Part 12………Lessons Learned from the Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi.

“The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her” – Bob Marley

During the twenty years of my relationship with Lestat, I felt as though I was sleepwalking through that period of my life, not realizing that twenty years does go by faster than anyone believes.  But the somnambulism crisis I found myself in seemed to also keep Sharlene from being able to communicate with me, but she eventually found a way and I began to wake up to realize that I needed to find an emotional wooden stake to try to scare Lestat the vampire or kill him off all together.  I had gone through many transformations during my time with him, some bad but most good because of the fact that I had graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree, moved to higher paying job at a different university and had begun my Master’s program.  This is when I realized that good things actually happen to me when he’s absent from my life, and it only took me eighteen years to figure it out!  Yes that was sarcasm and yes I am sarcastic in case no one noticed.

But as I recall many of the emotional distresses I had gone through because of him I began to write down to sort of gauge the ups and downs of my life.  If it was a scatter plot graph it would look like a bloody gangster movie scene, dots or in his case splatters of blood throughout my life but the calm, quiet and productive times were even and steady.  During this time I began to listen to Sharlene and told my heart to shut the fuck up for once because we were going to listen to my brain and let her present her life plan to us (imagine my heart duck taped and immobile from any communication whatsoever).  One day while I was alone at home I began to go through my Netfix and found the movie The Bridges of Madison County, I had seen this movie years before but had forgotten most of the plot. So I hunkered down for a rainy Saturday afternoon with my snacks and a movie.

I watched in amazement at the plot and how the characters relationship developed and how beautiful Meryl Streep and handsome Clint Eastwood came off even playing characters in middle age.  Then the fucking waterworks began, I couldn’t stop crying because, one I had realized that I am NOW MIDDLE AGE!  And two, that Clint Eastwood’s character’s name was Robert in the movie (Lestat’s real name) and that I had no chance of survival while in the grasp of the emotional vampire I was convinced I was still in love with.  Actually, he had turned into the Vampire character in the movie Van Helsing played by Richard Roxburgh.  A handsome mysterious man but when he turned into a vampire he became hideously cruel and vengeful, and that is how I saw Lestat; evolving especially because by this time both his kids had graduated high school and wouldn’t you know it?  He was still living at home with Fiona, remember the woman he said he didn’t love but moved back home with to raise their kids together?

During our lifetime together I had had many theories about what I thought love to be.  I thought that it was eternal and that true love lasts forever, breaking the bonds of death and time.  Then I came to see it as voracious, taking and destroying everything in its path like a hurricane or wildfire.  I also once held that true love will surpass even human existence and other lifetimes, once hearing a song from a campy 1970’s movie called The Phantom of the Paradise, which was really corny but the soundtrack is fucking awesome.  Paul Williams wrote and performed most of the songs but one song in particular called Old Souls which was sung by an actress named Jessica Harper, this song hit that one emotional level that made me believe that true love surpasses this and other lifetimes.

One line in the song says “Our paths have crossed and parted this love affair was started long, long ago.  This love survives the ages in its story lives are pages” now tell me that isn’t good shit?  Because it is, and I believed this was what I had with Lestat the vampire and I wanted so much to believe it was true but of course it is total bullshit.  Love like this may exist but it didn’t for me, not with Lestat because that motherfucker had married his soul mate and was living the life he chose with his 2.5 kids the ranch style house and his emotionally warped, misguided and simple-minded wife.  Meanwhile I was standing on the outside looking in at what I thought I wanted and had somehow convinced myself I only wanted it with him.

This Prince Charming idea was also perpetuated in other ways, not just by what our parents tell us, it is literally every fuckin where!  In movies, particularly romantic movies you see the guy meets girl, guy falls in love with girl, girl loves guy, they get married (and here’s the mythic bullshit) they live happily ever after.  Well ever after isn’t always happy or ever after for that matter if it were then divorce wouldn’t existed.  But again to those who will always find something to say about this situation regarding how a cheater will always be a cheater well, that’s true he will, I will not dispute that.  Case in point, some of the times he and I were apart he also went out and dated (you heard that right, being married AND having an ex-girlfriend he still dated, fucking asshole motherfucker) and he didn’t just date.  No, he hunted close to home, he went out and had affairs with his wife’s friends and co-workers!

Even stooping so low as to fuck around with her best friend, a stupid woman who believes in aliens, conspiracy theories and that immunizations cause all kinds of childhood diseases and autism.  Way to go there Bob, you picked a winner with that one.  And still I took him back, but to be fair I didn’t find out he’d been sleeping with his wives friends until after we got back together.  No it doesn’t make it right but if you haven’t been listening, I WAS IN LOVE AND WASN’T THINKING STRAIGHT!!!  So during one of our heated arguments about him having to go home early because she was “bitching about him working all the time” the argument went in another direction the fact that he had fucked around with four of her “friends.”  Let’s get one thing straight here, she must have rotten friends because if they were charmed by him (remember I had, but by this point I had been in a relationship with him going on twenty years so I’m exempt from this) and didn’t think twice about having sex with him and it not bother them that this was their friends husband, she should have shot those friends. Why am I exempt?  Because I wasn’t friends with the bitch nor did I know her and didn’t want to.  I didn’t have friends that stupid.

