It finally became too much. Not too much to bear, just too much to tolerate. Too much to process. Too much boastful self-absorption to willingly witness. And, so, you washed your hands of it. You rinsed off the sticky goo that accumulated over the course of your exposure to the pompous braggadocio and went on about your life. And then you realized how much fresher you felt, how much cleaner and smarter. You wondered how you could have put up with the constant chest-thumping, the smirks, and wave after wave after wave of deceit, acrimony, and contempt. But put up with it you did. Until you no longer could. And, so, it ended like a bag of concrete thrown from a thirty-story building hits the pavement below; with a loud thud, followed by absolute silence and a thick cloud of fictile dust.

That relationship lasted far too long. The fact that you tolerated it for years says as much about you as it says about her. More, in fact. You were more afraid of emptiness than you were of a clearly poisonous relationship. You collected those rare occasions when she made you feel like you mattered and you held them close, like they were rare diamonds to you. No matter that they usually were invisible , buried under mountains of disregard and abuse. At least they were something. It was better than emptiness. At least that’s what you thought.

The emptiness, when it came, was less painful than you expected. In fact, you treasured it more than those rare diamonds that, you discovered, were not real. They were paste jewelry, not even cubic zirconia. You were afraid the emptiness would be too much to take; that you would search for someone, anyone, to fill the void. But you were stronger than you thought. You didn’t rush into a relationship. You were more cautious than you expected to be. More discriminating. More concerned with happiness than with acceptance.

But, now, you have to make a decision. Is Cheyenna the right one? Will she complete you? Do you even need to be completed? If you don’t act now to bring her into your life permanently, will you regret it? If not Cheyenna, will there ever be another opportunity for you to fill that emptiness?


Glenn Namir’s conversation with himself took place while he shaved, looking in the bathroom mirror. The man in the mirror looked stronger and more sure of himself than he was. An attractive man in his late forties, he took care of his body and it showed. Though he had a slight build, his muscles were toned and firm. He did not display six-pack abs, but his mid-section was obviously solid, with very little flab. The silver streaks around his temples stood out against his coal-black hair, giving him a distinguished look.  Nothing about his appearance suggested a man in the throes of an emotional conversation about a potentially life-altering decision.

It was a conversation he could not have had with anyone else. He had no male friends with whom he was close. And the only female with whom he would have been able to talk to about it was Cheyenna. Obviously, he could not have the conversation with her. And, so, he silently talked to himself and listened to his self-recriminations. He sought his own advice, but he was loath to give it and even more reluctant to accept it.

[Too much like a soap opera. And not enough backstory that would explain his weakness in the relationship that ended with a thud. I do not like the guy. I do not know enough about Cheyenna to know whether she’s likeable. Do I need to know much about the chest-thumper? I get the sense that this scene, if it works at all, would work only after much work to set the stage for this crucial moment. Contrast, maybe, with Calypso. Or, maybe, Calypso is the only other male with whom he could share his doubts and concerns, etc. Or, scrap it. This might work as a B-roll telenovela.]

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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