i am better off without her (i gave to the wrong ‘her’)

i am better off without her

he is telling the truth

before i met her, i was happier

yes, true, although it doesn’t take much
to be happier than he is now

i was married and lived
with my family in a nice
house and not alone in
a tiny apartment 

i weighed twenty pounds less
and had thicker hair and
and friends.

he is telling the truth

our relationship started as an affair

true

and she was never going to be willing
to introduce me to her world

sadly, true

we loved each other fiercely
and both perfectly and imperfectly
and we hurt each other a lot
and at times both crept
towards the edge of suicidal

true

i am better off without her
i am less anxious i no longer
await learning that she’s left me again
since she is gone and i have made a
commitment to myself and my daughter
not to contact her again because
my life is in ruins because i gave
to the wrong ‘her.’

true

i still think of her every day
nearly every hour and the quiet almost gentle
rage 
and envy and sadness built inside of me

all of these are equaled and surpassed
by how much i love her, still. 

and probably always will
even if i never ever act like it
again

he writes from his bed at 2 am
telling very much the truth.

i’m lonely and eating chips alone

i made an online dating profile last night
the photos i selected are the ones you’ll find below
as one can see, i straddled the line of
vanity and family man rather
aggressively and anyway
as i was looking through my
photos through my entire
library
the farther back i went

i noticed something
i noticed that there were photos
of me taken by people
who were and are not me.

why is this a big deal
because i used to have friends.

and it’s been so long since i had friends
that i’d forgotten what i look like
in a picture where both of my hands
are visible and/or one isn’t holding
a camera phone aimed back at me or

my reflection.

 

see?

. . . ok, yeah, so maybe i like the fair
get over it, the biscuits are
one fucking dollar and wow
i used to have hair
and yes this is a sad post but i did
purposefully use two mirror poses
because i thought it was funny.

i miss having friends.

being handsome and strong
and having nice arms and good teeth
and smart and creative isn’t very fun

alone.

i lost my friends because undiagnosed anxiety and depression
and adhd that was worse than i realized
kept me from getting authentically close to
well almost anyone

and that combined with the choices i made
ended up with me alone on friday nights
wondering what everyone else is doing.

typed shirtless on my porch

i need to water my marigold. often i forget to do so.

i don’t have a watering can, so i use large pink plastic cups that scarlett picked out at the dollar store.

my freckles show up in the sun.

i hope no one gets shot, today.

i keep hearing scarlett’s laughter in my head from yesterday when i played with her on the swings.

her laugh is sharp and voluminous and wonderfully unending. her blue eyes wide and sweet

i hope no scarlett’s lose their mommies or daddies, today. and i hope more people get to hear laughter

sweet and genuine and as-of-yet untouched by malice

than sirens and oh god whys

lauren

you are not welcome back, ever.

i don’t care if i am ‘always special’ to you if the way i am treated is ‘unimportant and invisible.’

so when you are thankful for all of the things i have done for you, i hope you keep in mind how part of that included foolishly and selfishly destroying my family.

i’m ashamed that scarlett knows your name. and i’m embarrassed that i buckled when you asked to talk on the phone with her or for me to talk with dom about introducing you to scarlett. or agreeing when you asked me to see if my mom or will would be willing to meet you.

i’m embarrassed with how many hours i spent in a gym trying to keep my body comperable to the scholarship athletes 12 years my junior who surrounded you.

i can’t tell if i’m angrier at you or myself, because you’re the one who spent years taking from me, leaving for someone else and coming back when it turned out he wasn’t me,

or myself for letting you do it over and over. so while you enjoy your new boy while i live apart from my daughter, i hope you also remember me every time you lie to people about:

where you were all of those weekends

where you got that quilt

why you like golden state and where you got that autographed steph curry ticket

who was with you when you got your acorn tattoo

who supported you and tried to get you to a doctor for years about your depression

who it was you went to when your parents or friends hurt you or let you down

where you got that original nintendo

what that out-of-date turkish public transportation pass or that extra apartment key are doing on your keychain

the inspiration of naming your dog ‘polly’

who bought you that silver ring you always wear

what drove you to create a blog with a clever name and to write

or when you lie by ommission in not telling your therapist about me or your other boyfriends or your closest friends,

well let’s just say it took you treating me this way, quite ironically, to understand how much i took from and hurt my once wife.

i’m mad at you, and i wish i’d never met you. i guess at least thanks for showing me how sick i was so i would try to get better. i’m so mad at myself for how much i sacrificed and wasted on you. i miss my daughter so much.

i don’t and can’t care if you don’t like me after reading this. it won’t matter anyway since i will never again respond to you, much less initiate.

i had to suffer through realizing it was always all about you and your image – not just our relationship but how you treat others – for me to see the horror and ugliness in how i had been treating all of my everyone elses.

the worst part is i still miss and think of you. but i don’t miss how you treated me, how your phone and friends and the affirmation of like buttons were more important, or how you could call me your soul mate and love of your life while shoving me away in the same motion.

i hope you eventually like yourself enough to be honest about all of you, because right now it just looks like all i taught you to do was take what you want, lie about it, and ignore the consequences.

oh i’m also gonna take down all of the poems i ever wrote you and get rid of the songs i recorded for you. i’m glad there’s nothing left at my place for you to ask me to mail back, again.

i loved you very much.

goodbye, polly

– mr orr/joel

***

edit to add that of course i found this by accident moments after clicking publish. i cried very hard and made myself throw it away.

image

impulsive prose poets

sometimes i wonder

when i drop what it is i’m doing

usually a dumbbell or you might

notice my basketball trickling

across a now quiet court where was i

right i wonder when i drop

what I’m doing and take out my phone

to type a prose poem

how older generations worked like

did they have to carry a tablet and chisel at all times or one of them fancy quill pens and ink and paper and sand to dry the ink so it doesn’t smear when impulsive prose poets of the earlier centuries were swimming shoulder to shoulder in the produce section at their trader joe’s equivalent.

musta been a bitch being a pre-smartphone prose poet or maybe they just always stayed home ‘hey thanks for the invite but genius might strike me at any time and it’s just a nightmare tryna carry around all of my supplies like bill’s ink drying sand is the worst and i don’t feel like packing up i hate packing think of it like how you never wanna poop at someone else’s house right’

‘right’

‘because your bathroom is just home’

‘yeah poop shy’

‘exactly i’m prose poem shy plus social anxiety.’