Michael Kimmitt

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Until now, suicide was never an option. It seemed awfully arrogant of me. "Here's a life." says Someone, but I reply, "No, thank you. It's not good enough for me." And yet.

And yet thousands do it every day, every year, and so it is a part of us all, like incest and rape and ethnic cleansing.

I am tired. That's about it. I am simply tired out and I am unable to see why I should stay here for as long as I am tired. Better to end it--if God exists (which I doubt) then He will simply have to forgive me for my self-slaughter; with a bare bodkin I shall seek to end my miseries.

Well, no.

I am a man now and must do manly things. I must face the terrible reality that is our world and I must somehow think that the work I go to in the morning has meaning. I must make a living. I must keep myself from trying to make love to my wife: she is tired, too, and the effort of rejection sometimes proves too much for her.

I am unfair. She is merely different from me and should not be forced to cater to my satisfaction. I do not tell her what I want; I don't want to be alone in wanting sex, wanting to join, and so I'd rather hide behind a newspaper than confess my desire.

She has a lover. It's not like I hadn't known about it before we had gotten married--she'd made it clear to me when we came together that she would have lovers outside of our marraige, just like she had had lovers when we were together before we were married. I needed to be with her very much, though, and I decided that whatever she had was what I would--I would turn it into what I needed. Now, what I need is not relevant.

At any rate, it is not like this is new. It is just that I feel her lover's presence. In this room. In front of me, beside me, inside me. I am gnawed at from within trying to keep her lover inside me, for the version of her lover within me is evil and ugly, and I would prefer that my wife not see this.

I am tired of being a man. I am tired of knowing, in my heart of hearts, that I am relegated to a secondary role, from birth, given a poisonous mix of hormones and societal impulses such that I am doomed to closed-mindedness, abuse, anger.


Being angry makes me tired. I burn myself up, without understanding what it is that infuriates me so. I will read an article on the Republican Congress, on Women's Rights in Pakistan, on a Catholic child molesting priest, and I will become so angry that I can hardly move. I will shake, a little, with the effort of keeping it inside. My wife will ask me if I am all right.

I'm fine, I tell her. Because if I told her anything else then she would come nearer to me and my body would yearn to be with hers even more, and she is tired of rejecting me. I am tired of her rejecting me, too.

I don't want to tell her that she can make me feel better by making love to me. She will become saddened by her differences from me and the fact that she is not the same as I. And she will think of her lover, who does not make her feel this way.

So I sit, and shake a little, and go for a walk to clear my head. She knows that I am not well, but she doesn't get up to follow me; that is the way we have established that we will be together. She needs me to pursue her thoughts, to hold her and tease information out of her so that she can be free of her emotions' grip, but I have no such luxury; I suppose that it is my fault. I have pushed her away many times; perhaps she thinks that I want her far from me. Actually, I do; when she is near to me . . . .

Most of my problems are my fault.

So I walk outside and I think about ending it. Ending me. I have no children; my job will get along as well without me as with me. Actually, that is a lie; I bring a lot to my company. I don't see my friends much, though. I work, and I sleep, and I wish I could make love to my wife, and occasionally I get my wish. That is my life.

I am angry with myself. It is unfair of me to demand anything of her; it was I that pressured her first into sex when we were dating, and she still has leftover emotions from that. I wonder sometimes if I should suggest a therapist, but I am sure that she would be frightened by the suggestion; a part of what I have done to her is to make sex something of which to be afraid. She is afraid of me, too, and this makes me angry. I am tired.

So perhaps I should not do anything more. Anything. The doctors do not know what is wrong with me; they just know that I grow tireder every day. Soon, I think, I shall be forced to stay inside and I shall grow fat and unlovely (more so than I am now) and who will make love to me then? Who will listen sympathetically? Who will see my presence as a light?

My wife tells me that her lover fills her dreams, for I have told her that I want to know how she feels always. I am tempted to let her lover fill her waking day, too. An asymmetric V we make, man, woman, woman. I wish to remove the taint of my sex; to make things right between my wife and I again.

I want my wife to myself, but her lover does not and this makes her again better than I.

I am so tired. I think that I shall go to bed. I hope that I will not be so ill tomorrow; there is a lot that I would like to get done. The origin of my illness cannot be found. Perhaps it is psychosomatic. My doctor hints at neurosis; he implies that I am overexcited. I know it is more than this.

This sickness is my fault, I know. If only I knew what I'd done wrong.

© Michael Kimmitt, 1996

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