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In the Middle of the Masterpiece


We got drunk and he bloodied my nose. We got drunk and I pushed him into a plate glass window. We got drunk and he trashed my apartment. We got drunk and I choked him. I never considered any of it a problem—until looking back. I never thought it was an issue. I never thought it would be me. I just remember being so taken aback, so confused. I told myself I triggered him. I told myself it wasn’t really a problem. I don’t think I ever told myself it was.

He went into a space often to where he would not remember anything. And he would respond so extremely. It was almost psychosis-- it was a mental disorder, not a character defect. He asked me if he was a case for me, a project. And looking at it, at times, he was. I would often say, “He’s doing the best he can.” I took so much of his shit, because “he’s doing the best he can.”

But at what point is someone else’s best not enough?

The part that would tear me up is that I knew he was trying and that’s what I held on to. Despite the lies, despite the abuse, despite all the challenges, I held on to that. And it hurt me so much to see what he was going through. He would even ask me.

I gave an analogy about an artist attempting to draw a picture. He is very intently carving out a design on paper. And while he is trying to etch out this masterpiece, he is digging in and erasing the same lines, digging and erasing, digging and erasing-- so much so to there is now a hole in the paper. But then a masterpiece begins to come about, yet there is still a hole in the paper. And no matter how beautiful this masterpiece begins to come, there is still a hole in the middle of the paper. Now the question is do we focus on beautiful art that has begun to craft or the big hole in the middle?


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© 2018 by Gerald Garth