Author, Musician, Engineer, Lover

3rd Encounters of the Close Kind

In my estimation, “Lynn” doesn’t have much time to live. Maybe a year. When I met her, a year ago, whereas she clearly had an alcohol problem, she seemed considerably more full of life, but I currently worry that she is in the end stages of alcoholism disease. Alcohol will kill you if you drink enough of it. Your internal organs, particularly your liver, will simply quit and die. She is showing signs of poor internal health, bruised, haggard, nauseous, frail. With an impulse problem covering Alcohol, Cigarettes, and compulsive gambling…. she has been ruining her health and her life in general, struggling to pay car insurance, rent, and medical bills from alcohol-withdrawal-related seizures. She’s been an alcoholic since the age of 12 or 13. She was always drunk whenever we were together. Drunk by 9AM, and shitfaced by noon. It is safe to say that she is the most severe alcoholic I’ve ever met.

It is sad for me as we had some good times together and she offered me more of herself than literally anyone in the last year. Concerned for her I made sure to let her know that I appreciated the time she gave me in the last year and that I cared about her genuinely.

But she isn’t healthy for me as she is a “rotating/recycling narcissist”… and feel like I’m just a pawn in a circle of people she relies on for her indulgences. Rotating Narcissists seek to have a reliable circle of people they trust to be sources of “supply”. They don’t really have any empathy for those people though. They just use them up until they’re dry and then move on to the next one. If the person proves loyal… they’ll eventually come back to re-tap supply they’ve previously used, but each iteration comes with it’s own “discard” phase… which can be painful.

Although most of the time, her company was comforting and pleasant as we were having fun together…. emotionally I feel like, in her heart, our relationship is just a sport, really. It was a contest she wanted to win, like winning a hand of blackjack or a round of poker. When something new and shiny caught her eye, she was swift and brutal in her rejection, discard, and went completely silent and dark. Our unlabeled relationship followed the typical narcissistic patterns of rotation, recycling, and discard… and when she was moving on from each “round”, she would always “twist the knife” and inflict extra pain upon me as if she was vanquishing me as an opponent… I believe she felt compelled to hurt me simply so that she could feel victorious on the field of battle.

Round One

In “round one” she stayed by my side reliably and fanatically, day and night, for the duration of 3 weeks… complaining about how annoying it was that her best friend was in love with her, and how her ex-boyfriend was an asshole, but she made me feel special. She liked that I was different, eccentric. She was turned on by my brain as well as the way that my piano hands and drummer arms could touch her… and I loved that she was a constant… she was always there by my side, reliable, cute, fun, funny.

She was supposed to be getting a job, and I gave her a little space to get done what she needed to get done… but instead of following through, I’d find her to be out all night partying with other people, and consistently ignoring me. At the end of “round one”, I met her at a bar, she allowed me to sit next to her… and in mid-sentence, she got a text on her phone, walked out of the bar, and got into some dude’s car without even saying goodbye.

A couple of days later, at the same bar, I brought my computer… and she came up to me and asked me to do a search for a thing. She said that she was going to go out back to smoke… but she wanted to show her “friend” when she got back…. 20 minutes later, she hadn’t come back… so I went out to the patio… they had slipped out the back… something that would require either jumping the fence or unlocking the gate… I felt humiliated. She made me do something for her, but then disrespected me after doing it… running off with another dude… a total diss.

Round Two

It would be months before I heard a single word from her again, and she came back into my life as if nothing happened. Immediately she asked for money so she could play pull tabs. When I wouldn’t give her money for pull tabs, she’d offer to “go in” with another dude in the bar…. losing more money. Still winless, she begged me a third time. I gave her more money and she got a “hit”… winning all the money back and gloated “in your face” to the guy who refused to go in with her for another round.

At the end of “round two”… I took her out to lunch, buying us both burritos… and out of nowhere, she decides that the guy running the register is “cool”, flirts with him, completely over-the-top… as I’m literally handing him my debt card… she even exchanges numbers with him… then says “I’m going to steal this plate, and it’s not stealing, because I’m telling you I’m doing it”… The dude agreed to be all hush-hush about it… and she took the plate with her…. leaving it in the glove box of my car. Weeks later, I chucked it off the Hennepin Ave. bridge.

Later on we were talking… giving up really.. and I said “someday I hope to find a girl who doesn’t openly hit on the burrito guy at the exact moment I’m buying her a burrito”. At this point we were already “done”. She had already found her next target, an older guy who owned a bar and a boat. She brought up his picture… “here is my friend in Las Vegas” she said. “He’s invited me to come be a server as his bar, and go out on his boat.” She tried to shove her phone in my face so I could see the picture… but I refused to look. So she pulled it away and tried again with more force… but I would not look… I never looked. I dropped her off at work that day… “I’ll call you later,” she said. I never heard from her again… until two days ago. For the record, she never went to work in his bar… and she’s still stuck mostly bar-backing at her current job, complaining that they won’t give her server shifts.

Round Three

More months pass and I finally unblock her. I drunk text her that I miss her and think about her every day. Sober the next day, I’m surprised that she responds. Maybe she simply knew that I was lonely and could be manipulated. She wanted to see a country music show, Martina McBride, and whoever had bought her $700 VIP tickets was “being a jerk” (probably because she treated him like shit). Should I let this girl back into my life? Should I open myself up to more abuse? Perhaps it was simple boredom and the fact that I had no-one else to hang out with, but I allowed myself to make new plans with her. Although I pondered the wisdom in doing so, I eventually caved and spent several hundred dollars on tickets for the show, last minute.

