When trust is not enough
I’m like a mad man, haunting her every step through this damned camp site.
The old tiger gnaws at my stomach like hunger no food can cure.
The moment I saw her coming out of the road side tavern, the moment I saw her kiss that other man, I knew I was in trouble.
Like all those other times when one thing leads to another and leaves me empty and aching except for the fury.
This is supposed to be our get together get away; a time away from civilization to see if we still have what we used to have, and now – this.
My heavy feet crush dead leaves as I stalk her through the woods, just as my feet once stirred up broken glass along the streets of Hollywood years ago.
I an insane with the throb in my head, blood roaring up into my ears like a tsunami.
Why is she doing this to me?
Why am I letting this happen?
I see the sliver outline of my car at our camp site and know logically I should go to it and drive away, out of the woods, out of the state, out of her life.
I can trust myself to tell her later how this isn’t working out for me.
But here, near her, I am insane, feeling all the savagery of the woods around me.
I am an outraged mountain lion, needing to protect my turf.
I am a savage white man hunting the shadows of Native Americans looking for vengeance I have no right to inflict.
It is the beast inside of me I need to fear, my inability to simply walk away – my whole existence caught up in imaginary acts I have no control over.
What is she doing and who is she doing it with?
The woods and sun through the trees confuse me as I stumble over roots in the path, panicked breathing making me sound as beastly as I feel.
Where is she?
Who is she with?
The word trust thrusts itself upon me, along with all the old lectures I used to give her in the old days, as if I am her father not her jilted lover.
But once burned, trust doesn’t sooth the way it once did.
I see her face floating between the trees near the gravel driveway.
I see him with her, laughing.
I charge down the path and out into the open, panting like a panther – ready to strike.
“Oh, there you are,” she tells me. “You never met my brother, have you?”