The addict psychoanalyzes me. Group was where he saw people take hammers to themselves shattering all over the linoleum floor inside Red Door Rehab. He’d watch them glue the pieces back together, leaving out what hurt, to be better men and women. So I’m an easy read. I’m the member of the group that never shares. The one that refuses to acknowledge my short comings, the part of me I have to break to put back together. He would hate me in group, because my stoicism mocks him. He works through every emotion, greets it, feels it, talks about it, shares it, and then accepts it, where I don’t have an emotion.
He sucks in more air than his newly drug free lungs can handle and exhales in anger and exasperation. Poets have emotions, deep bleeding emotions that boil over with no warning spilling on every unexpecting thing in its path they cry over dead possums and laugh hysterically just because the sun came up, as if no one knew it would. For poets every moment is a tragedy; every moment is a triumph. But not for me he observes. And so he has been testing his theory on and off for the past nine months when I would bother to see him. He once told me he loved me and it was no different then when he said good morning. His next attempt was telling me he had to leave me and I emoted nothing so he came back. Then there was the attempt to see anger surface when he said I was meaningless sex, a body, any would do; I just left the room and made breakfast. Now he has given up. He can’t do this anymore. He can’t stay in a relationship that is emotionless. He can’t use me for sex, just because in the moment it feels right. He needs to feel that I’m in it. That there are emotions he is feeding, that he is being fed. When I don’t respond he becomes angry. He’s a guitar player. He writes music. He knows nothing good is ever written unless you have lived the emotion, and he is tired of checking for breath. I am his failure. A poet without emotions is an anomaly, a creation mistake. He pounds his fist against the table and yells maybe bringing his fist down on my face will shock me into a reaction. Maybe if he screams loud enough my heart will beat again, blood pulse, a pressure found.
He doesn’t know, others have done all this before. He is not a pioneer, special, an anomaly. He is every reason I write and don’t emote. It’s not that I don’t feel anything. I feel everything. It’s that he doesn’t deserve those feelings. He hasn’t earned the right to know what makes my heart beat, skin crawl, breath gasp. He does not merit a poem, let alone the poet that could create it.