The relationship had hit a rocky patch, albeit describing it as such would actually understate the manner in which our relationship has progressed as of late. It would be more accurate to describe it as a series of peaks and troughs. The devaluation began and the unpleasant behaviour has worsened. There have been peaks when we granted you respite from the denigration and abuse, the brief reinstatement of the golden period, before you were plunged once again into another trough of bewildering and upsetting treatment. Each descent seemed steeper and harsher than the preceding one. You hung in there, clinging on to the prospect of another glimpse of the golden period. Perhaps this time you would be able to hold onto it? After all, you must be doing something correctly mustn’t you if you can get the golden period to return? If only you could work out what was necessary to cause it to return and then for it to remain, then everything would be wonderful again. It is this eternal hope, which we rely on and that we stoke, which causes you to hold on even whilst you are being spun around, pushed and pulled and driven to despair.
This tumultuous period has persisted and then suddenly we have gone. We did not return when you expected us. The repeated telephone calls you have made have resulted in a ringtone but nobody answers. You have left repeated voicemail messages and you have sent numerous text messages, each with mounting desperation, begging and pleading for us to get in touch. You have called friends who have not been unable to assist in locating us. You even called the local police and hospital to ascertain if we had been arrested or we were being treated following a fall or a road accident, but those enquiries have drawn a blank as well. You have checked our online presence and there is nothing that shows any activity there since we disappeared. Messages do not even show as read. There is no indicator of us being online for over twenty hours now. It is as if we have vanished from the face of the earth.
People may regard this as the discard. This moment when we just cease all contact with you and disappear. It certainly feels like you have been discarded. As the hours turn into days and you still have heard nothing, you feel like we have just gone elsewhere without caring about telling you, providing you with some kind of explanation or even being concerned about the effect this disappearing act has had on you. Although this sudden cessation by our kind has gained popular description as the discard, a more accurate way of describing it would be to call it the pause.
This is because although we have vanished and we give the appearance of having ended the relationship, in our minds it has not ended. I have mentioned before that from the moment you are engaged by us, you have accepted an unwritten contract that you will be bound to us, in some way, until one of us dies. The nature of this binding, this connection will vary dependent on the various stages of the relationship. During seduction we will have many tendrils wrapped around you as we bind you tight to us and this continues during the golden period. The tendrils will unravel and then tighten again during the devaluation stage and then nearly all will release you when the “discard” occurs. You may not see us, you may not hear from us, you may have no contact at all with us, but in our mind there still remains some tendrils between us. A handful may still remain for the purpose of gathering fuel. Even though we cannot see your desperation and your despair, we know that this is what you will be experiencing and this provides us with fuel. Accordingly, there remains an intangible connection between us still. Even when those fuel tendrils loosen, it remains the case that there will be at least one left which will remain for however long is necessary before more tendrils come looking for you again as we unpause the hiatus and hoover you.
Accordingly, it may appear that we have discarded you but that is not actually the case. We have pressed pause so that we can halt that relationship. At some point we will return and press play again. You may have moved on in terms of your life, trying to heal and to piece things together again. We regard the relationship just as it was before we disappeared. That is why we often behave like nothing has happened. When we do re-appear we display an astonishing tendency to carry on as normal, as if the hiatus of months, maybe even years, did not actual happen. This is because from our perspective there has been no hiatus. We paused our dealings with you and now they can continue. Whatever else has gone on in between is irrelevant and does not need to be discussed. This capacity to behave in such a manner leaves you bewildered and amazed but this is entirely how we regard matters when we do such a disappearing act. All we have done is press pause and you are expected to be ready and waiting for when we come back and press play again.
So where do we go when this happens? The simple answer is that something shinier, brighter and more interesting has gained our attention. Just like how a child can be playing with building bricks and then when a toy with noises and flashing lights is waved under his or her nose, the child wants the new toy and immediately forgets about the reliable building bricks, we are the same. We will have been cultivating and courting this new toy and when we deem that it is superior to you we want to play with it all the time. We do not want to play with you anymore. When we seduced you, we made you feel like nothing else in the world mattered and you were the centre of our universe. This is now happening with your replacement. This more effective appliance has been chosen over you and in order to ensure that the seduction is totally effective and the fuel is obtained in huge amounts all attention must be focused on the new arrival. We will have moved between the two of you for a period of time (although you may not know this was happening) as we evaluated the prospects of the positive fuel from them against the continuing negative fuel from you. We enjoy receiving both but then the decision is made that the positive is going to be in copious amounts and therefore we switch to wanting this all the time and you are forgotten about, although not forever.
When this pause happens we will be concentrating on the new primary source of fuel that we have selected. The seduction had already begun. This is now the golden period for us and her. Just like the one you had. For this to continue the binding and the fuel provision all our efforts must be concentrated on her and not you. All resources are shifted to this front and you are forgotten about. It seems as if you never existed but we have not pressed stop. You do not get away that easily. We pressed pause so that you were shunted to one side so we could ensure that nothing got in the way of the coupling up with the new appliance. We will be taking them to places, whisking them away, spending lots of time at their house, just as we once did with you. That is where we have gone to. We have gone to someone else and have done it with the intensity and totality as we once did with you.
Do not despair however. We will be back to press play again. When might that be? You will be given no clue but the temptation of fresh hoover fuel will mean that pause becomes play, although it is more likely to feel like rewind to you as it all starts again.