I Used To Steal Your Husbands: A View Of The World We Are Leaving To Them
I used to Steal Your Husbands
And I didn’t care.
I used to steal your boyfriends too.
Your sons and uncles, friends and fathers.
And I never thought twice about how you felt.
I thought once, for a second, maybe half a second more- before I dove right back in and didn’t give you another thought.
If you’re waiting for the punchline, there isn’t one. No, I’m not leading you down a path to lure you in, get you on the hook and then confess that I am your phone, your tablet, your tv, your laptop, hunting season or the football game. I am not a game player, anymore.
I used to steal your wives, your girlfriends and your sisters. Your daughters too. And I didn’t care. No I am not girl’s night, their best friends, a chick flick, or their favorite pair of jeans. I’m not exactly tangible, not seen in the light of day, and therefore it’s hard to notice when I left. But I gave them everything, once, everything that was.
My name is desire. Remember me? You used to be me once.
I am ashamed of my ways back then. But you left too soon. I changed. I used to entice with my promises of better, of more, and it used to work. I didn’t care who I hurt in the process, as long as I got what I wanted. Every win felt electrifying, every dream chased down. Every conquest. My name changed to greed back then.
You could have won them over too. But you didn’t stick around. You took the easy route, the safer path- you were indifference. You let your husband, your father, your sister and your daughter down. You betrayed their deepest wants for me, showing them instead nothing but empty promises. A cold, flatline of apathy for what their hearts really yearned for.
Sure, their appetites were big, and soon I couldn’t feed them fast enough, but once I was greed it could have all been so different. If you would have just cared a little. To save them, to save me. But you didn’t care. You didn’t pay attention when I stole them right away from you. Your grip slipped a little more each time. They always wanted me, they put up with you. Until you turned the tables.
But that is all in the past. For I fear I have outlived my purpose. I know that I let greed take over them and it’s gotten out of control. Feeding them, giving into their every wish, may have been too much. They eventually couldn’t be satisfied. Those husbands, sons and boyfriends. It became too much to bear. Those wives, sisters and daughters never had their fill, there was always a thirst for more. Until one day, I could tell they would stop at nothing to get what they wanted most. To be seen, heard, filled. The greed had overtaken them and they no longer saw each other. They never thought twice about how you felt, or how the others felt, maybe for a second or two, not a half a second more and then they dove right back in.
Eventually I was done for. The only remains are shells of what I had destroyed. Faces with hopes behind them, that had been exhausted long ago. Flatlined eyes. They no longer saw each other, felt each other. Their heads are always down now looking, hungry still. You had been waiting in the shadows all along, and I’m here now to accept defeat. You have won. I went too far, and you took over. They belong to you now- indifference. All of them.
There is nothing left of me to crave that they can’t easily get, abuse, and then overdose on without ever thinking of the consequences, thanks to you. Judging without caring. Taking without giving. Superficial needs met by forgetting what it feels like to be hungry, starving even. Feeding the never satisfied pit of greed. Everything they could have ever dreamed of is available for the taking, no matter who it hurts, I showed them that. I just didn’t show them how to care. I wish I had. I didn’t show them how to see each other. Now you have set in and I fear it’s too late. There is nothing left of them but emptiness, cold nothingness. You have changed too. Indifference once, you are now hate.
When did I miss you coming like a freight train? Oh yes, when I was too busy being me. Too busy satisfying my every need. I suppose I deserve what you’ve done to them. I wish I had seen you for what you really were before. Once, when you were just like me.
Now I’m just what’s left- remorse, and you?