I’ve seen people visibly show their disgust at people who cheat, but there’s a difference between being a cheater and cheating, never mind the fact that one is a noun and the other is a verb. Understanding the reason why attached women and men do what they want with another person that isn’t their loved one is really simple, actually. Everyone has voids, and even when a relationship is perfect–they have filled the gaps that traditionally is enough to carry a relationship–people realize the voids. Nobody wants to feel voids, so they fill it with somebody.

Let’s say that a woman doesn’t feel beautiful anymore with her husband. He doesn’t notice when she changes her hair (c’mon, guys, that’s a sure sign a woman wants something to be noticed or changed). Or say that a man wishes his girlfriend was around more often. Both the married woman and the boyfriend have needs to continue the relationship, whether it’s something as fleeting as asking, “Your hair looks good”, or having the person around more often so they can be in sight, not out of mind.

Filling the gaps with other people seems equal to cheating, but when you look at it as part of human nature, who is a cheater and who is just cheating? Is a cheater a person who needs something that her oblivious husband won’t give and she finds what she’s looking for in another man once? Or is it seen as cheating–even just flirting with another woman because she’s closer–make that person a seeker?

Or maybe it just depends on the gender? It’s societal, and not a card I want to play right now.

Looking at “cheat” as an individual word can make all the difference, forget the gender banter. To be a cheater, man or woman, means that the person was attached and went to another person for something, mostly sexual, but something nonetheless. The unfortunate circumstance of the term “cheater” is that there is no past nor present tense on the term. A person could have a one-night detour from their partner, and the term can be stuck to them for as long as they live. Cheating, however, has a tense: present-progressive. It means that a person who is cheating is currently cheating. No past tense. Instead, “cheating” can imply future cheating–let’s not forget the “progressive” part of “present-progressive”.

At the end of the day, when people say this man or that woman is a cheater, they must accept the fact that people make mistakes. Although we, as humans, try to fill the needs within every person born into this world, we can’t and I don’t think we want to. So, as long as we are human and we are imperfect, cheating will continue.


My Life as a Machine: Reincarnated Machine

Since realizing how much of a machine I really am, I hardly looked at men anymore. Not since I pulled down a dark shade over my love life two years ago. Somehow, everything that happened two years ago seems like ages ago, and as the year lengthens, I realize that time is only but a strand that never ends. I can’t cut it. I can only rely on it being a constant, even when time decides to stand still in moments of desperation.

I was a jerk those two years ago, still fighting the machinery inside of my body. I was engaged and I loved the person I was with, but there were so many skeletons in my closet and baggage at my feet, I made some sufferable mistakes. I fell for our mutual best friend. He loved me, too, and I immediately broke things off with the man who stood by me through thick and thin.

Then, my conscience kicked in, and I just couldn’t choose. I made even more mistakes; I bounced between both men, trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Of course, I lied, I deceived, and I even went into denial.

But in the end, I broke things off with both men. Still, I tried to redeem myself with my ex-fiance, and I let him use me in ways that I thought would help ease the pain. He discarded quickly after grabbing ahold of another girl’s hand, and I struggled to keep myself afloat in the midst of my despair. I even told my lover to take a hike, we couldn’t be in love anymore. It wasn’t right. As soon as he found a girl who wasn’t me, he also threw me away.

Not that I blame them. I was the common denominator. After all of the drama, I was standing by myself. I suffered inwardly, and it began to show outwardly. My weight decreased exponentially, and I hardly noticed.

One morning, when I aroused from my sleep, my mother snapped awake and she groggily presented me with a granola bar. It was her way of saying–at 6 in the morning–that I was becoming a stick. In sharing a room with my mother, it was unavoidable. My ribs were starting to show and my athletic body was beginning to decay.

At work, one of my co-workers repeated my mother’s granola-bar presentation, but she was wide-awake and smiling. “Girl,” she drawled rather loudly as she held out the bars to me, “you’re getting too skinny! Eat some food!” Not that I was complaining, I loved granola bars, but I felt myself slipping into this void, and I couldn’t hear what anyone said to me.

I merely nodded, smiled, and went on with my day.

Of course, my co-worker, whom happened to be my boss’s boss, was also a friend, and the months that my curves simply disappeared, she persisted in proffering food and snacks to me. I knew she cared–I knew everyone cared–but the problem was that I didn’t care.

An epiphany came to me one day, and I yanked it into my mind with a vengeance. I needed to love myself, I realized, or else, this could happen again. I could push somebody away again. I could hurt somebody deeper than any cut, any slit, any sever. I could murder someone without blood by doing this again.

So I started to turn myself. As a machine, turning was easy. It was holding oneself from returning to the original state that was difficult. There weren’t any secret ones and zeroes to do it. I just had to program myself to re-screw some loosened nuts and bolts in my mind and in my heart.

It took more than a year to return to my original figure. The sadness inside of my body dissipated, and I found myself laughing and happy all over again. I never forgot what I had done, but I learned from it. I found the courage to date again, and surprisingly, people loved me for me, even though I was a machine. It wasn’t so bad, I thought, and I didn’t mind being alone. I was alone for over a year, and fine with it. Maybe it was another machine I was waiting for, who knows?