assuming that’s where she’d gone. I entered but she wasn’t there. In any case, since I was there, I relieved myself and when I exited the stall there she was, washing her hands. I felt like someone had punched me square in the gut. I just stood there. She looked up and smiled. The eye contact couldn’t have lasted more than a second, but in that second I searched her eyes, and I mean, I searched, trying to get just a hint of if she knew. I got nothing outside of a very kind person offering me a smile, which of course made me feel like complete and utter shit. In that moment, I did the only thing I could do which was return the smile and leave. I didn’t even wash my hands. I went straight to the coat check, picked up my jacket and got the hell out of there. Once home, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror for hours, replaying in my head how I had arrived at this point. This man, my mentor, a titan revered by all, everything I looked up to… How did I get here with him? He called the next day but I didn’t answer. And I knew I could avoid him at work; he’s a pro in every sense of the word and so there was no way he’d ever remotely acknowledge this side of our relationship at the office. Don’t get me wrong, I was aware everyone knew but as long as they buzzed about it behind our backs I was okay. Crazy, right? Anyway, outside of work I just continued to ignore the calls until they finally stopped. One day, I was having breakfast with my dad and I told him. Up until that point, I had told no one, not even my mom. I guess I told my dad because I knew he wouldn’t judge me. I was wrong about that. He told me he never thought I was capable of disappointing him. That’s all he said then went back to eating his eggs. I was gutted. I honestly could’ve thrown up right there. He still loved me, that I knew, I was his little girl, but he hasn’t been able to look at me the same way since. So, nine months later the titan had taken up with a new hire and this time he left his wife. After hearing the news, I blew out the deepest breath. In my mind, this really concluded my direct involvement with the most clichéd pastime the world has going: life as the other woman. I was finally ready to move on. That’s around the time I met you at Iván and Taghrid’s. I knew fifteen minutes in you were quite possibly the most amazing person I’d ever met. So amazing that I told myself I’d never deserve the best parts of you. I tried with everything I had to keep you at a distance but eight months in I can’t keep denying I love you too. And that’s why I haven’t said it back. I gave myself two choices: I could either never say it or I could say it but if I did I’d have to tell you the truth. I think you deserve to know every part of me, even the parts I wish I could hide away forever.” What you just read was my former girl’s painful admission of being the other woman to a man she knew with every fiber she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Tucked away in a corner at Buvette, it was this very admission that started me and my former girl down the road toward eternal separation.


4. What the hell did your former girl’s guy say?

Quite possibly the best response to such a story, “Life can be very messy if you want it to be.”

Classroom Chaos to Control

5. That was it?

It. He paid the bill in silence. He didn’t appear angry whatsoever, but my girl wasn’t about to say another word and she had done enough soul-baring to last a lifetime as far as I was concerned. After leaving Buvette, they strolled for a little while, both remaining completely mum. I think the silence became too much to take and so they eventually said their goodbyes. I have no idea where he went, but I know we set out for the Strand. In all her years, this was the only place, where once inside, she could truly escape; she could crack open a book and let someone else do the thinking. She plucked a few hardbacks from the shelf and we nestled in a corner for pretty much the remainder of the day. The second book chosen, she flipped open to the following passage, “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” That’s Kafka. Warmth from an existentialist. Who woulda thunk it? We stayed with this passage for a while. The more she read it the freer she began to feel. In a weird way, the words were telling her that her time with the titan was something she possibly needed. She had to travel so low, so far into the depths of every emotion possible in order to emerge with a true understanding of herself. She finally realized the onus to be forever guilty was no longer on her.


6. Well, good for her but why does she deserve to be happy? She ruined lives. At least go to the ex-wife and tell her what she’d done. I don’t think it’s fair she gets to carry on “feeling bad” from time to time and that’s it? And another thing, her attempts at making the Kafka passage relevant to her situation was a reach at best. She’s selfish. There, I said it. She’s selfish and if she can explain away this major misgiving what good is she to anyone? Honestly, if I were the amazing guy I’d run. He should have no problems finding someone worthy. 

Right, because that’s the only option. Forgiveness is a very hard thing to get behind with your kind, isn’t it? Not caring and only worrying about yourselves are close seconds.


7. Oh please. Don’t you dare try to lay some guilt trip on me. Let me ask you. How do you feel about your girl and what she did?

Former girl. And I feel each and every one of you has a different way of getting by in life. While my life can go on for hundreds of years — depending on the care given — in comparison, yours is short and it’s fleeting and from what I can glean you all spend way too much time on someone else’s bullshit. You hold onto way too many things, schadenfreude seems to always be on deck as the sentiment of choice and if the menagerie of comment sections is any indication, I’m almost positive you, as a race, want to be doomed to fail. My former girl’s guy put it perfectly, “Life can be messy if you want it to be.” It’s a choice. My former girl did a bad thing but she paid her penance and now she was ready to put it behind her. It’s not my job to judge. Keep her warm while looking amazing, that was the mandate handed down by the gods — and by the gods I mean Svetlana — therefore, that is what I do. Well, what I did. And not that you seem excited to know, but the guy actually called the next day. They talked, most of it small. As they were getting off the phone, he told her he was heading to the mountains to survey some land he was thinking about purchasing. She asked if she could tag along and he agreed. Yes, there was the slight hesitation in his voice but he did agree. She packed two bags: one with clothes, shoes and toiletries and the other with food – that’s where the fig, prosciutto and Bleu du Bocage came in. And so, the next morning he picked her up and they took to the mountains. The first day consisted of sparse glances, tip-toe conversation and sleeping in separate sleeping bags. The second day, however, consisted genuine laughter, the admission that he once shoplifted an Outliner pen when he was six and the two of them making sweet, sweet love under the cover of the moon. Of course, I was tossed out into the night once they both decided clothes weren’t helping matters. My point to the story is, the guy, the one person who had the right to decide if my former girl was worthy of his commitment? He could look beyond it. What would your world look like if everyone had the ability to love unconditionally? Don’t save it for mothers, monks and nuns (I’m leaving priests out of it for now) but give it to everyone. What exactly would it look like?


8. Whatever. So, what happened? Did they stay together? Break up? What?

HELLO! I’m currently the ward of a fucking wolf! How the hell should I know?!

9. That’s right. I’m sorry. Should I call for help?

Nah. To be honest, she’s starting to grow on me. My existence is a lot more serene out here and plus, I think she’s pregnant. Don’t ask, just know some things have happened on top of me and I’m almost positive she’s with pup. Or pups, rather. That said, I wouldn’t mind sticking around to see the little ones. As crazy as it is to admit, I’m a part of this thing now.

Gray wolf or timber wolf mother and pups.

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