...If the end of us is not when you come to me soggy the next morning saying you were too drunk and now you're sorry but now I will have to walk around with the image in my head forever and won't I please take you back....or if the end of us is not when I go all quiet inside myself and sick with self doubt and slip out silently at 2 am with the engine idling low but it doesn't matter because you sleep like a hundred dulcimers....then I hope the end of us will begin with rubble.

The crumble and rumble of man made bricks and pre-squeezed and measured mortar...the rubble of tract houses. The sirens are blasting, and I am laid out on the sofa, one leg twisted, broken, but the car under rubble too and no one on our block alive. So we wait. The one thing we don't know yet is that I am bleeding internally, that I won't make it until the electricity is reinstated to our grid (but then how are the sirens working?), I won't make it until the next day. You were in the backyard when the first wave came and so all you wear is a smear of dark green grass where the blast knocked you on your face, eyes to the back porch, watching the kitchen take me into its maw when the house imploded.

I am smiling and we are smoking in the living room, even though we wouldn't normally but there are no distinct rooms now so why not and we don't know where the kids are and the panic is numbed from shock and whatever other tidbits of normalcy we are faking. You managed to find your bass and you open the case and start to play. It is dark, night now, but I can still see your teeth. You are saying, see this is that peppers song and this is part of the Clutch song from the show we saw and can you hear the difference and where are you...and then I go silent, blessed in sleep.

And no, this isn't autobiographical. It's just something that popped into my head while I was at work today.

I have realized today how much anger I have inside of me, how much worry and regret, how I fear people, and why I push them away.

I've said it before, many times. the two longest relationships I've had in my life ended in infidelity. I've said it to myself and anyone who would listen, hoping it would unlock a cure to how these facts made me feel. To be true, I wasn't wholly faithful in either situation either; I wasn't completely innocent. But still, the images roll back into my mind whenever the issue of competition arises. If I just stay this ultra-super-cool girlfriend that everyone likes and is so funny and sweet and loving and sexually aggressive, everything will be just fine.

Over and over I saw the images of you two in bed. I saw you both naked, and since I'd seen you both naked in real life, this image was even more unbearable, because I knew somewhere, sometime, it was real, it happened, and now knowing is the curse, not the act. Sometimes I wish I didn't know, so that I could not hate you for leaving with me this scar that threatens to poison this relationship I have now, this person to whom I have thrown everything, and all because I trust him.

I ask all the stupid questions. Why does he have to be so damn desireable? Why does he have to be so nice? How can he be so blind to how women respond to this niceness? How can I compete with all these other people? Why do I ruin my own joy with this doubt?

I loved them both so much, more than they wanted, more than they asked for. As I confess today's jealousy to Jake, he tells me that he thinks, in at least one of the cases, I boosted the guy's confidence enough to cause him to looking other places. Gage was thin, small, maybe lacking in some confidence that I, with all my worship, helped to unlock. I am not all that eager to find out if that was the case. That road goes two ways, anyway.

I want to be confident. I want to believe what you say. I want to be able to trust someone with my heart. I don't want to be a nag, or give you guilt trips. I don't want to be your past and I sure as hell don't want you to be mine. I want to believe.

I know this will pass. I know that I have something worth holding on to, and that I will heal in time. I don't think the men who hurt me can really grasp how this has just added to my own neuroses, added to my distrust for people and fear of being hurt. And how sorry I am.