“Insignificant” by Counting Crows from Saturday Night and Sunday Mornings
BRENDA sits at a kitchen table sipping on a cup of tea. The light above the table is turned on but the rest of the house seems dark. Dark and quiet.
BRENDA (as though she had been in the middle of telling the story)
He showed up here around this time about 2 weeks ago. At first, I didn’t even recognize him. It wasn’t that he had gotten thinner or fatter or changed his hair or his style. It was like something…inside had changed.
Not to be overly dramatic, but I could see it in his eyes.
Anyway, he asked to come in and I said yes. Dumb. But I couldn’t say no. I loved him. I love him. Part of me thought…I confess this now so be nice and gentle. Don’t laugh, I’m saying. Part of me thought that this was it. This was the moment, here comes the grand romantic gesture.
I’m not talking a marriage proposal, although that would fit. Just…him saying he was sorry and he needed me. That’s what I wanted. What I needed. And I really that was why he was on my doorstep.
He never stopped surprising me. I have to give him that.
It took me maaaaybe about a minute to realize. This wasn’t that. This was not an apology. This was not a grand gesture. This was…a victory lap? A brag? A pre-victory lap maybe? Like the celebration a wide receiver does when he catches and it is a really big play but it isn’t a touchdown? Is there a term for that?
Not a celebration without reason, but not a celebration of complete achievement.
He starts going on about how he cracked it. How the formula just fell into place and he knew exactly what it was now and with that, the rest was only a matter of time and a very short matter at that. He threw in a lot of “can you believe it” and “don’t you see” for good measure too.
He told me this was it. The key. That this was his pathway to history. Proof positive that he mattered.
And then he asked me why I wasn’t more excited.
That threw my switch.
I blew up at him. I told him that no I couldn’t see because he never gave enough of a damn to tell me what he was doing when we were together. I wasn’t excited because I hadn’t seen him for months and he didn’t ever seem to give a damn about that. That he knew where I was the whole time and never once, not until he was successful at his job, tried to come and see me. That he showed up in the middle of the night to tell me how great he was when I had always thought he was great but that wasn’t something he gave enough about to notice. That I wasn’t someone he gave enough about to care how I felt.
I told him that he might be a genius but he was also an asshole and no amount of genius could outweigh that. I loved him and I missed him but if he was the same old asshole from months earlier, I didn’t care if he discovered cold fusion. I wanted him gone. Out of my house. Out of my life. I was done with tortured geniuses who had fooled themselves into thinking being geniuses gave them free license to be shit in all other aspects of their lives; to take everything and everyone else for granted.
I told him everything, even the stuff I had barely acknowledged to myself. I yelled and shouted and whispered until he was right back on the steps. Then I shut the door and threw in the deadbolt.