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I recently noticed, this summer, that when I took my dog out for her midday walks to relieve herself that upon doing her business, and no sooner than I retrieved a baggy to scoop her poop that the stench of her business began to attract this small swarm of flies.  This is no anomaly as I have witnessed this dance on several occasions, however the swiftness of attraction to this stench was quite shocking.  No soon as the stench hit air there were already hungry, blood thirsty, flies coming to feast on the delicacy, bleed it dry and then move on.

The occurrence with my pooch reminded me of a conversation I had with a girlfriend regarding the earful she heard when her grandmother was dropping some knowledge to her younger, female, relative.  To paraphrase grandmother, she simply explained that women who continue to date (or something like date) unavailable men whether these men are unavailable emotionally, socially, or otherwise, will never be married…if marriage is the goal.  These women have a stench of desperation on them that alerts a certain type of man to their presence.  These are the women who will accept anything and ultimately bend in order to keep (any kind of) a man in her life no matter the circumstances-albeit cheaters, liars, etc.  These men, as soon as her stench wafts in their direction will swarm swiftly, feast assiduously, bleed emotionally, and move on to someone else.  Like flies to fresh shit.

I have to be honest with myself because as I grow within my own honestly I find it to be quite therapeutic.  I, like so many women, have played the fiddle of a fool and danced to the scratched tune of a man who I thought loved me immensely, but have come to realize that I may have been giving off this stench.

For the last three years (more like 3 ½ years), while doe eyed and clinging to the HOPE of love-the familiar of arms wrapped tightly around my breast and sweet breath tickling the hairs of my neck as we lay quietly sleeping in HIS bed dressed in MY sheets-he inhaled the stench of my desperation while secretly loving someone else.  For three years as our rollercoaster went through its swift hitches and steep drops, our side-rolls and backwards turns in carts with no safety rails or seat belts, and while always finding us pulling into one another’s arms-as if there had been no sign of turbulence-he was sailing, in calm waters, and looking to the horizon with someone else.  For three years as my heart inflated and deflated at the weight of our actions, from loving to shunning, to growing in love and out of it (to in it and out of it all over again), to hating and learning all over again how to smile in a direction tainted with the bitter taste of hurt, he was secretly becoming engaged to someone else.  He fed.  He drained.  He moved on.

This is no anomaly.

I have had to sit in my truth and question my own self worth at the weight of the words spilling out to me from my friend’s mouth, which were tattered at the corner of every vowel with the sign of age and wisdom.  Am I giving off such a stench?  Is this the reason why my love for him had not been good enough to sustain US?  My inner voice screamed, “Yes…you stink of a woman who is only worth a piece of a man, and he smelled you coming from a mile away.”  The depth of this knowledge was nearly worth the sacrifice of the pain I endured; as he was only willing to provide me with 10% of himself, and as I provided a whole me, he maintained his level of comfort-swarming, feasting and draining.

Damn!  I need a shower.