Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm starting to think I should rename this column, because I usually end up throwing in a lot about what I've learned and passing it off as what "we've" learned. Sorry for the egotism kids, but this is therapeutic.
Honestly, what haven't I frakking learned this week? I learned that the one person I trusted the most avoided and lied to me, while hiding behind work as a convenient excuse. I learned that I was easily replaced by an older model, probably not as awesome and charming (and modest) as myself. I learned that the woman I was dating was replaced by a facsimile that looked and sounded like her, but overall went "bitchcrazy" and betrayed me. I learned that there has been a dagger in my back since March, and the gaping fucking wound that it left is still healing right now. I've learned that I'm still bleeding out from this whole mess. One moment I'm confident, the next I'm crestfallen. One moment I want to forget she ever existed, the next I want to run back to her arms. It's all standard breakup stuff, I know. This shouldn't have happened. I now exist in an alternate timeline where everything got screwed up and I have to find someone new who'll even think of sharing their nights, much less their life with me. Somewhere along the line, I got labeled as "the Baxter".
For those of you unfamiliar (I'm not terribly familiar myself) with the term, "the Baxter" is the guy in those romantic comedies who gets dumped at the end of the film for the other big ticket star. See also: any "other guy/girl" in a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie who isn't Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan. Though funny thing, I guess I now know what Dennis Quaid went through when Meg dumped him for Russell Crowe. (However, we all remember how well that worked out for her, don't we?) I guess that's something to keep positive about. I mean, Dennis Quaid fell in love with someone new, had twins, and made some sorta decent films. But he's still Dennis Quaid. You can still watch him and think "he's a nice guy...I like him". Whereas Meg Ryan just kinda fell off the face of the Earth, because it became nigh impossible to believe her as the spunky, cute pixie she used to be. After all, she left Dennis Quaid.
I know it's the beginning of a hard road, and I know it's going to be filled with setbacks, drawbacks, flashbacks, and what have you. I just wish it wasn't so goddamn easy to remember the quirks she had, the wonderful times we spent, and the Danielle who actually gave a shit about me. Wherever she went off to, I miss her and hate her new pathologically lying bitch replacement. As a matter of fact, a lot of people do. She became Sarah Marshall in my life. She wasn't so sweet or nice anymore, and she showed everyone a side that no one thought existed. Even her family doesn't believe or condone what she did. For once, I have the world on my side in a breakup. I have people encouraging me to talk about it, I have people making me laugh so it doesn't hurt anymore. The best part though is the support I've gotten from my friends at work. This experience actually drew me closer together with people I haven't spoken all that much with, and it's made me realize just how much I fit in here. (One really funny bit though, the President of my company looked at me yesterday and said, "What's today?" I told him the date, and he said, "Tomorrow, the hunt begins." He was referring to the recommencing of my dating life.) All of this helps, but the obvious cold math keeps repeating the inescapable fact that in my damaged mind the thing that would help me most was the thing that harmed me the most...her.
I hate waking up and realizing I dreamt about her. I hate being reminded of all those little things she did. I hate that for the past two years I dated two people, only one of them actually caring about me. I'll take my pain, I'll do my time, and I'll make myself 200% better than ever. I'm going to chase my dreams, and I'm going to show her what she's missing. I'll even eventually respond to her email, but not until I get my thoughts straight. I'll get over her. I have to. I've tried saving others, and now it's time to be the one who's being saved. Because somewhere out there, someone who deserves saving waits, and I have to be ready.
I'm closing this post with a monologue from The Holiday, which is such an amazing "chick flick" that it transcends the label to become just a good romantic film. As of late, I've come to the realization that I have gone through a situation similar to that of Kate Winslet's character, Iris Simpkins. She was romanced by a man who eventually got engaged to someone else, but somehow still wanted her around. By the end of the movie, she takes a big stand for herself and tells him this:
"You broke my heart. And you acted like somehow it was my fault, my misunderstanding, and I was too in love with you to ever be mad at you, so I just punished myself! For years! But you waltzing in here on my lovely Christmas holiday, and telling me that you don't want to lose me whilst you're about to get MARRIED, somehow newly entitles me to say, it's over. This - This twisted, toxic THING between us, is finally finished! I'm miraculously done being in love with you! Ha! I've got a life to start living. And you're not going to be in it."
If she really wants to be a part of my life ever again, she's going to have to earn it. I gave her a lot of leeway, and I compromised myself for her. It's about time I pulled the strings, and take the control I've been given in the situation. I have all the power now, and I'm going to use it.