Love Affair

Lies become truth
Truth becomes lie
In a love affair
An affair of love
I always assumed
That you understood everything
When I chattered away
In my language
It was always assumed
That I understood nothing
When you chattered away in your language
And yet you chattered away
But you never spoke to me
Because my heart wasn't in it
I wasn't devoted
Lies becomes truth
Truth becomes lie

Could there be a pain so great
To make you leave your wife and child?
Ego-centric optimistic bias
Love makes everything work
Love explains everything
You would never treat me
The way I saw you treat others
You weren't contaminated by foreigners
The permission to be impolite
I never helped you
To read long e-mails in English
To compose long papers and essays
I never proofread
I never explained what words meant
I never used meta-language
I never saw how important it was to you
How it fed your ego
How it made you feel like a better person
Or maybe I did
And rebuffed and belittled you anyway
I was a complete bastard
In a love affair
Truth becomes lie
Lies become truth

I never helped you with our child
Even when I was not at work
I made you do everything
I was too dignified
I didn't take him to daycare
All those years
On my way to work and back
I didn't take him on the train
To Kindergarten
I didn't make his little lunches
I didn't take him to the bus
On the train
When he started school
Those things and many others
I didn't do
Because I was a horribly selfish person
And in a love affair
Lies turn into truth
Truth into lies

I was never sick
It was all pretend
To get out of work
To get out of doing
What you wanted me to do
What I should have wanted to do
A small army of doctors
On two continents
All agreed I was sick
I tricked them
The City of Yokohama
The County of Latah
The State of Idaho
All recognized my illness
And gave me money
Dollars and yen
And free treatment
I tricked them, too
I played everyone
So that I could do what I always wanted
Chainsmoke all day
Never have sex again
Gain 70 pounds
Blow my life savings
Lose my family
Become unable
To take care of my little son
To become more miserable
Than I have ever been in my life
To make my little family
Some shining morning
Discover my cold dead body
In a puddle of my own blood
On the balcony
My bucket list
You taught my son not to hate me
Still his father killing himself before his eyes
Might have bothered him
A vacation most people dream of
I pulled a lot of strings to get it
What a selfish bastard I was
To have imposed upon you so much
By not killing myself
In Japan, you told me, suicide is
The highest expression of self-discipline
Perhaps you would've been proud of me at last
In a love affair
Lies become truth, truth becomes lie

On top of it all
I had the gall to ask you
To help me find a doctor
To help prop up my story
To legitimize my whining
There was no illness
I chose to do it all
Just to be selfish
Just to piss everyone off
Just to control everyone unreasonably

You didn't get anything you wanted
You got to have a child
You got to stay in your home country
To start your own business
To work when you wanted
To not work when you didn't
My dreams of going back to school
Of learning your language
Of eventually retiring
Were all unimportant
 It was impractical

I sometimes have pangs of doubt
Whether I told you how I felt
What I really wanted
That I did what I did
That I left you and him alone
And you didn't know why
I assumed that you didn't love me
That you would rather I were dead
Just because you said so
And acted that way
So many times
Maybe it wasn't true
Maybe you thought the same about me

Another casualty of the fact that
I assumed you spoke my language
And you assumed I didn't yours
And I gave up trying to learn it
Was that we never communicated
In a spirit of love


Chainsmoking Really Helps

Chainsmoking really helps
When you're suicidally depressed
Suicide on the installment plan
No need to buy the whole thing at once
They say that a smoker
Always has a reason to get up in the morning
To get that first cigarette
Just what the doctor ordered
When you're suicidally depressed

The "Supersize Me" diet
Not really comfort food
It can't hurt me when I'm like this
It's something to look forward to
Like I'm doing something good for myself
Something to break up the hours
Which stretch agonizingly
Off to the horizon
Eating is like smoking
Something to do
Something you can still do
The mouth, the stomach, the breath
All still work
Even when nothing else does
When you're suicidally depressed

I want to feel something
Even though I can't make the effort
Smoking and eating
Watching TV
Sex (I wish!)
I'm unattractive
I can't bear to
Share myself with others
The world lives behind the mists
Just before the horizon
Across the grey, dusty wastes
That I must cross
In my baggy shorts
Soiled T-shirt
Unshaven face
70 pounds overweight
Sandal feet
Reek of cigarettes
Shaggy hair
Haggard expression
To come to your boardrooms
To your cubicles
To your keyboards
To your disco parties
To your gourmet meals
To your glamorous women
To your polyglot banter
To your tailored suits
To your fancy cars
To your current events
To your elegant shops
All this and more
That I can't remember or imagine
And which even when I was healthy
Still made me anxious
Back when I was suicidally depressed
Only part of the time