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Trade-Off
By
giotoudv

Trade-Off

That everlasting tug game our desires play

Today I want to talk to you about this thing I have, this little game I play, a little game and I’ve played it since I was as well very little.

I was born a real realist you see and I knew people aren't meant to have all the things they desire, I also knew that it wouldn’t be wise from my side if while growing I kept succumbing to all the things I might covet. And that’s because if you have a lust for too many things you never focus and achieve the really important ones and even if, at some point in your life, be in favor of the gods and encounter the extreme lack to get most of the things you wanted don’t be fooled, it won’t last. Soon enough something will fall out from your overflowing basket of goods, you’ll start losing and loss brings pain for some reason.

So I knew all that.

So I had a "preventing" mechanism from that pain.

So I had a “selective” mechanism for my lusts.

I’d let myself desire and taste only half of the things my mind and body asked for and that would include material things, activities and even other people. Whatever brought joy in my face I could only have half of.

And how would such a self restriction be feasible? Well…

I was very young and couldn’t decide between two dolls I really wanted, each one costing my whole allowance. I really liked them both and I knew that I could have the one right now and come back in a couple of weeks with my new savings to buy the other. But which one should I buy first? I mean which one deserved my whole allowance right on the spot? And if I came in a couple of weeks and the other one wasn’t still available with which one I shouldn’t take such risk? That was one agonizing dilemma.

Luckily my brain invented at that moment, 4th of April it was, a perfect mechanism to minimize my lust and desires so that I want less things than any other person, so that I lose less things than every other person.

What if I could only have one doll! What if I should only pick one and never be able to have the other? What if the importance of this decision was heavier and permanent? Well, under that setting I made my choice fast and instinctively grabbed a doll and the game began.

4th of April it was and on that day I enforced a law on myself, to be obeyed forever on, that I would never lust after too many things, I would never face cruel dilemmas or the fear of unexpected loss. On the 4th of every month thereafter, I would intentionally put myself in an imaginary position where I had to choose between two things I really liked (the first two that came in mind), and if I ruled in favor of one I should behave as if the other thing could never meet again my eye.

Maybe it was just a kind of gambling, you could say that.

A Russian roulette of choices, you could claim that.

At first it was innocent and playful like all obsessions are.

Would I prefer the world to have strawberry ice cream or dolphin shaped clouds? I picked the clouds because they really excite me, and never have tasted strawberry ice cream since.

Later it was all about vanity. Was it my golden hair or my cherry lips that made me so desirable? I chose my lips 'cause I couldn't hide them easily, and I've always kept my hair in a tight bun since.

Then it was all about torturing the other person.

Was it my first or third kisser worth still talking to? I preferred the third, he gave me a kind of tense thrill so I could never ever talk again to the other one, not even that day he waved at the metro. So confused he seemed by my treatment, anyways for me it was crystal clear.

I chose music so I could never sketch again, so serious I was about my promises I never even doodled.

I wanted to have nice flowers which meant I couldn't have a pet around. (That might have been one of the choices I regretted the most in my game but still a well-respected one).

I chose wine and thus never have tasted a nice scotch, gave up on films just to attend concerts, and those pretty skirts… I could have nice heels but not the fancy skirts, those never.

Surely you don't get me, why am I telling you those things? Why am I doing it now?

And who prevented me for having everything, who obliged me to have precisely half the things I lusted for?

Well… just myself! In order to keep it simple. Less things to try for, less things for others to being jealous of. A simple, more efficient way of living, a kind of strange monk. A monk and a gambler as well, every choice one side of the coin showing one hitting the ground.

But I truly believed I had found the meaning of a happy, restrained-from-dangerous-urges life.

I'd never thought the risks of my game, the risks of my obsession if you may, until I met you.

I never wanted something so bad so that it would come up as the first thing I think of, each and every time.

It could be either you or chocolate biscuits when we met... That was the first debate that came in my mind. It was you of course.

Then my urge for you grew... the mechanism was alarmed. When the time to choose came again it had to be you again! And your opponent was something more important than biscuits this time, something like my nice new car. Still you though!! My car sold for a ridiculous price and the alarms in my head became infrared.

But it's ok. The system would send you away. I wanted you too much and I trusted the system to prevent me from you.

The next month when the date was 4th I sat in the internal conclave for my choice. You came in my mind of course. Damn... Why did it have to be you again! The mechanism reacted and put a seriously important opponent against you… It could be either you or my best friend. I breathed in while making the choice, couldn’t wait a minute to get rid of you and tell my bestie all about that strange guy that almost drove me crazy but now is gone. Couldn’t wait a minute but I would, I would wait for an eternity to talk to my friend again because I fucking chose you!

I was really sick. For first time I couldn’t control my desire for something. The mechanism seemed like a shut-down immune system against a deadly virus, hopeless, defendless.

Another month passed…woke up that day, two urges I felt: one for you, one for writing a poem! What the fuck... I called you right away and that means I can never write a fucking rhyme ever again. What’s the point… Everything I wrote was about you lately so I guess… Anyways!

I had become a shadow of myself, had lost every control, had nothing but fear and the shape of your face in my mind.

Yesterday, 4th of April it was. I woke up and thought of you. That was it. You and nothing else. I tried all day but couldn't think of anything else to want than you...well, you and oxygen, obviously. The day finished and I made my choice.

So now you know why you read this.

Such a dark dot in your life I will be, such a sad story for you to tell. That crazy girl you once dated and out of the blue decided....

She didn't just decide this, she had to. She absolutely had to sacrifice one of two, the one was breathing. Not the one she could ever chose over you.

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