I had about an hour to kill before Shabbat dinner, and I had updated my facebook pages, read the blogsites, checked the newsfeeds, adjusted the thermostat and had taken a little nap. I had not done any serious writing in awhile, and reflexively clicked on the word processor icon.
And there she was, casually sitting in the arm chair with her arms stretched along the back cushions, knees crossed ever so casually, looking like she had all the time in the world to listen to me.
“I saw you intently hunched over the keyboard, but no words were forthcoming. Do you care to talk about it?”
I think I knew where she was going with this, but I didn’t want to stick my neck out, and replied, “Keyboard? That wasn’t a keyboard. It is a controller for a sim.”
“Really? You were sure intent with it.”
I knew she had me, but I wasn’t going to act like I was unfaithful.
“It is just a game I’m playing.”
“You’ve been playing that ‘game’ for a week now, and you have hardly touched me.”
“It’s just a harmless simulation. A railroad simulation. I play a few games with the boys. Nothing serious.”
“Why don’t you just come out and admit it? You’ve found someone else.”
“It is just a fling. A toy. I don’t know what you are getting all upset about.”
“A fling? You have been out every night with your ‘toy’. You reek of diesel.”
“How can I reek of diesel, it is just a railroad simulation‽”
“You used to sit with me in the mornings while you drank your coffee. Some mornings stretched out into the entire day. But now, you spend your mornings with ‘it’.”
“I work the Bakersfield yard in the morning, getting trains ready for the other members. It is important to them, and I committed to it.”
“You used to be committed to me!”
I reached out to comfort her, saying, “Aw baby. I’ll never leave you. Things are just a little hectic now. I’ll be back with you in no time!”
“Don’t touch me!”
This wasn’t working. Maybe I should go on the offense, and gaslight[i] her. “Besides, you haven’t been all that responsive yourself lately! Maybe if you made yourself more attractive and tried to help with the flow of things, I would be spending all my time playing a computer simulation!”
“Oh! Now you are going to blame me for your roving eye! Oh no you don’t mister “engineer”. Well, from now on let’s just see how you get along without me!”
I should have felt bad about chipping on her, but all I could think about was now I have all the time I want to play on the sim.
gerund or present participle: gaslighting
- manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
“in the first episode, Karen Valentine is being gaslighted by her husband”