[2/3] He said I should take care of him. He told me we needed to be dating. You’ll pull me together, he said, and I’ll support you while you write.
In a roundabout way, he was just saying help.
I didn’t want to. And I realized this as if it were a limit that, for the first time, I was stable enough to enforce.
Because I have cared for men my entire life, and I was tired of mending the broken ones. I was tired really of myself, of my own ego, my want to fall in love with whomever I could improve upon. It felt insincere to pair off like this, to turn love into a project, to substitute the reality of a man with my ideation and his amorphous potential.
Could I care for him? Of course I could. I had the heart for it, I just didn’t have the curiosity any longer. I didn’t have the naïveté to spend my heart on a man of defiance, a man of drugs and destruction, and imagine that I could save him and that he would really want that, that he would really want to stay in love with a woman who had plucked him out of darkness and brought him glowingly into life. By now, I knew men better than this.
I knew men could only stay in love with women who’ve never suspected their weakness, who’ve never witnessed them self-destruct, who’ve never been bribed over drinks to love them, to care for them more than they cared for themselves.