I never saw her softer side

I realize that sometimes, in this blog, I reveal many personal things about not only my photography and my writing, but also about my life.

This is one of them.

I remember where I met her. It was 1992, and I was at Sears in Colonie Center.  We started talking, and everything seemed fine.  No hassles, no worries – something better in my life than what I previously had.  We talked some more.  And eventually I thought this might actually work.

We filled out some papers, and we got together.  And we stayed together all this time.  Through good times and through bad.  We were always together, and she became as close to me as money in my wallet.

But then, around 2007, things got bad.  Very bad.  Toxic bad.  And you know, when I use the word “toxic” in a blog post.  It’s that bad.

And it all revolved around finances.   Promises that she made that were never kept.  Being told one thing and shown another.  And using an argument that if I didn’t like it, too bad – it was her way or the highway.  Actually, she didn’t even offer me the highway.  It was just her way.  Period.

I was promised the moon and I got mooned.  I was promised the stars and I got blinded.  I was promised a money-back guarantee.  All I got was a guaranty I would never get my money back.

There’s an old saying, it’s so old I have no idea who should receive the credit for it.  But it goes like this – if you can settle a dispute by digging a ditch, then grab a shovel and dig that ditch.  And I dug a lot of ditches, let me tell you.

But I did it.  I went without so that she could go with.  I scrimped and saved.  I tried to talk logically and hopefully reasoned with her.  It wouldn’t work.  I begged and pleaded.  She turned a deaf ear.  All she wanted was money – every cent I had, and every cent I could get.

Finally, it was the moment.  Everything she gave to me, I gave back to her.  And then some.  She bought it for me, I paid her back.  And on October 22nd, 2010, I finally broke free.

I told her it was over.  I never wanted to see her again.  I told her to lose my name and never contact me for anything ever again.  And I signed papers that effectively ended our relationship for good.

But she begged me to come back to her.  Like someone who won’t go to the prom with you, but will still call you to get a ride home because her prom date had too much of the spiked punch, she tried to entice me with promises and pleadings.  “Come back to me, Chuck,” she cooed.  “Come back to me, I promise it won’t be like before.  I promise things will be better.  I won’t try to embarrass you any more.  Please, Chuck.  Come see my softer side.”

“No,” I replied, my voice quivering with two decades of pent-up resolve.  “You promised this stuff before.  And you never delivered.  It’s over between us.”

Then I heard those words that finally put me over the edge.

“It’s not over, Chuck.  You can’t ever get rid of me.  I’ll always find a way to make you come back.  The rules don’t apply to me like they do to you!”

“No, you don’t understand.  I’m done with you.  I never want to see with you again.  I don’t even want to hear your name.  You have nothing I want or need any more.  Have a good life.”

“You’ll come back,” she snarled.  Then she went for the jugular.  “You’re a soft, wimpy schlub with no backbone, Chuck.  I’m all you’ve got.  Without me, you’re nothing.  Nothing, do you hear me?  You’re NOTHING, YOU MISERABLE WORTHLESS NO-GOOD LOWLIFE!  I OWN YOU!! IF YOU EVER LEAVE ME, I’M GOING TO MAKE YOUR LIFE A LIVING HELL UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE, YOU HORRIBLE PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING!!!”

That was the final straw.  I could take no more.  Nobody calls me a miserable, worthless no-good lowlife and gets away with it.  Not to mention calling me a horrible pathetic excuse for a human being, to boot.

I had to end this.  Right now.  And there was only one way to make sure I would never interact with her ever again.

In a fit of rage and frustration and anger, I did something I thought I would never do.  I summoned up every ounce, every scintilla of will power, and I grabbed the closest sharp object I could find.

It was a pair of scissors.

And I stabbed her in the face.

With all the years of heartbreak and torment stinging my eyes, I plunged the scissors right in her face.  The scissor blades sliced through her smooth skin.  She did not cry out.  She never had a chance.  I didn’t give her one.  You only cared about me when I had money.  You promised and then you took away.  I stabbed some more.

With every stab and cut, I felt a tinge of relief.  I don’t care if there were residual consequences.  She was dead, her face a jigsaw of puncture wounds and stabs.

The cops would never find the body.  I cut her up in so many pieces, I could dump her in a garbage can and no one could ever put her back together.  It was the perfect crime.

It was over.  No more pain.  No more torment.  No more pretending that I was one of her so-called “valued customers.”

And in an act of  ghoulish sadism, before I completely disposed of her remains, I took a photo for posterity.  And I post it here for all of you to see.

Buh-bye, Sears.  Buh-bye to you and Kenmore appliances that break down after a few months and Craftsman tools that fall apart after a few weeks and Roebuck items that nobody knows anything about and the Auto Center that offered an oil change for my Pontiac 6000 and suddenly drove it up to $2,500 in charges for shocks and struts and everything short of a flux capacitor.

It was real, it was nice, but don’t ever fool me into believing it was “real nice.”

And this is a message to my other plastic-and-credit card relationships.  You need to stop treating me like just another name, another account … or one day, when I’m tired of your attitudes, the same thing will happen to you.

I mean it.  The scissors are still sharp.  And they still have curled plastic trimmings embedded in the blades, plastic remnants of my last failed credit card relationship with an ex named Sears.