I want to call L. so badly, I miss her so much. Do I call her now and satisfy my desire to hear her voice, or wait a while and let her reach out to me first?
You bastard, what you did to her comes down to this—in her mind, every day, she walks on point. There is a damned deep hole, cleverly camouflaged, that lies somewhere in the shadows that play across the jungle floor. She and her troops call it “love”. At the bottom of the pit are sharpened bamboo spikes arrayed irregularly every which way—they call this “trust”. It is said that even if the spikes don’t kill you instantly, you will never see the light of day again.
Yesterday I talked to your granddaughter on the phone, and I could hear in her voice that after a week or so of affection and closeness, she has dropped into that ugly space where my love for her, her desire to be close to me, and the reality that I carry a penis around in my pants, brings to her mind that pit in the jungle. I become an overnight pariah. I made the conscious, mostly selfish, decision to cancel a “date” we had made to go to a club with some other friends.
Wherever you are, I doubt that you care that she is winning in spite of all the pain, that she is beating you and your perversity at every turn. To care, you would have had to consistently want the best of everything for your granddaughter. Or conversely, actively desired her complete destruction. But you were too cowardly, to fucking lame to do either. You could have just gone out and fucked a grown, consenting woman—or worse, taken one against her will. But that would have entailed too much risk. Much easier to screw e a child who adored you, who trusted you without reservation. I supposed it made it easier to do the deed if you could convince yourself that in some way the poison you poured into her heart was a byproduct of your grandfatherly love.
You struck a killing blow and you left her for dead, but you missed her heart. She hid it in a score of places where you could never find it again.
One of the hardest lessons in life is that sugar and shit are always found in the same bag. There is not a man alive who has not discovered that he can become sexually aroused at very inopportune moments in response to intense feelings of closeness and affection—a crude attempt at translation by the reptilian brain. That brain has limited perspective and appreciation—the only viable possibilities it recognizes are 1) can we kill it and/or eat it, 2) should we fear it and run from it, or 3) shall we fuck it. Like victims of rape who are mortified when their bodies respond with desire, men with any character at all suffer greatly at those moments until they realize that their bodies are capable of acting independently from them and betraying their highest sensibilities.
Blandly evil men (and women) just say, “What the hell, I’ll follow your lead. It’s her fault after all.” When the amount of shit is overwhelmingly greater than the amount of sugar in the bag, you get what shrinks euphemistically refer to as “polymorphic perversity”—the ability of nonhumans to use any object or person in the environment to “satisfy” their most basic desires.
After you treated your granddaughter like your own secret marital aid, I’ll bet you went right back to smiling in your wife’s face, you went right back to bouncing this ruined little girl on your lap--giving her candy, stroking her hair. Unbeknownst to you, and luckily for me and the other people she went on to love and cherish, nobody was at home.
She has carried on a three-decades-long exorcism. But now she is working her way through the paradox of shit and sugar in the same bag. My honor and my curse is that the bag she searches through relentlessly is mine. Sometimes I despair that the searching will ever end, or worse, that I will be found lacking. Sitting in a restaurant reading this morning, trying to ignore the pain of denying myself contact with her, I looked up and across the room. I caught the eye of a little girl sitting in a high chair, enjoying a morning out with her grandparents and big sister. Her brow was smooth, her thin blonde hair pulled together in a samurai's topknot. She looked me straight in the eye, smiled the widest of gap-toothed smiles, and waved to me like a madwoman, her little heart bursting without boundaries or limitation. She reminds me why I love L. so much.
I will wait a really long time just to see that smile again.