A Good Woman (1)

WODHe is dangerous. I can smell the push-me-pull-you chaos rising off him like curls of steam. He invites you in with his sharp, white teeth and all the time you’re falling, you know it’s going to hurt when you hit the bottom and wake up to find you’re lying face first in the polluted soil of some abandoned misery factory.

Men like him are bred like this: wide-striding, open-handed, casual heart slaughterers. They all have stories – of course they do. But telling their stories only makes it worse. Only makes you love them more. Each has his own sweet, compelling narrative that serves the dual purpose of luring you in and being the excuse for the blood-spatter he leaves behind.

Walk away, girl. Walk away. That’s what I tell myself and what I’m telling you now. But it is as if we’re hard-wired lambs to the feast. We just can’t help ourselves.

What is the rent, the tear, the unstitched flaw in us that makes men like him so irresistible? Look inside. Not out. They’re only the outward manifestations of some interior wound we’ve failed to attend to properly.

He is speaking. He’s using that breathy, low confidential voice, wrapping it around you like a warm cloak of exclusive inclusiveness. He’s saying something pithy and indicative of an above-average IQ. Sipping his cocktail and tilting his head in that pseudo-vulnerable way. It says: See? I’m not so hard, See? I could be whole if only you would open the petals of your feelings. See? All I need is the love of a good woman.  Like the dangling lure on one of those hideous, bottom-feeding fish, their their nightlight and a mouthful of needle teeth.

No, I tell myself. It doesn’t matter what he is; you’re not that kind of a good woman. Walk away.

  10 comments for “A Good Woman (1)

  1. June 29, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I am really hopeful that the (1) part of the title means there is going to be more of this….


  2. TFP
    July 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    She cant walk away, she must indulge…

  3. Laura
    July 4, 2014 at 5:34 am

    In my opinion, this woman shouldn’t walk away, she should run. For sanity and for calm.

    Can’t help herself? That’s just weak, I bet she could if she tried hard enough, if she possessed enough mental discipline.

    Men like that, they’ll destroy you as long as you let them. You decide not to let them any longer and they cease to have any power over you. And you cease to be a fool for them. Simple. Just takes willpower – like quitting any addiction.

  4. Elle
    July 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    …but sometimes it feels sooooo good to acquiesce even for a bit… even knowing it is not real… even knowing it will not last… even… knowing not everything is meant to last.

  5. July 11, 2014 at 8:12 am

    So again I am ashamed of a gender without ever really understanding the drive; perhaps participating in the carnage was a hidden imperative. Again puzzling that so many friends have gone to great lengths for this moth’s light. Do male and female moths die in even numbers, I feel I’ve died on both sides.

    • July 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Oh, please don’t. I feel I haven’t made my point; that most often, when we feel that we have been hurt by the person we lust after, the truth is that we hurt ourselves by projecting impossible desires onto the other.

  6. Chuck
    July 28, 2014 at 9:47 am

    “we hurt ourselves by projecting impossible desires onto the other.”

    The heart yearns violently for what it knows it will never have. When it surrenders and settles it starts to die. Hope is a terrible thing.

  7. Heather
    December 31, 2015 at 8:35 am

    This is maybe the most delicious/interesting short bit I have read in months. I have a challenge for you:

    Write with the same purpose after having known this man for one year.

    Write again as if the narrator has been working with this man’s wife for three months.

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