You can think you know what a "catch 22" or a "lose-lose situation" is, but you'll never really understand it until it happens to you. Suddenly you find yourself surrounded by idiots, struck with the sudden realization that no matter what you do, it's wrong. Either you get what you really want and need by being selfish, or you put up with the bullshit just to make every one else happy, even though you feel like you could burst at any second. I don't think I'd ever found myself in such a conundrum until I decided it might be fun to date someone for an entire year, and then realized my mistake when it came time to end it.
Now I find myself with a blond-haired lost puppy of sorts, and I feel as if no matter where I go, there it is, whining at my feet and looking up at me with its big puppy dog eyes, just begging me to take it home. And while I am sympathetic and cannot deny the appeal of this little lost puppy, I am forced to be reasonable when I push it away, because the fact of the matter is that I've got three metaphorical cats waiting for me at home and all that puppy would do is scare them away as he chases them into every corner of the house, wide-eyed and fearful of what crazy and untrained thing it may do next.
I speak of the ex-boyfriend dilemma here, and when unrequited love is the matter at hand, everyone knows I'd rather put a plastic bag over my head than deal with the drama of burnt-out relationships. I speak of Bob here, and I will not deny that on the night I finally decided I was sick of that puppy's whines and whimpers, and kicked it onto the sidewalk as I entered an unfamiliar doorway without it to feed myself with fine feasts of those rich with love and material, it felt good to leave it out there. I finally told that burden of mine everything that had to be said in order to make it realize that all was over and nothing could go back, that it was time for it to move on and find new things that would stimulate it in ways that I could not and did not want to, that I was completely aware that the only reason it ever came around was to be around me, because every other smile of the night was a flat-out lie.
Now it may sound cold to leave a lost little puppy alone there on the sidewalk when all it wants is my help, but I assure you it is just, because the catch here is that I was the one that let the puppy loose in the first place. I tried with every ounce of motivation and encouragement in my body to tell that friendly and big-eyed companion of mine to roam the world free, and find itself a life that suited it more than that of college parties that forced it into a corner, riddled with barks and whines that went unnoticed until they eventually silenced themselves. I knew that no matter how much Bob tried to hide the real reasoning for his presence at that very party, I knew that it wasn't because of the people there. I remembered spending a whole year with him as he condemned them for their lifestyles and mocked their flamboyancy with his intelligence and dread of being surrounded by such mindless personalities. Yet here he was, staring at me wide-eyed and helpless, as I wiped cocaine off his cheek in disgust.
And therein lies the catch 22, because in this world of trying to recover from breakups and gut-wrenching heartache, I seem to be burdened with the responsibility of being the only one able to mend the heart that I myself broke. While all I want is to tell him to leave me alone, and that he can go fuck himself for the hurtful things he assumed about me and said to my face, I cannot deprive him of his only hope to feel better. The fact of the matter is that if I decide to refuse him of my heart-mending services, all he's got are those few personalities in that very party that aren't as lacking in soul. It comes down to this: no matter how much I dread seeing Bob lying down with the town slut on my bed after drinking half a keg of beer, and no matter how much I would like to tell him how much it displeases me to see him, and how uncomfortable his undying love for me makes me feel, and how unwilling I will ever be to give it another shot, I cannot deprive him of the only people he's got left to go to, which just so unfortunately happen to be my friends.
Last night I was finally saved, fingers linked with my savior in the Andy Warhol shirt and the growing disgust for petty drama that I could not control, but not before breaking down in a mess of anger mixed with fault. I was so sick of this burden I'd had placed on me; expected to stick around to hold the heart I broke when it cried, and tell it that everything would be better when it had doubt. I was so angry at accusations that made me out to be a bad person when all I wanted was to make myself happy because I deserved it. I was so infuriated that there was absolutely nothing I could do for this person but tell him everything in perspective, and in turn hurt him while being completely ignored. I was so baffled that I could tell this lost puppy exactly what I knew it needed more than anything in the world, and it could keep coming back to me with its whimpers and whines as if it wanted me to hurt its feelings and justify its sickening puppy dog eyes. Last night I was saved by something I knew was my only hope, and the same thing that I knew was the only thing that could save this puppy so dependent on me from a life of being nudged away by my unforgiving shoes. Last night I was saved not by my savior, but by the art of leaving.