Last night, I got up the courage to ask you if you regretted us.
“There are things I miss,” you said. “But if I didn’t have you, I’d miss more.”
The Lover’s Dictionary
It scares me how hard it is to remember life before you. I can’t even make the comparisons anymore, because my memories of that time have all the depth of a photograph. It seems foolish to play games of better and worse. It’s simply a matter of is and is no longer.
It sounded old. Deserve. Old and tired and beaten to death. Deserve. Now it seemed to him that he was always saying or thinking that he didn’t deserve some bad luck, or some bad treatment from others. He’d told Guitar that he didn’t ‘deserve’ his family’s dependence, hatred, or whatever. That he didn’t even ‘deserve’ to hear all the misery and mutual accusations his parents unloaded on him. Nor did he ‘deserve’ Hagar’s vengeance. But why shouldn’t his parents tell him their personal problems? If not him, then who? And if a stranger could try to kill him, surely Hagar, who knew him and whom he’d thrown away like a wad of chewing gum after the flavor was gone—she had a right to try to kill him too.
Apparently he thought he deserved only to be loved—from a distance, though—and given what he wanted. And in return he would be…what? Pleasant? Generous? Maybe all he was really saying was: I am not responsible for your pain; share your happiness with me but not your unhappiness.