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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sam Falls in Love, Part 3: Sam the Fool

[Disclaimer here: this series of posts were written fall 2010 but never posted. I’m posting it now because there is a follow-up story. And I can’t post that without first posting this. Part one of this story is here. Part two is here.]

It is June in New York. It is warm but not too hot, generally lovely weather. Yu-na and I are seeing a few shows new and old and dining like royalty, but spending most of our time at MoMA and the Whitney, catching some jazz in the evenings, cruising a half-dozen of the smaller museums like the Dahesh and Frick, some photography galleries, and eating whimsically as we walk. These are halcyon days, when I am deeply in love, self-aware and happy with myself and the world.

I have this evening shared a particularly important moment; a deep and old hurt, a tragedy that I have shared with few others. We will part in the morning. I depart for Europe. She goes to Korea. That night we make love, all night, unwilling to sleep.

I fully intended to get to this point in my post and tell you about how I messed up. But it is fresh enough that I now find I don’t want to write about it. The pain is still fresh. So let me just say that I did something and said something BAD. Cruel. Hurtful. Using what intimacies I knew about her as a weapon. It was not a first argument, but it was the first and last hateful one.

She later said she understood why I might think what I said, but could not agree with the way I said it, the words I chose, and the timing of when I said it. “Your words in that moment killed my love for you.”

Maybe time will let me talk about it later. Right now I can’t. Even now I feel burning shame and regret. And my heart hurts.

Worse, I reacted badly to her reaction. I took her to the airport resentfully. I spoke harshly, from pride and wounded ego. After the long silence in the car I started to realize my mistake. At the airport I wanted to apologize, but too much damage had been done. She used a different mode of address in Korean in talking to me. She would not look back toward me as went through security, not even a stolen glance.

So she walked out of my life as abruptly as she had appeared. Leaving me only with my regrets.


The girl who gave me her love

And watched forlorn

As I threw the love away

The Aftermath

Of course I apologized. By email because she wouldn’t take my calls. I asked if it was irrevocably over. She told me that she could forgive me, but she could not love me like before. Life went on, and so should we.

I talked to Jenny. She was sympathetic. I asked her if she could broker a meeting so I could at least see Yu-na in person. She asked if she had my permission to discuss any detail of the relationship and I said yes, with Yu-na anything was ok. Jenny did. When I next met Jenny, it was the worst meeting I had ever had with her. She was cold. She said she had no time for fools. She told me she was disappointed I would treat a woman like Yu-na like that, no matter what reason.

Like Sigmund, work is therapy. I threw myself into work. I sent a few messages to Yu-na wishing her a good life, offering assistance if she needed it, and thanking her for her forgiveness. She was cordial, even warm. But it was not the same.


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