Those aren’t friends, real, true friends are like the ones I have.  They would have told me that he was skulking around trying to get them into bed.  How do I know this?  Because it happened and both of the friends he tried to “seduce” told me about it.  I was dating Waldo at the time so I didn’t care too much but they did tell me.  BOTH of them did, hey I never claimed that I had a lot of friends but the very small circle I do have, are not only great friends but they have my back, just like I have theirs!  April and my other friend whom we’ll call Victoria both called to tell me that he was trying very hard to get laid and Victoria had run into him at his favorite bar.  She said he plied her and the friends she was with that night with drinks and food, then when she said she was leaving he followed her out to her car and tried to kiss her.  She told him that she was my friend and that it didn’t matter that I was with someone else, she wasn’t going to lose my friendship over a one night stand and that she knew he was married and he should go home to his wife, but not before she slapped him.

Victoria then called me to tell me what he had tried to do, and I told her that I appreciated her friendship and even if I wasn’t dating him she did the right thing.  April did the same, she told me he went to the bar where she worked and after buying her drinks (because apparently a bartender can drink on the job, huh, I wish my job was like that) and when she took her break made his move on her, and she not only told him to fuck off but she slapped him too.  Way to go April! So then she called me that night to tell me what had happened and I told her the same thing I told Victoria, and I went to sleep assured that my friends were true and devoted.  But that brings me back to my point about Fiona’s friends and how really lousy they are at being her “friends.”  Pan back to our argument (you know pan, like in the movies?) I told him he was the lowest of the low if he thought it was okay to fuck around with his stupid wife’s friends.

I reminded him that my friends didn’t allow it and then I repeated a line from another of my favorite movies, Moonstruck, where Olympia Dukakis tells John Mahoney while their eating dinner at Il Grand Ticino together, she say’s “don’t shit where you eat.”  Which makes TOTAL sense, and a mantra that I’ve stuck to since the realization of what that line meant.  Lestat looked at me and it seemed that he didn’t quite understand what I meant, so I had to explain it to him.  Telling him that fucking around with his wife’s friends was a disaster waiting to happened because in a moment of weakness or guilt they could just tell her what he did.  Not that it would make any difference because after twenty years of her husband having an affair and she still hadn’t found out, I mean how smart can this broad be, really?

But it was the principle of the thing, if you’re going to fuck around do it with women that don’t hang around or work with your wife.  Even thieves have some sort of code of ethics right?  If they didn’t then the line honor among thieves wouldn’t exist, which Wikipedia explains as even criminals can possess some sort of form of honor, justice or moral code (Wikipedia, 2018).  So why can’t an adulterer adhere to the same concept, don’t fuck your wife’s friends or it’s going to come back and bite you in the ass!  By this point in my life I began to wake up from the fog that was the Relational Stockholm syndrome, because I had learned to do things on my own I became self-sufficient and independent.  All those years of wishing, wanting and waiting for Lestat to jump into action to help me or hell even compensate me for everything I’d done and gone through for him (which was a lot, and not just boyfriend/girlfriend type shit either) being his part time secretary, his confidant, his best friend, his advisor, his psychologist and even a pseudo wife without all the perks (for me that is).  It was clear that he had Miyagied me and he didn’t even realize that he was doing it.  For the record neither did I, but you get the picture.  MIYAGIED, you know from the movie the Karate Kid (I told you I watched a lot of movies) when Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel that he has to paint the fence, clean the yard, wax on, wax off his old truck…..ring a bell?

The wax-on, wax-off in this case was all those financial lessons that Lesat thought I needed to learn, how to do things on my own like replace the mini-blinds in my rental home, to be able to patch a hole in the wall and budget my money so I didn’t have to live paycheck to paycheck and have my utilities turned off.  The motherfucker had Miyagied me and I began to realize that maybe what I had felt the last five years of this relationship with Lestat the Emotional Sucking Vampire wasn’t love, but instead I was used to his presence and both our lives went on in this very dysfunctional manner.  For twenty years we went through so much with each other, parent’s dying (his not mine) children growing up, accomplishments, setbacks, health issues, and ultimately growing together and growing apart.  And even though, still no real commitment from him what so ever.

The fucker owned (owns) a construction company, I think after everything he put me through the very least (I mean very, very least) he could have done was bought me or build me a house?  Yes, I realize that sounds very selfish and self-serving, but after twenty years of trying to break away from him, and him coming back and leaving again.  I think that all the emotional anguish and indecision, with the resources he had, it would have been pocket change for him.  I am not a gold digger, I am not self-serving (if that were the case I would have found someone else that would provide me with material things a long time ago) I was not with him for his money or status or any other reason than for the pure (okay maybe not pure) love I felt for this very selfish and narcissistic man.  I fell in love with the wrong guy, he was extremely good looking (meh, he lost his charm and looks when he decided to let himself go, yes I know that sounds chauvinistic but if men can think this way, why can’t women? Just sayin’) smart, successful and very business savvy.  I fell in love with him because he was everything every man I had met previously was not.  Of course that changed when he decided to go back to the wife he had sworn to me he would divorce and he became a coward because of his indecisive nature and sheer bullshit personality.   But on my end, my education and self-awareness was beginning to take hold thanks to the Karate Kid and the fact that I was beginning to tire of Lestat the middle-aged emotional vampire and the “Same Old Song and Dance” (Aerosmith).  There was also this nagging feeling that I had about him, but I really couldn’t put my finger on it per-say.  But I finally figured out I was outgrowing him, his ideas, opinions and especially his sense of sexual adventurism.  Stay tuned for part 13…..

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