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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

Survival. Survive.

I dreamt about your wife last night. Once again, I was staying at your house, except not on the daybed in the laundry room. I guess I'd moved up in status. Hmm... You weren't anywhere around. It was just me and her.

I was going to a big meeting, I was back in my Big Job as a Big Healthcare Analyst, back to being The Shit at the Top of My Game, just like I was once. Just like when I first met you.

I was making a sandwich for lunch because I needed to save money. So that was weird. Plus, I was using regular white bread out of your cupboard, the 59 cents a loaf kind, so that was weird. But I couldn't find the mayonnaise. You had two kitchens and each one had a refrigerator and there was no mayonnaise in either one. I can't eat a sandwich without mayonnaise.

So, I saw Susan in the main kitchen, and I asked, "Do you have any mayonnaise?" It was kind of awkward, because of course we don't like each other, or at least she doesn't like me. I don't know if I like her because I don't even know her.

And she was pissed.

"Do you know what you did to Jeff? Do you know what he told me about you?"

"Now wait a minute. I saw Jeff in person five times in 14 months. Do the math. Every time he got frustrated with you, he'd come to my apartment and have sex with me. He never spent more than an hour with me in person. The average I clocked was around 40 minutes. Now let's think a little bit about who did what to whom, and which of us did the most harm to one another. Because it aint all on me, Susan."

"But he said you threatened him, coerced him, basically blackmailed him into doing what you wanted."

"Well, I am a strong woman, but I did love him. I would not have done those things. I am not that kind of a person. I am guilty of begging for his attention, pretty much like a dog begs for scraps at the dinner table. And he threw me some, once in a while, and I didn't like myself much, so it was good enough. I made it be good enough."

"But he cried, he cried for weeks, and told me all about the evil things you did to him, how you manipulated him."

"Yes, I am capable of great manipulation. I can be a conniving bitch. But you know Jeff, he's not capable of being manipulated. Jeff does what Jeff wants. Jeff does what's best for Jeff. He also saw right through my bullshit. He saw the truth of me. That's why I loved him. But if he's saying those things about me, he's lying."

And then I went back in the other room, and thought, "Fuck the sandwich, fuck the mayonnaise, I'll buy lunch, plus I can expense it, so what the fuck was I thinking making a stupid sandwich anyway?"

Then I put on my dark black suit (like one I've never had in my life), and I looked like The Shit. (I was tall and thin and younger and quite striking in my dream.) And I walked through the main kitchen, past Susan, unflinching, and I didn't look her in the eye. My heels clicked loud and determined on the hardwood floor. I walked out the front door and I got into the town car which took me to my meeting. With a bunch of executives. To whom I presented. And I did GREAT.

So, I wonder what all that means... I wonder how much of the affair you blamed on me? How much of the affair for which you failed to take responsibility? And just thinking about that, I was pissed at you. But only for a couple seconds.

Then I realized, I'd have done the same damn thing. I'd have presented myself in the best possible light. I would have lied through my teeth and blamed it all on you. And I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

Survival. Survive.

[Original publication date: 6/18/2022.]



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