Being overcome by what he cannot exactly say, Ben put the blame for his previous allegiance to the bottle on his former flame. His previous allegiance to the bottle started off rather casually and without incident. But over time, the relationship became a very strong one. He simply yielded the cooperation of his members from the first time he perceived the enchanting aroma evinced by the contents of the bottle.
Yet instead of accepting full responsibility for following the bottle where it led, he tried to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of his former flame.
He did not anticipate the measure or quality of pushback that would follow the costly barb thrown at his former flame. This pushback compelled him to more painstakingly and dispassionately review the incident, especially his role. This review let him yield to contrition as its waves beat heavily on his heart. Before he could articulate to himself a satisfactory measure of regret over his poorly thought-out statement, his heart melted and the tears flowed. The more the tears flowed, the more he could see into his own soul, and discover who originally owned the blame. That which he blamed on his former flame was every whit his own creation and handiwork.
The tears continued to flow when through the ritual, he could not identify anything, in his view, which would satisfyingly wash off from his former flame, the pain he had so casually inflicted on her.