Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Morning Call

Reading Maureen Gibbon's description of the day she saw the picture of her rapist in the Engagements page of her hometown magazine reminded me of a Sunday morning when a woman called me and asked why I had been talking to her husband for months.

This was then a six month old relationship and in my imagination it was serious. I did not know then to recognize tell tale signs of hidden wives and children, of a real life that winded in and out of an imaginary one, of sociopaths who will stop at nothing to attain the woman they set their sights on and feel entitled to her love in return for their efforts. I had been lonely long enough to soak in the torrent of attention that he lavished on me.

Yet something always felt wrong like the one missing part of a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. You don't know its not there until nearing the end. I spoke to the woman, heard her six month old twins bawling in the background and the helplessness of her situation that she left unarticulated. We felt sorry for each other being that we were both victims of a very sick man. Whereas my time was done, hers had not even started.

I could tell she would never leave him. We both knew he would lie low for a while, take the time to invent yet another new personality just as scintillating as the one he had used to snare me. He would probably get rid of the stylish goatee this time, trade the contacts for wireframe glasses, alter key events of his life to fit a new history, get a new cellphone number and an imaginary profession that made his business trips around the world make sense. He would do his homework, learn every last nuance of the line of work he gave himself - he would walk and talk the talk better than the best.

Some other woman would step into his lair unawares disarmed by his sense of humor and chutzpah, be treated like a queen until the spell was broken. Maybe I will see his picture some day in a trade journal and wonder who his latest victim is and if his wife had made the Sunday morning call yet. I would want to warn that woman and tell her to stop him from finding his way to the next. Instead I might like Gibbon stop reading that journal and go about my life preferring to deny that this ever happened to me because to deny pain is sometimes its best anodyne.


Prerona said...

is there something in some people that makes them attractive till the spell is broken? is there something in these women that makes them fall for that something repeatedly? this would perhaps be more applicable in far milder forms of the problem

SFGary said...

While I don't know of anyone who was victimized like you I had a friend way back in college who slept around on his "fiance." I felt sorry for her till she finally found out and then told him that she was doing the same. I thought they deserved each other.

So did that help you develop a bull.... meter? Of course the danger is that the pendulum could go to the other extreme and you get suspicious of everything a guy says.

Heartcrossings said...

Prerona - The type of guys who can get away with this are usually high on charm, intelligence and humor. It helps that their professional and financial success gives them a level of confidence that women find attractive. Finally they know how to make her feel special. It is a pity they don't use the same skills to further the cause of their marriage.

SFG - Yes, I do have a "bull-meter" and it works. I love that phrase btw. Will be blogging about that one soon.