Crystal and I have settled into our old comfortably irritating pattern. She’s all wadded up in her pursuits and values that do not include me, and I am currently not inclined to badger her about her distance, obscurity and infidelity. It’s all so very nineteenth century of us. I used to find those "cold accommodations" tragic. Of course, given the realities attendant upon family and relationship it is very much a question of whether it is not more satisfying and convenient in many ways to stay together. Breaking up is indeed hard to do, not to mention costly and detrimental to many values acquired at some cost. For all that they are disdained, there is something to be said for those old-timers. Even in the age of casual sex and easy divorce, separation is most often a fool’s errand. If there is anything more pathetic than middle-aged "swingers" with neither morals nor discretion chasing people half their age for empty casual sex then it is in a small class of circumstances.
Only fools could fail to realize that they cannot run away from themselves. If she leaves, Crystal will face the person who is responsible for her malaise, long after she is shed of me, every morning when she looks in the mirror. As much as I long to return her the favor of sleeping around on her, I will not be such a fool. Emotional candy is delicious to a starving man, but one can expire of malnutrition on such a diet. Of course, I told myself that as passionate a person as I could never fall into such a trap as ending up with someone who neither wanted nor appreciated me in the first place. I knew what I wanted and hell, she wanted me...once upon a time. I used to believe that people who ended up with spouses that engendered that kind or relationship were fools who did not understand that for which they were looking. Nemesis never fails to track Hubris in the end.
She has taken to keeping a web-log diary since June, where she can share her thoughts and intimacies with everyone who is "not Bob." It doesn’t matter. She has been a puzzle-box since I've known her, but if you break the puzzle box, the contents are ruined and not worth having anyway. I resolve not to be a fool this time. I don’t get what I want trying to pry her open. I just give her more of an excuse to feel vindicated in her foolish behavior. Martyrdom is her evasion tool. Not this time. The fights are pointless. I think I can let her go. She has already beguiled some other fool into asking her to move in with him. Pretty good, considering that she hasn’t even slept with him (at least I believe not yet). Where do they come from? It is a delicious irony that she cannot see that anyone who would profess profound love and to value her in that manner after only exchanging some words over a distancing medium like a computer network is not worth having. A crush is one thing, but it needs substance to thrive and grow into something. How much could she be valued by someone who knows her in only that fashion? How much is such a person capable of valuing, if his discrimination is so loose and watery?
There is love at first sight and there is love eternal. Crystal practices the former and dreams of the latter, but I think that she is too much of a skeptic to ever receive it. You get what you give, and Crystal is, in many ways, as sincere as a stray cat. Who can love such a woman deeply, passionately or thoroughly? How can one become attached to a stray cat that only shows up when you feed it? To what is one supposed to become attached? She sits in the other room, at the other computer, absorbed in fantasies and make-believe and then wonders why she does not have what she wants in the real world. She has peeled away my love and affections like a sandstorm leaves the flesh abraded and raw — and I have tolerated it. Madness.