You Call Me A Dog.

Words are untrustworthy. It’s far too easy to say things you do not mean just because you got caught up in the moment. She said she would love me forever and here we are, a couple of months later, and I’m not of any importance to her anymore. Like Bukowski said, and I paraphrase, women are different than men in that they can simply stop loving you. One day you’re everything to them, and the next day, if the switch’s been thrown, they’d be able to walk past you as you lay dying in a ditch and not give you a second glance.

I know that it’s easy to jump to conclusions. After all, consensus is that we men are all the same. Selfish pigs who love to make women suffer. So the stories we tell ourselves, carefully editing the past to make it fit with a version where we’re not at fault and it was his (or her) who fucked things up, starts feeling like the truth. So I’m a dog because I broke up with a single mother. It doesn’t matter that I loved her as hard and as honestly as I’ve ever loved anyone in my life. It doesn’t matter that it was her who decided to leave me despite the fact that I was good to her. Good for her. She simply stopped loving me and that was that. Love’s like that, sure it is.

But sexism works both ways, doesn’t it? Every time people ask me about her and I tell them that we broke up, they give me a what-did-you-do look, automatically assuming that I wronged her in some manner. More often than not, they advise me to look her up and try to fix things. If you love her you will suffer for her, you will beg her to take you back, they say. If you’re not willing to swallow any amount of crap thrown your way, that means you don’t really love her.

But the thing is, I truly did love her. I told her that, if she let me and didn’t shut me out or push me away, I would love her until the day I died. That not having her with me left a distinct hole in my life in her very shape. That I wanted to be a father for her son, not because I had to in order to be with her but because I actually wanted to because I loved him as well. And I meant all of it. Every word and gesture.

So what’s there to fix? I was there for her and it wasn’t enough. I gave her my heart and she didn’t even give me a pen.

And now I realize that it’s been almost three months since my guitars have been silent. They sit in their cases next to each other, ignored, in the rack I built to house them. The last time I held one of them was when we played a gig at our hometown, duetting to Beatles songs. I hadn’t noticed that as soon as things started to go bad, I stopped playing. That’s how much it hurt to lose her.

You are not obligated to love someone just because they love you, that’s a given. But you should be obligated to be honest with them, as well as show them gentleness when the end has come and there were no betrayals or ill will involved.

Truth is, I’m tired. Really tired of the bullshit. Of needless insincerity and disloyalty. Cowardice and selfishness. Yeah, all men are dogs and I’m no exception. That’s fair enough. But you have to remember that dogs are only mean when they’re abused or neglected, and that there’s not a thing in the world that will show you more love and loyalty than a dog if you treat it with kindness.

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