Down That Road

There was a time when I would watch her walk down that road, back to her house door, back to silent thralldom, back to reality.

The thing about dysfunction is that it can affect your perception of things to the extent that you start to develop a sort of masochism for it. You start to crave dysfunctional relations and negative behavior. Mental abuse becomes a sort of fetish. After being exposed to such conditions for a prolonged sense of time you start to expect this sort of treatment from new relationships. The very notion of love starts to mirror neurosis.

Generally, I think I’ve always been compelled to broken people and drawn to negative characters. It seems as if the most bitter, most lived, most broken personalities always have the most radical things to say in their black insight. Not always outcasts, but I’ve generally identified with these individualistic characters. Their general vitriol toward society and the human condition has struck dissonant chords within me.

Some of these people demonstrate reckless behavior. Some even are suicidal. I’ve gleaned a point of interest in this behavior. So bitter, so antithetical to their state of life they must act out in protest. On some level, one could say a sort of virtue lives here – a virtue of recklessness if one likes. That is, in this behavior a sort of reevaluation of life occurs, some new perspective. At the risk of sounding like a platitude – perhaps some new perspective of the beauty of life, of the nature of being human. That is namely, perhaps through his low period one can find the meat of being alive. Amor fati. Lessons of living. Even perhaps at the expense of nearly taking one’s life.

And so it is that the danger of dysfunction carries over, for me, to relationships. It is the allure of the girl who is broken. There is this romanticized image of the girl who, for whatever reason – maybe coming from a broken home or something of the sort, is suicidal. Perhaps a loner and the outcast, she embodies neuroticism and negative behavior. There is this need for me to swoop her up and share in her pain, to act in the capacity of a healer. And this type of girl I found. Her story was about abuse in nearly every context from an early age – drug abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse. I was able to exorcise temporarily this need to mend, and to show what it is to love.

The problem, however, was that you can rarely fix broken people, and I don’t think she genuinely wanted to be. And so after some time the neurosis of the relationship became the focal point. The dysfunction became the norm. What I once knew as normal became distorted and lost. A sort of masochism evolved toward this behaviour. Almost a sort of satisfaction. We were in toxic love. We deeply wounded each other and it was pleasant hell. I heard once that love was a lowest state of entropy. I couldn’t imagine a greater irony, as my most vivid recollections of disorder stem from romantic love.

She’s gone now and I’m trying to relearn how to function without her. Everything is so incomplete now. I miss her. The Portuguese have a word to describe the missing of someone or something that one loved and is now lost, the sadness felt in the incompleteness, and the yearning to be reunited with that which is now lost – they called it Saudade.

Saudade is something that highlights general existence now. All I can think about is being with her and the times we shared. Things weren’t perfect when she was here, but it felt whole. Now everything is incomplete. Something is missing. I think about her walking down that road back to her real life, absent from me and our collective hell. I think about our dysfunctional affair and the neuroticism that I started to crave. I think about how deeply she wounded me and how I don’t think anyone but her could help me heal. I think about life as it is now and how it would be by ending it. I think about going down that road.

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