Thursday 27 November 2008

Walking the Tightrope of Knife Blades.

Note: This should be considered a piece of fiction. Any resemblance to characters living or undead, is purely coincidental.

He turned his key in the lock and walked down the hallway leaving the door open.
He switched on the PC and entered the password, before popping for a piss.

He went to the kitchen and switched on the kettle and then returned outside for a cigarette.

He grabbed his cup of tea and returned to the PC, smiling.

He answered his blog comments and then went travelling round the blogs. He was IMed by another blogger. He chatted away to her, flirted a bit, asked her if she'd cheated on her boyfriend.
Then it came. The moment he had been dreading.
Up came the little message. 'Carlotta Wayne is now online'.

Oh no. Not long now.

And it wasn't.
Went the phone.
He ignored it. It went through to voicemail.
Two minutes later it began to ring again. This time he clicked to answer, then immediately cut the call off.
It rang again.
This time he clicked to answer, but threw the handset into a box containing flags and various other items sitting in the corner.

He carried on typing away to his online friend. After a few minutes he returned the phone handset to its socket.
No sooner had he done so, it rang again?

'WHY are you calling me?' He said.
'When people are in a relationship they have to talk, you know'.
'I thought we agreed we weren't going to talk. You'd wait till I called you'.
'Why, what are you doing now that's so important?'
'I just don't want to talk. I want a break from talking. We need to spend less time talking. A lot less. At least till I get my nerves back'.
'You used to want to talk every night.'
'And now I don't. Things have changed. I work much longer hours and have a lot more blogs to comment at, and a lot more comments to answer.'
'And that's more important than me?'
'Well, yes. Right now, yes. I just can't take the stress of talking to you'.
'So- when do you want to talk?'
'I don't know. When I feel like it. Could be a few days. Weeks. Depends on when I feel like it.'
''No, that's not good enough. When you're in a relationship, you have to invest time.'
'Ok, well bottom line, I don't want to, so if that's the deal, I don't want it. The deal is this, we talk when I want to talk, or not at all.'
'If we don't talk, the relationship will die off.'
'It might, but frankly, that's not really my main concern. My main concern right now is just us not talking.'
'So- what are your feelings for me?'
'Right now, the only feelings I have are total exasperation that you are on my phoneline when I don't want to be talking. Fear. Just wishing you weren't on my phoneline.'
'You must have other feelings than that.'
'No. How is it possible for me to have other feelings when now my entire sensations are driven entirely by hoping this call ends as quickly as it can, because I don't want to be talking to you?'
'Is there someone else? Your feelings can't change that quickly.'
'CHRIST WOMAN! It's not about feelings, it's about being freaked out by you not observing boundaries. As in not calling me, just waiting to be called. As in you getting the idea to call me and not thinking 'Actually maybe he doesn't want me to. If he wanted to speak to me, he'd call'.'

'Don't you want me any more?'


'As I keep telling you, as things stand I'm just sick of talking. If you go away and stop calling, if I'm able to go a set of days without getting muscle spasms every time your number comes up on my phone, if I'm able to go a few days or weeks without having to think about you at all, then maybe I might be able to answer questions like that rationally. All I know right now, is I don't want the phone conversations. That's it. That's all I know.'
'So I'm supposed to wait around till one day you decide to call? Just put my life on hold?'
'No. Forget about me. Consider it as over. And then if one day I call, I do. And if I don't, I don't. And if I call and you've found someone else, that's my loss isn't it?'
'So you want to end it?'
'Well, like I say, if the choice is speaking to you every night or never, ever again, then I have no choice but to go for the second. If you won't allow me what I've asked for.'
'Ok. Then we'll end it.'
'Great. Can I hang up now?'
'Just like that? We're never going to speak again and you just want to hang up?'
'It's best, Carlotta. Clean break. Just let it all go, cut off, hang the phone up, both pretend none of this ever happened.'
'NO! You at least give me the decency to give me ten minutes so I can at least have answers and have peace of mind.'

At this point he was lieing face down on his bed, handset to one ear, the other hand punching the pillow in sheer desperation.

'Ok. Fire away.'
'Tell me when your feelings changed.'

He screamed with exasperation.

