Last Friday, the A/C in our condo started to go out earlier in the afternoon. By Saturday, we were sweltering but there was no relief in sight until Tuesday. So Sis and I stayed with my parents for a few days. Dad and I were watching John Wick 3 and in one scene, Laurence Fishburne’s character is being accused of providing John with a gun and seven bullets to kill someone. As his punishment, the verdict was that Laurence would receive seven cuts.
His response was something along the lines of “Well, sometimes, you just have to cut a bitch.”
The cuts he endured were from a master swordsman and were pretty brutal. I thought for sure he’d been killed, but [SPOILER ALERT] he survived.
Today, on the day my sister celebrates a milestone of fifty one years young on this planet, I’m reminded of the moment I decided to cut you out of my life.
We were driving to Zoe’s Kitchen to pick up lunch and we had somehow gotten on the topic of my sister’s roommate situation.
“Are they in a relationship? That’s what I’ve always thought,” you’d said.
Out of nowhere.
At first, I thought you were kidding. Because it’s just like you to make stupid jokes like that and only be kidding.
Unfortunately for both of us, you weren’t kidding.
“Why the hell would you think that?” I’d asked in disbelief.
My Ally McBeal Moment was me, unleashing my own brand of verbal swordsmanship:
“Did you think you think she was a lesbian when you first met her as a single mom and I was living with her and her kids?”
“Did you think she was a lesbian when she was dating that guy?”
“Did you think she was a lesbian when she got married and moved away to Orlando?”
“Did you think she was a lesbian when she moved away to Israel?”
“Were you thinking she was lesbian as you interacted with her kids during special occasions with my family?”
“Or are you attributing it to the mysterious circumstances under which she came home and she ended up living with a friend for the past couple of years?”
“And why does two women living together have to mean their lesbians?”
“I lived with a friend of mine when I first moved out of the house. Does that mean I’m a lesbian?”
“When a bunch of girls are living together, like a sorority, do you think they’re lesbians?”
“Or when boys live together, like in a fraternity, do you think they’re gay?”
“Does two guys living together mean their gay? If so, then that’s probably what people were thinking when you and your best friend were living together after moving here from Springfield. But I guess you didn’t think about that, did you? Fucking idiot.”
But in real life, I didn’t say any of that. I’m not a confrontational person by nature, as you know. I’ve held back, held my tongue, so many times I’m surprised I still have a tongue in my mouth.
I was beyond angry and heading into Livid Town, but as always, I ground my teeth and kept a calm head.
Stuffing my true feelings down…down…down. Always stuffing them down.
For the first time in our twelve-year relationship, I wanted to physically attack you. And not an affectionate slap to the arm, but more of a sucker punch to the temple. Followed by another to the family jewels.
Even if your careless comment had been true, I wouldn’t have cared. You are who you are, love is love, and I wouldn’t have loved my sister any less.
But the fact is, it wasn’t true, you knew it wasn’t true, and your roundabout apology was for shit.
“Are we good?” you’d asked.
“Yeah, we’re good,” I said, because it was what you wanted to hear.
Even though it was a lie.
Did you know it was a lie? Possibly. But you accepted my words as truth anyway.
Inside I was thinking No. No. We’ll never be good. We’re done here.
And I was also thinking, not for the first time, I REALLY need to get the hell up out of this marriage.
Because in that moment, I no longer liked you as a person.
I no longer respected you as a husband.
I no longer knew you. You had become a complete stranger to me.
I no longer wanted to look at you, talk to you, live with you.
I chalked it up the alcohol, because you’d had a couple of beers before we went to get something to eat.
That’s just another excuse, though.
I found myself doing that a lot with you. Making up excuses: Huh. Must be the alcohol.
But no more.
Sometimes, you just have to cut a bitch.
Black goddess musings on life and becoming a sustainably-conscious human being.