“Sabotage”

Anita’s First Night with Brian Taylor, Cheating as a Weapon

Thank you also for the compliment (paltry word) of choosing me... You honor me. I wish to do likewise.

Anita Manderfield
(2017-07-21, after she already met Brian Taylor)

I do not wish to be hypocritical sexually. I am struggling. But I will not dishonor you.

Anita Manderfield
(2017-07-23, specifically as to Brian Taylor)

Following, verbatim, is the e-mail which wrecked my world. Therein, she did not tell me the whole truth, which was even worse insofar as she went on a “conscious date” (her words) and then invited him for sex of her own initiative, rather than succumbing to his advances in a weak moment as she implied below.

What happened? We had a fight. It was not even the worst fight we’d had; by my accouting, it was perhaps the fourth worst. Before, we had always made amends. The substantial difference with this fight, it seems, was the opportunistic availability of a neighbor whom she found sexually attractive. She does this, as she admits below: “I’ve even done this before.”

On the evening of August 15, 2017, I spent from 19:16 till after midnight waiting to talk to her. My intentions were conciliatory. In the morning, I was hit with this:

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:23:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: [Anita Manderfield]
To: [me]

I did, very much, want to talk to you last night. I had earlier said as much. Hearing from you no reply to that and beginning to suspect there would come none, around 7 last night I determined to log out of everything, and go see Cheryl, to fill up the quiet. Whereupon I instead received an unexpected guest, whom I invited in, and who stayed late, at my bidding.

You are correct; that prospect is almost certainly doomed, not the least because my decisions last night were largely (though not entirely) driven by emotional sabotage. I've even done this before. That other time, I could not trust myself to not return to the arms of the man who would much later become my husband anyway (we had just broken up, but there remained danger of slipping back), so I spent a night with my (Jewish) neighbor friend. That tactic worked at the time specifically because I knew I would not be able to tell Brad of what had occurred, nor would I be able to reconcile with him after, not with a considerable secret between us. Years later, of course, the relationship with my Jewish neighbor failed as it always was going to, and I returned to the man I would wed to realize that much more considerable secrets lay between us, and hardly on my end.

With you, it's different (always). I can neither conceal from nor distort to you matters of significance. That said, I did not wake up resolved to tell you this. Nor did I expect to find from you mail. Yesterday evening delivered me an alternative to silence. Something for the nothing.

And now I complete my demolition with this report. And you were also right: I found myself imagining you, while with him. Probably you are also right that no one will ever compare, not remotely. Yesterday I sobbed the whole way to work. This morning, I feel vacuous. Also petty and corrupt.

I could not maintain what we have. There are many reasons why. And now I have sabotaged not only my ability to respond to you, but my capacity even to meaningfully speak. What am I now to say? "I'm sorry."? "Out of fear, I wished to evade your love by setting up some necessity for evading your hate."? No, I give you my blessing to hate me. That would be just. Though unrequited.

What I said to you yesterday still stands. Meanwhile I have fallen.

I promise to you that this evening I will do nothing but wait alone for you to appear, if you should have anything to say. If you even get this.

Now I need to go.

Some other background which is a contextual necessity: Anita always spoke fondly of her Jewish boyfriend, her being the self-described shiksa. I knew they were together for five years. I hadn’t known how they started; I wonder if he ever did.

My reaction to the foregoing: I was stunned. Of course. But I put on a stiff upper lip, conversed with her calmly, and spent the ensuing days, weeks, and months earnestly trying to reconcile and rebuild with her. From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to forgive her. I even tried consciously, deliberately to not shame her; that was perhaps my principal mistake.

I will love you forever no matter what.

Anita Manderfield
(2017-07-25)