Many Varieties of Violence

  Note: I wrote this a while ago and posted it for less than 24 hours before I took it down.  I was ashamed.  Well, after thinking about it, I decided to re-post it.  My policy is not to remove or significantly edit the content of this blog unless my privacy or security is being threatened.  Transparency is a regime value.  

 The Surgeon gives me a call, inquires about how I’ve been, when we might be able to get together.  Just normal chit-chat.  

    He’s at the store, I can hear the sounds of the shoppers and the electronic beeping of the cash register at the checkout line over the phone.  He says he’s just picking up a few items before he goes home.

   “What about you?  What are you going to do for dinner?” he asks me.

     “I’m not sure.  I’m not particularly hungry.  I had that cold and I’m still taking DayQuil.”

     His voice, which was previously distracted and casual, becomes suddenly sharp and focused.  Now he’s paying attention. “You haven’t been eating much…?  So, you’ve lost weight…?”  His tone is bright, affirmative, hopeful.  Encouraging.

    I feel the shock of the pain as I grasp the implications of his words, and then a sort of clammy horror: What on earth have I done to myself with this person?  After that: I shut down emotionally, like an electronic that’s had its plug yanked out of the wall.  

     What can one say about a man who encourages me to be ill?  Not just slim, but underweight?  He likes me best when I’m hard and greyhound-thin, and my eyes take up half my face.  I am 118.3 lbs this morning and I menstruate, and he doesn’t like it.  

    He’d rather I starve.  The way that he starves me.  

    Is that evil?  I don’t know, but I think it’s definitely sick.  The Surgeon is a sick man, and his relationships with others–especially women–are motivated by hostility.  I think that a part of him wants me dead.  If he was slightly more introspective, I think he might be actively dangerous.  I know his secrets. 

    Might be actively dangerous, Margo?  Really?  He’s dangerous right now, isn’t he?  Don’t delude yourself.  There are many varieties of violence, as you well know.  

    Seven months ago, I decided that I wanted to get off the fucking crazy train.  I’ve been cooling it with the Surgeon for months, plotting to leave him.  He’s picked this up on his radar a few times, but I’ve managed to hide it pretty well (or maybe he’s just been unusually self-absorbed recently)–he hasn’t done the freakout controlfest behaviors he’s done in the past when he senses that I’m making a break for it.  

      When to do it, though?  Am I ready to do it?  Because I know it’s not going to be easy.  He is not going to cooperate.  I am going to have to peel him off like gum from a shoe.  It’s going to be stressful.  

     Maybe I should wait a little while, until I’ve secured more employment and get ahead of my bills.  Maybe I should see if I can stay with friends for a few days after I break the news.  

    Don’t know.  Overwhelmed.  


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