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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

We all act in our own best interest

Dear Jeff,

Frank is in love with me. I'm not what he wants, I'm nothing of what he wants. I'd never be happy with him and because of that I'd never make him happy. He's the best man, as in the most decent man. The most gentle, kind, and loving man. The man that respects and values me most. But who is the "me" he holds in such high esteem? I'm the first since his divorce, the first in many many years. How does he even know what he wants? How can he think I'm what he wants?

He’s pressuring me to define the relationship. “What are we?” he asks. I remind him he answered my ad for FWB. Then he says I told him I want more. Yes, I want more. But I want more with the right man. Who is the right man? I don’t fucking have a clue. But it’s not Frank. What's to become of poor Frank?

The one thing I don't want to do is hurt anyone. I think that's how you felt about me. I don't think you ever wanted to hurt me. I just don’t understand how you could come to know me and not know you were going to hurt me. Did you lie to yourself after you came to know my heart and my spirit? Did you pretend I was strong enough, that I could be so desperately in love with you, and not have it affect me deeply when it ended? I wonder how you could have thought that. I think you knew all along I was not ideal mistress material. Maybe I was just accessible. That sounds so cavalier. And I don't think it's nearly that simple.

There is no fault here, but there is no innocence either. I do not hold you accountable for anything. I was a willing partaker of the debauchery. What I've learned is all of us lie to ourselves. To protect ourselves but also to get what we want, what we need. Accepting that about myself and about you and about others has been the hardest and most painful lesson.

We all act in our own best interest.

We are all constantly roaming about,

waiting to devour what we believe will satisfy our hunger.

It's base desire, most often at its ugliest.

It's instinct.

It's human.

It's real.

It's unchanging.

We are all good, bad, and everything in between. Once I got a hold of that, I accepted myself as I am, and I got free.

Be free, Jeff.



[Written 5/2/2018, initial publication 7/25/2022]



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