Being selfish, I've been told, is not one of the qualities which I'm known for. Those who say that, in retrospect, have not seen how I'm terribly selfish emotionally.
This is the story of the other M:
The Other M (henceforth M2) is my part time lover. When I say that, I mean I'm only in love with her when I'm on the Island. And quite possibly for a month or two after I have departed the Island. And then, inevitably and because of the distance and difference in mindsets, we drift apart again. Until I return to the Island and we start over again.
I met M2 on my second time on the Island. She approached me in a crowded bar, as you do, and I haven't been able to forget her since then. Of the time I spent there on the second trip, I was with her for most of the nights. It was a transaction that became way too personal. I still can't explain the attraction there was between us, but attraction there was, genuine or otherwise.
I left the island in an M2-induced haze. You could say the sex was good, but I have before and since had way better. There was something about her I can't quite describe but there it was. In the months after I left the Island we kept in touch. Then she asked me for money with a sob story.
If you know me, that will do it. Off to Western Union we go. We kept talking after that, mostly sweet nothings. Enquiring about mundane shit like whether we have eaten and how our day was. It was a disgustingly domesticated and sordid way of keeping in touch. But we humored each other.
Then came the day she told me she ran out of money again. Because the trade she was in wasn't doing so well. I preempted it with a firm no. It was not because I was financially in dire straits myself. But it would not stand for her to make it a habit of asking me for money. She said she understood but then promptly sold her phone. Without telling me. I lost her then. And I went on with life with her being a distant but fond memory.
I returned to the Island recently. I initially had no intention of contacting M2 whatsoever. What were the chances she probably got married off and honoured up by quitting the Profession? I couldn't know that. Plus it's the Island. Looking for companionship is way more easier than it should be. Depending on how much paper you carried in your wallet anyway.
The first night I was there was a horrible alcohol induced haze of bad decisions and mediocre fucking. Mostly on my temporary companion's part. Maybe mine too. Forgettable to say the least.
The second night was an absolute bust, and I'm not talking about my nut here. It had more to do with the lack of professionalism with the Professionals in their slightly misconceived notion that only certain nationalities were a good and proper meal ticket.
The third day, I resolved not to repeat the first two nights' mistakes. I took a chance and looked for M2 on Facebook. Easy enough to find. The hard part would be seeing if she was willing to see her former part time lover again. She was. She would arrive the next day. Well no sense wasting another night just to wheat the appetite. The third night was a repeat of the second night, with fatigue thrown into the mix. It was another bust and I was tired. But no matter. At least the next day would be a sure thing.
And it was. On the fourth night we rekindled the lost attraction over pizza and beer and sex. It could that I was both emotionally and sexually starved but it was better this time. And not just the sex either. She was more intelligent than I last remembered and she carried herself and her conversations with me well. If you know me, brains on a woman is an extreme turn on. The night ended with the promise of more rekindling the next day.
On the fourth day, my indiscretion with midday partaking of copious amounts of alcohol left me incapable of meeting with her on this, the last night on the Island. Much to my regret.Here's a tip, don't take tequila. It will fuck you up.
I left the Island on the fifth day, with me and her saying our goodbyes and promising to keep in touch. As per usual.
I arrived back to steel and concrete jungle which I call home suffering from Island hangover, and probably M2 hangover as well. How I loathed returning to the shit and skullduggery of my purposeless life as a non-contributing member of society.
I guess that's why they call it a holiday. You go to forget to your problems and hopefully come back refreshed of body, soul and mind to face them.
And face them I did. Life was slightly better than it was before I left. I had a job interview lined up. I was losing weight and being relatively healthy, sans smoking habit. I was still in contact with M2, the usual sweet nothings and enquiries of well being. How copacetic.
Before we continue, I must point out that, at all times, I knew about her Profession. I knew it and I accepted it as part of her life. A means to an end. I understood. I really did. I was not angry that she warmed the bed of other anonymous men. It would be hypocritically of me to judge as I often warm the bed of mostly anonymous women. It's the Profession.
Then came the day I got my tattoo of Hermes's paw. That odd shaped paw print. I had been planning it for a long time and I finally got it done. Goodbye to working in frontline customer jobs but hello memorial tattoo of my best four legged furry friend/child. The day, as I seemed to recall it, was good. I remember planning out what to say during the job interview and managed to play a bit of Arkham Origins.
Then, at 3:30 AM, while listening to a Kevin Smith podcast, I got that fateful message from Michelle. You know what happened next.
What you didn't know was that I, stupidly, looked for some semblance of commiseration with M2. One thing led to another and I discovered her other Facebook page. And she posted a picture of her with some other guy and one picture in particular further inflamed my sense of despair. It was a picture of her holding a ring next to the said guy and saying "I can't wait!".
I reacted the only was I could. With passive aggressive sardonicism. I congratulated her on her upcoming nuptials. She replied that it was only a joke she wanted to share with her friends. She said she was too young to get married and was still in college anyway. I asked about the guy and she mentioned that he was her current boyfriend. Long distance. Then she said she could never marry, because of the Profession. The guy did not know about her Profession and if he did he would never marry her anyway.
I didn't know what to make of it. I just accepted it. Because it was then I came to the realization that whatever fucking pretense I was having with and about her was a goddamned lie. A lie that I created. Too soothe my poor, sorry lonesome ego. She was in the profession, I was a Mark. Put aside my delusions of companionship and that's all we really are. She has no obligation whatsoever to cradle and stroke my ego. She should be free to pursue her own happiness, whatever they may be.
The cold hard truth is this: we can never be more than anything other than part time lovers on the Island.
In my fragile state of mind that day, I unloaded on her, for once, emotionally rather than physically. And I kept up my delusion for a while like how a junkie takes a hit and promises himself that it's just one last hit to tide him over when he goes to rehab tomorrow.
Well, tomorrow arrived. She said she would like to keep in touch with me because she liked me and I reciprocated because you never know when I was going back to the Island. Though she doesn't have to know that.
It tugs my heart ever so faintly but I must learn to face the truth of the matter at hand. She can find her own happiness without me. And I must seek my own.Whatever said and done, we'll always have our moment on the Island.
I think overall, this tattoo is symbolic of the emotional tribulation I've been through in the last week. It was itching like crazy and now, its starting to peel and it doesn't itch anymore. I'm slowly getting better with the passing of time.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes : این نیز بگذرد
This too shall pass.