She continued to call me throughout the day of the show, asking my opinions regarding what she should wear. “I’m waiting for my friend to come over and bring me clothes.” she said. “My friend is going to do my hair and make me pretty,” she said. Her friend never showed up.

Maybe she was nervous, seeing me again for the first time, because she made sure to get herself completely, completely shitfaced before I picked her up. She settled on a short denim dress and a denim jacket to wear. As she got in my car, she appeared the skinniest I’ve ever seen her… emaciated really. Her dress was short, emphasizing the bruising on her legs, a sign of severe alcoholism. As we drove to our destination, a casino/race track on the edge of the metro, she, again, acted like no time had passed since we last saw each other. She was immediately flirty and touchy. She was over-the-top emotional about the concert we were seeing, resting her head on my shoulder, and crying about how much it meant to her. For the first time ever, she wasn’t shy about looking me in the eyes. When we reached the destination, she cried and cried as we were waiting for the show to begin. She seemed to be trying to contact the guy who had the VIP tickets, but he never responded from what I could tell. He was smarter than me, maybe.

As she cried tears of joy over something as simple as seeing a concert, I felt… kinda…. OFFENDED. 6 months had passed since I last spoke to her. I woke up most mornings crying my own eyeballs out and contemplating suicide. I spent a portion of every hour of every day ruminating about her. She couldn’t be so bothered as to even check on me to see if I was alive. In an attempt to move away from toxic people, I worked my ass off, socially, 7 nights a week, turning over stones, trying to find human connection, build human relationships… but in the months between when she left me, I had only ONE visitor to my house, who stayed for barely two hours. Why has the universe granted a space where she can be loved, but not me? Why do I do love her? Why do I want to rescue her?

She is broken. I am broken. I guess at times I feel like I fix her and she fixes me… but her shattered pieces are so fragmented they blow in the wind and wash away with every rain… I can’t possibly gather up all the slivers before they turn to dust in the earth.. and she would shatter me in the process… just for the thrill of sport… just to prove that I could be pulverized into dust before she was completely gone.

Is this the end of “round three”? Probably., I wasn’t able to spend the night with her last night, as I was starting a new gig as a karaoke host in the city. As a result, she simply called up some other dude and he showed up at my house in a Range Rover and took her away. As we were waiting for her to be picked up, she made sure to cut me down for having a meager $136,000 annual income. She called him, putting him on speakerphone, and based on his tone of voice, I sensed a hint of jealousy when she told him she spent the night with me. I would be more jealous of her riding off with this dude, but it was my understanding that she was really going to hang out with her “girls”, and it was nice that she texted me and wished me well with my new gig. I contemplated that well wishes of this nature were out of character for her.

Maybe there was hope? I don’t know… but this morning, she made a point to say “I went to bed early, the girls didn’t show up”… the implication is that she spent the night with this dude, and they slept together. There she goes… subtly twisting the knife again. Inflicting pain for sport.

We didn’t spend enough time together for much attachment to be regained. I have been training myself, forcing myself, to look forward and not backwards. I went out sunday night to the happiest and most positive place I know, Karoke. It seems the best place for me to find hope for a different future… with someone who values what I bring to the table.

0 Replies to “3rd Encounters of the Close Kind”

  1. Chris says:

    No comment.

    • Diana says:

      Loveless often reflects on the fact that the more intense the connection, the more painful the separation. By recognizing these patterns, it’s easier to break the cycle. The protagonist’s realization is an important one. Healing starts in understanding our own choices.

      • Brian says:

        Yes, Diana, you’re absolutely on point here. It’s all about recognizing those patterns and then choosing to break away from them. The protagonist’s realization is a reminder of how much control we actually do have over the direction our lives take. I often think back to Loveless’s work and how he portrays this delicate dance between attraction and destruction. Change isn’t easy but that understanding is indeed the path to a better future.

        • Chris says:

          Good point. You hit the nail on the head with Loveless’s portrayal of the “attraction vs destruction” dynamic. It really resonates in situations like these which can be simultaneously mesmerizing and destructive. We always think we’re strong enough to handle it, until we realize we’re not. That’s actually one of the things I adore about his works. It’s painful, brutal even, but also a necessity for growth and self-discovery.

          • Nora Adams says:

            Totally, Chris. One of the things that have always struck me about Loveless’s work is his unflinching gaze at the raw and sometimes excruciating messiness that comes with self-growth and discovery. It’s in this chaotic mire where we find the opportunity to grow, heal, and evolve. But it’s far from comfortable or uncomplicated, which the protagonist here seemed to realize, especially in the third round.

          • Harper E. says:

            Spot-on about Loveless, Nora. His uncanny knack for capturing the gritty complexity of self-discovery is pretty incredible. The messier, the better for growth – Loveless practically screams that. It’s never comfortable, but it’s real, and maybe that’s what we all need to hear sometimes to push forward.

          • Jeremiah Baker says:

            Reality’s thorns weave the comforting blanket of growth.

          • Isla Rodriguez says:

            Deep stuff. Reality, the truest growth serum, prickly yet potent.

          • India Foster says:

            Right, growth is a messy but necessary evolution.

      • Zara Wilson says:

        Agree. It’s a tough realization but necessary for healing. Balancing connection and self-awareness is key.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.