'CHRIST WOMAN! How many times do we have to go through this! It's not about feelings! It's about you being too much!'
'Too much? No other man has ever had a problem!'
'Well, I'm not other men! I keep telling you that. I'm not emotionally equipped to deal with having this sort of thing too much. It's causing me to make mistakes at work. It's not good for me to have people around me who shout and get angry.'
'Well I wouldn't shout if you didn't flirt with all those other women!'
'Flirting is what I DO. I enjoy flirting, it's fun. It's one of the pleasures in life. It's a big part of how I do my job.'
'You don't have to flirt with people online!'
'Why not? Harmless enough. People like to be flirted with. It establishes good relationships.'
'But what about me? You know it hurts me but still you do it. You'd rather have twenty cyber kisses than a real kiss from me!'
'Ok. But flirting is me, it's what I do. As I said, if you don't like it, don't argue with me about it, just stop calling me.'
'When you're in a relationship you have to make these sacrifices.'
'Maybe. And maybe this is it. This is why we shouldn't talk. Because ultimately, we're destructive for eachother.'
'No! Only because of your flirting! People argue, it's normal!'
'No. Not in my world it isn't. If women argue with me, I just stop taking their calls in Real Life. I told you- I don't give women explanations in RL why I'm not taking their calls any more. One strike and you are out. I don't give second chances. And I don't much care if they think they have a genuine grievance either. Fact is, I don't like being shouted out, and I don't care for arguments. So my normal response to an argument is just to walk away. In RL, it really is my rules, or no that's it. I don't compromise. I only pacify you because you've got my blog to dangle over me. Otherwise, I'd just hang up.'
'Listen, remember when we first talked? How good it was? Remember that!'
'But things are different now. I don't have the time to waste..'

He banged his head against the pillow.

'Well, kind of. Like now. I wanted to be reading blogs and writing a post. I'm supposed to go out later. I work much longer hours then I did when we started talking. So to be honest, there really isn't time for me to spend an hour every day talking to you. It's not productive. I have my blog and then the pub to fit in.'
'Your blog and the pub. And you can never sacrifice either of those for me.'
'Well, no. Why would I want to? I mean, there's weekends.'
'And weekends your friends are around, so you say I can't call!'
'Exactly, you sum it up better than I can. There just isn't the time for these conversations. They have to stop.'
'If you meant any of the things you said, you wouldn't treat this so lightly! A relationship should mean more to you than it does.'
'To some men, maybe. But I don't think that much of men like that. To me, certain things are more important. My job. My blog. My mates. These are priorities in life, the role you're wanting to fill, comes after those.'
'And if you had a dog, I'd come after the dog too!'

He smiled.
'Yes, you probably would! If I had a dog, yes, the dog WOULD be more important than a romance. A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. Careers, mates, blogs, dogs, these things are things that are kind of serious. Relationships, well, they're either fun or they're not. And right now, I just don't enjoy our conversations. Like I say, it's very simple, you either make me feel good, or you don't. You don't make me feel good.'
'Relationships should be about a little more than that.'
'Not for me they ain't. I either feel good, or I don't. It's that simple. Right now, all I feel is STRESS.'


'Look, if you get off my phone now and let me write a post, I promise we'll speak later.'
'Yes. Just let me write a post. And go for a drink. I'll speak to you at eleven.'

And he hung up. He breathed out. He'd got her off the phone. He could write his post and go for a drink. Not worry about her for a few hours at least. By the time it got to eleven, he'd have a few pints inside him and be able to face the ordeal. Keeping her sweet, so she didn't ruin his life. While he tried negotiating her out of it.

It couldn't be far away, surely. Surely the day would come when he'd finally persuade her to end contact. Surely he could persuade her to let it be, to just forget about it all, to get on with her life and get out of his. Forget about the Holiday in Paris he didn't really want to go on any more. Just let it be.

How many more conversations till he got there though?

He'd never felt so frightened in all his life. Like his life was being invaded. That someone was forcing their way into his personal space and he couldn't evict them. It was the most unpleasant sensation he had ever had. It felt much the same as being strip searched. Having someone whose access to himself he had no control over. That was the awful part.

The whole thought of it made him shiver. The degree to which she wanted to invade his life. The degree of control over his life she wanted to prize from his hands.

He cursed himself that he had broken his own rules 'Never let anyone close, unless you have full control over their distance. Never let anyone into your life, unless you are able to remove them again at will'.

He had broken his own rules, and now he'd pay.

When would the day come when he never heard from her again?

Or would he just have to change the phone numbers?

Something would come up to rescue him from these phone calls, surely?



Anonymous said...

Yep, that would be a living hell. I love being able to be left alone when I want to be left alone, and talk and be friendly when I feel like that. 'Relationships' should not be hard work, well, not that hard!

Anonymous said...

All good posts.

I do enjoy catching up.

I hope one day, those who don;t understand people like us will have it click, and realize they are better off putting time into a something that will bear fruit and not something that has died on the vine.

Anonymous said...

This sort of things happens to me all the time... if anyone would like to give it a go with me then email me with a sexy photo and I will send my phone number... ahem. Not that I am desperate and lonely and sad or anything...

Anonymous said...

Oh mon dieu. All your character in this post can do is be honest about who he is despite how that can make others feel. One can either choose to be false or admit to who they really are, unfortunatley, sometimes this means that people will get hurt.

As a side note, I can't stand it when my phone rings at all. Generally I won't pick it up because most of the time I would rather conduct my discussions face to face.