On Reconsideration

Peter Wells aka Countingducks has posted a beautiful ode to the struggle between practicality and idealism. His narrator is disappointed with decisions he’d made in his past; the following is not a response, but rather a different perspective inspired by that voice.

Regrets . . . are for people who feel powerless to learn from experience

Mistake . . . is the name we assign to a decision which now causes pain

Loss . . . is a comforting defense against our greatest fear

Mourning the past is the same as dreading the future,
Because you cannot turn the page of a closed book

Living Better, Single

The Girl recently posted some wise insights on relationships and self-improvement, and has provided inspiration for an experiment with my novel.

[Rune’s journal from February, undated]

Annie broke up with me tonight. Totally out of the blue, there’s this knock on the door and it’s Annie, her mom’s white Cadillac in the driveway, exhaust coming out its rear.

She told me we shouldn’t see each other no more, and then I asked her what the hell that meant, and she said going out on dates, and coming to my house after practice. So I asked her what happened, did I do something wrong, and she said no it wasn’t anything I did (but I saw her bite her lower lip after she said that, she always does that when she lies), she just didn’t feel comfortable anymore with our relationship. And I told her I hated that word, we weren’t in a relationship, we weren’t partners, we were girlfriend-boyfriend.

“Don’t you have fun with me?” I asked her.

“Of course.” She didn’t bite her lip. “But, there’s more to life than having fun.” And then she talked about the arguments we were having, and how she’d been trying to call me this past week but I didn’t get back to her.

“I’ve been busy,” I told her.

“That’s why I came here.” And shen she started backing away, towards the Cadillac. I can see her mother clutching the steering wheel, staring at me. “I have to go now.” And then she asks if I’m coming to the tournament Saturday.

I closed the door without answering her. She dumps me, gives me a lame excuse, then wants to know if I’m fencing? Hell no. I’d be with her all day, and everyone on the team, they’d figure out something was wrong, ask me a bunch of dumbe questions, none of their business. Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT. She was my girlfriend, we had a lot of fun together — everything about this was good, I was realizing this was what I’d been waiting for all my life — and then she takes it away from me, just because I didn’t answer her stupid text.

I don’t understand.