The brink

This is not love

is not a fun place to be.

I’ve been there and made it back.
I’ve also been the final straw that made a most important person in my life lose their shit.

This was my most disgraceful hour.

Sometimes life deals a truly shit hand, one that bypasses asking why and heads straight to anger, shock and a loss of faith.  This particular hand included an extremely vicious and unrelenting cancer.  When My Person’s mother was diagnosed, everything progressed so rapidly, I have no recollection of those years.  Many years later, it’s still a blur.  I remember specific mundane and major occurrences in extreme detail but it’s amazing how fast five years can whiplash you.

My Person was 868.3 km/539.5 mi. away.  This inter-state commute had paved a familiar course in our lives.  Cancer was a familiar occupant in our household; fucking cancer held all of our attention hostage all the time.  So while MP was trying to keep cancer and its toxic treatment’s effects at bay, what am I doing?

Getting drunk at a bar with someone I should NOT be getting drunk with.  He and I know what’s going to happen.  We are both someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend.  This was not a spontaneous meet, nor an “I got so wasted [fill in the blank]” situation.

Does it even matter that sex didn’t happen?  Not really.  With every passing second after leaving the bar together, I was smashing through years of trust, sometimes wavering but mostly solid and built with love.  How rapidly I  knowingly destroyed said trust was shocking.  I didn’t know I was capable of inflicting hurt like this.  I wouldn’t know the full extent until MP got back.


I could say that MP and I had gone through too much at that point in our relationship, that our intense life experiences combined with getting together at such a young age was about to strike us out.

Life experiences included: being rendered homeless, car wrecks, discrimination, almost death, hospitals, hate, death, chronic illness, psych ward, drugs, birth, unemployment, death, therapy, terminal illness, hospitals, mental illness, grief, rehab, alcoholism, motherfucking hospitals.

But really, I was a coward.  

I hinted at wanting out, we had many a fight and breaking up was articulated by us both at various points, but I cheated to force a confrontation that I couldn’t otherwise broach.

I cheated on MP whose mother was suffering from a horrific cancer because I was too weak to have The Talk for real.

No wonder I got the call from the bridge.

It was and will be my one and only cheat.


33 thoughts on “The brink

  1. powerful writing. It’s rough stuff to deal with what you’ve done. It helps to figure out the reasons why, down to the tiniest detail, because then it seems like such a simple accident, so easily avoidable but so mistakenly real. It sucks that you will always come to these realizations faster than them, but hopefully one day they do as well.

  2. I really liked it. There was anger and sadness like in most cases with cancer spectators. I know it’s some of the hardest experiences to get through but life is a circle and never stops and doing the right thing keeps your happiness flowing. Negative things will not – it will only make everything worse.

    You have fantastic writing skills!

    • Aw, thank you. Cancer is hard; and you are so right about maintaining rightness and positivity…the path of least regret for sure.

      And I really appreciate the compliment 🙂

  3. I rarely write these words or even think them anymore, as we live in a culture where nobody wants to own up to their shit and excuses for all behaviors are plentiful…but here goes. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You didn’t sleep with that person and that is an important distinction. I think.

    • Thank you for the kind words 🙂
      It is a distinction but in hindsight, aside from risking physical health, the damage was done. But as I write that there is a small something to be said for not crossing that line?

      • I tend to agree that you are being too hard on yourself considering that you didn’t actually cross that line and there is a lot to be said for not crossing that line. You kept an important modicum of self control by not engaging in sex.

        You are not any less human than the next person along and given the other factors you’ve listed as things working against your relationship, I think your really are beating yourself up way too much.

        Different people have different definitions of “cheating”. You had a lot of stresses and blew off some steam than night. You certainly did not “cheat” as far as I see it.

      • It’s so true that everyone’s definition spans a spectrum, an interesting and timeless topic…perhaps a future topic. And being in Tokyo lends an alternate cultural perspective as the definition of cheating isn’t so varied but the acceptance level is pretty insane, meaning very high. Strange days…

  4. mrmodigliani says:

    People are organic, messy creatures that need attraction and passion. You may have gone up to the line, but did not cross it in my opinion.

  5. Agreed: powerful writing. The tacit gravity of curt statements cuts right to the bone and scrapes along a nerve. Horrifying and beautiful. May your next story be a relief, to you and us.

    • The guilt is almost impossible to escape. For me it’s been completely impossible as a breakup involves hurt and it’s so damn hard to witness someone I’ve loved hurt more than I’ve ever witnessed.

      • Yes, I understand what you are saying. I hope you are able to learn from this unfortunate experience and begin your healing process of forgiving yourself!

        Though the experience may not necessarily be ideal, I’m sure you’ve touched dozens through this honest post. You are human and you make mistakes and now what’s important is that you move forward with your life now knowing what you know about a relationship and choosing how you will act.

      • Thank you and yes, it was in the significant past so I have been able to move on, learn and evolve. These hard experiences make me stretch my growth potential…progress not perfection 🙂

  6. I really felt every word of that. I think the fact that you didn’t follow it through speaks volumes, yes you crossed a boundary but essentially you respected yourself and MP enough to draw the line before it became too sordid. Stress and alcohol do strange things to our minds

    • Your first sentence makes me very happy…thank you.
      And yes, stress and alcohol produce some damn memorable moments. Lack of sleep is also I need to watch out for…yikes!

  7. This I could sadly relate to my own pain and guilt, very similar situation minus the cancer and alcohol. I’ve been through this. The guilt is immeasurable. But you do get through it somehow with the very fact being that you have a waking, screaming conscience at every moment and it will not let you forget… But you never intended to hurt anyone else, and you did not cross the line.. One day you realize, that no matter how it happened, you can free yourself from it and love yourself. Nicely written.

    • Yes, when the day arrived where the guilt subsides and the conscience has decided I’ve had enough, I realized I couldn’t hurt someone like that again. If nothing else it’s made me stronger (I won’t succumb like that again) and more sensitive, aware…thank you so much for reading.

      • Yeah I feel you. Goddamn though. Reading through other bits of your blog.
        I’m new to this whole thing so looking for other writers and such. Yours is so interesting and fierce and emotional. And I’m rambling. Well

      • Well I’ve found myself in curious situations and I figured, why not share the embarrassing/unusual/universal hurt, laughter and just plain shocking 🙂

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