The Gift of Love, Eventually
by Tony Noland
I gave you my favorite book, the one that opened my eyes and helped me to see the passions behind the hard metallic surfaces people show the world.
You hated it. You called it trite, simplistic, throwaway fluff.
I gave you my favorite painting, the jewel of a glossy gallery showbook that presented and discussed the genius of his age, the one who used slantings of light and shadings of color to make empty streets full of promise, empty fields full of sunlight, empty rooms full of laughter.
You hated it. You called it cartoonish, vacant, kindergarten crap.
I gave you my favorite movie, the one that made me cry in the theater, the one I bought on VHS, on DVD and again on Blu-Ray, the one that starred me as I might have been, could have been, should have been.
You hated it. You called it plodding, morose, escapist fantasy.
I played you my favorite song, cooked you my favorite meal, took you to my favorite place.
All of these I gave you, and all of these were the same worthless shit in your eyes.
I know now that it's time for me to stop running from the truth.
What is the truth?
The truth is...
The truth has nothing to do with my book, my painting, my movie or anything else that I have taken up and called my own.
The truth is that you weren't reacting to them, seeing them, passing judgement on them.
You were reacting to me. Seeing me. And, as I must now accept, passing judgement on me.
And so, I will stop making this about me and I will give you what you want.
This year, when I give you a three dollar card from the aspirin and magazine aisle at the supermarket and a five dollar "World's Greatest Dad" mug, will you know that I have surrendered? That you have, at last, won?
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