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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.

Yu-na

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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