He says he doesn't want to fight.

2003-11-16 23:56

He says he doesn’t want to fight.

He picks fights, true. He says things like “I gave you this home, and I can take it away from you”. He raises his fist, even when he doesn’t hit.

He says he doesn’t want to fight.

The first time he saw a guy in over a year, the first thing he asked about was a long distance bill that he paid for. He can never stop reminding people about the things he pays for. He offers them as gifts, but what kind of gift is it that you demand someone pay back over a year later? What kind of person takes an already tense situation, and starts off by attacking people, probing for weaknesses, trying to seek some advantage, assert his role as the alpha male?

He says he doesn’t want to fight.

He says she’s crazy. He says it’s all her fault. He blames her. He tells her that her family are bad influences, that she shouldn’t listen to her friends, because they conspire against them. He swears at the woman who took her in once, because he fears that this woman, too, will seek her loyalty, and perhaps infringe upon the territory he has staked out.

He says he doesn’t want to fight.

The only reason he fights is that people won’t listen to him. They won’t play along. They don’t say what they’re supposed to say. They are strong when they should be leaning on him for support; they are ungrateful when he has nothing to offer them. They insist on living their lives without needing him. They don’t remember their lines. They don’t follow the script.

He says he doesn’t want to fight.

I cannot remember a time when she has not been fighting with him. A time when they haven’t been at war. A time when they haven’t been moving out or moving back in, or breaking up or getting back together. I remember when he persuaded her that he would pay for her, he would share an apartment with her, and she didn’t need to hold that job down. I remember the shock of her coworkers when, on his advice, she just didn’t show up one day.

He says he doesn’t want to fight.

I remember the frantic scrambles to come up with the rent when, having power, he found himself with no choice but to use it, to withhold the rent, to assert his authority. I remember the suspicions, the allegations, the unrest that came from this.

Today, my friend moved out from the apartment she had been sharing with her ex-boyfriend. It would take too long to try to catalogue the ways in which he has hurt her, the ways he has tried to poison her so she would be the needy woman he needs to have, not the strong woman she is becoming. All I can say is this:

He says he doesn’t want to fight, but he is a liar.

Peter Seebach

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