The malady of an apology

I find it troubling when you nonchalantly abuse the word “sorry” to wipe a tear. That word is simply too inadequate to assuage the sting of your unkind, often condescending barbs. Yes, I want to give you the silent treatment. Yes, I want to shed a few more tears until the heart begins to feel lighter. Yes, I want to get on the terrace and scream until my lungs get hoarse and I can cry no more. It’s bad enough that one of us is already hurting. You don’t have to go ruin it further by being all dramatic about it. Let me and my tears be.

You probably call it self-destructive. I call it catharsis. And your apology has little role to play in it.

You cannot equate the act of hurting me with keeping someone waiting on a telephone line. Yet, your sorry does just that. This pains me more. I’d rather you never use that word with me. Will save us both a lot of heartache and reduce the stress on your vocal chords.

Your act façade of tendering an apology, however sincere, diminishes the legitimate nature of this ache within me. It brings to the surface latent violent tendencies reserved for fighting skeletons in the closet.

I wish you’d treat with me a little more care.



  1. Yan Zhitui

    “I don’t apologize for things, because I’ve no right to expect you or anyone to accept anything I do or say – but I can always explain what I do or say. There is no sense in apologizing, because nothing is ultimately defensible. But a man can act coherently, he can act in ways that he can explain, if he wants to.”

    “Joe Morgan” in John Barth’s The End of the Road (1958)

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