The Red Switch (This is for you)
Based on my parents accounts I was the kind of toddler who loved books and learning new things. Even more so, I loved breaking my toys and tryna put them back together again. A curious child always wanting to know how things worked the way they did and what happens if…I can still see the scar on my hand which I got when I was 5 because I wanted to understand how the light bulb in my mothers bedside lamp worked. I knew it would burn me if it was on and wouldn’t if it was off. But I wanted to know if it would get hot if I turned it on and off several times.
So I stood in front of my mothers bedside table for what seemed to be hours turning the light on and off, then feeling it with the underside of my hand (clearly I’d already figured out my palm wasn’t a brilliant indicator of temperature and I’d seen my mother test my baby sisters milk with the underside of her hand). Anyway, I did this forever and the bulb kept getting warmer but I still wouldn’t stop. I kept going until eventually I burned my hand. I have obviously carried this curiosity about how things work and how they can be fixed when broken into my adult life. I study and work in a field that constantly questions how things work, sometimes to the point of breaking or destroying them to see what happens.
The complexity of it all excites me. The journey of figuring things out is what drives me.
My “what if…” nature has also been detrimental to my relationships. I have never been content with being content. There’s no certainty in that. Certainty comes from knowing that you have tested every variable and know what the outcome will be when each variable is perturbed. That’s probably why I tested every relationship I was in. I wanted to know how easily it would crumble and whether it was worth fixing. At some point I only dated broken and tortured souls, because I was sure that everything could be fixed it was just a matter of figuring out how; and how always meant testing another variable, trying another switch.
Many of them crumbled too easily and that’s why ,until you, I hadn’t had a relationship that lasted longer than a few months. Surely if it crumbles easily it’s too boring and not complex enough to feed my inquisitiveness?
That was until you.
For years I was content with being content.
You didn’t crumble when I’d poke and prod. In fact you fed my thirst for complexity. And I was happy. I truly was. So much so I stopped poking. And then a moment I can’t be exactly sure of happened. I pushed the red button and you crumbled. Then I tested you again and again and you crumbled. Then I wanted to know how to fix you, put you back together again because it was my fault you crumbled. I had pushed the button, but you wouldn’t let me. You won’t let me. Like that light bulb after switching you on and off and on and off again, you finally burnt me.
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