Emotional Preparations for the Worst
by R.C. Carpenter

You are comfortable; you're whole.
With me, you have what you need.
But people tell you you need more-
you need "complete",
you need "perfect."
You look because you need to.
Because what are you missing?
Is "complete" and "perfect" passing you by
because you were too comfortable to be looking?

So you look, even though you may never find
this complete perfection
that everyone says you need to be happy.
You may look forever
and only on your deathbed realize
you had everything already.
You may look
and you may think you find it,
and on your wedding bed realize
you already had this in another form.

And what makes this time different?
What makes this one better,
more complete,
more perfect?
What makes me less?
I've been everything for you;
I've played all the parts.
And none of them seem to be what you want.

But I know you,
and I know what draws you.
I know you'll just end up with another me,
though maybe one that fits
their body a little better.
Maybe someone who isn't such a bitch,
or doesn't dislike people so easily,
or feels good about their body
enough to take care of it.
Maybe you'll find that perfectly complete
that you're looking for.

And maybe you'll push me away.
Even though you're the one who says
"I still want this."
I'll never change how I feel,
but I know you will.
And that's what makes me angry.
That's what makes me hate
the thought of you searching.
Because you don't want what we have to change,
but if you find someone,
even for a little while,
who you think is more perfect
and more complete than I am,
I hear your voice in my head
as I go to give you a hug...

I hear you say
"I'm not comfortable with this anymore."
And I see the disdain in your eyes
as those words crush me.
But I already knew they were coming.
Still they'll crush me.
And I'll probably explode.
I'll probably throw everything in your face,
including how I knew
how you were going to be the one to change
long before I ever would have
the chance to become uncomfortable with it myself.

And you'd be mad,
mad that I thought you'd change,
but I'd also be right.
Because there you are,
in my mind's eye,
staring at me
as though I'm the most
little worm
you've ever had the unpleasantness of encountering.

I'd have to turn you away then.
In that moment that I can see
when you find that person
who you think completes things and is perfect.

I can see into the future,
and I can see how no one will ever
live up to your high standards,
and how some day they'll be just like me,
standing with that hurt look in their eyes
as you reject them,
and ultimately.

The day you say you're not comfortable
with the very thing you've told me
you still want to have between us,
the very thing you were so worried
you'd lose because we were no longer together,
is the day I won't bother you
with my desire to hold you.

I'll build up my walls for you once more.
I won't smile for you.
I won't laugh for you.
I won't pine for you.
I won't try to hold your hand
or kiss your cheek
or hug you goodbye.
I'll be just the way you want me to be:
and truly rejected.