We never really talked.
We never knew how to make ourselves happy, so we were never at home
. I saw so many similarities that i thought i owed myself to him. And then there was my urge to buck prophesy
, because when he says at the very beginning, "You will tire of me, and not love me any more," what can i say but No; never
? Is that the root? my hatred of predestination
I was so sure. I know, still, his head is teeming with colorful life. When we were apart we wrote letters, and this constitutes the mass of words we have exchanged, though now we have lived together for over two throttled years. Eventually i start to learn that this is something that i can't fix with kind words and duct tape, patience understanding food wood glue and time. He is locked away from me, and things are sometimes better but mostly worse.
He has the colors of a Carravaggio boy, and we are the same size, except that he is wiry and thin where i am round. His lips are beautiful, full and red. His anger, once you learn to see it, sits on his shoulder like a long-clawed parrot. He said i could draw him but he never sat still, and hated the sound of charcoal, and drank and drank. I stopped drawing. Sometimes he would sit on the porch talking on the phone, smoking, for hours. I wanted to eavesdrop so badly, because i knew if i asked, no matter how i asked, the only reply for me was Nothing, I don't know.
And so, and so,
"Because we can't talk, and because we once could write, and because i love you, i am sharing this book with you. Because you finally decided to go to ServiceNet and to get help, and to give it a try. I hope this works." April 1998
The intention was to give me a way to say in my best language (written) that i love him, because his bitter silence silences me in spoken word
s no matter what i compose to say. And for him, maybe, to start working through the tangle
s and fears that kept him from living at all. For him to (please please) let me know that i register as human. For me to (please please) teach him that he's not alone
. (we're all alone. we're not alone)
I wrote so many things, in all states, chipper, desperate, angry (even, me!), pleading, hopeful.. in different handwriting, different pens. Please respond. Mimicking Rich Mackin's letters, Please respond. No response. Not once. I know he reads it. I am learning different lessons that i never wanted: to be angry, to feel hostile, to cry. He apologises when i cry, but that doesn't help. He apologises for making me cry, always for the effect, never for the cause, which is the weight that has been building and the hole in me from which i have been handing him pieces of myself. Crying is just my way of collapsing, as a hiker might fall to rest on a log, unable to keep walking, winded after a climb, with more in view.
He went to the counselor at ServiceNet, sometimes i would pay the fee for him, he hated it. I told him like any voodoo
, it would only work if he tried to believe it would work. He couldn't believe that anything could ever be any better. They prescribed medication for him, which he took once. Once. I told him i couldn't live with him, and then backed down. I am so weak. He said it made him feel sick. I couldn't pity him, though that is the only thing he ever seems to want. He stopped seeing her after maybe a month, i don't know. It took me almost 6 months to arrange the appointment for him, talk him into try
His car ceases to work. It sits in the lot in the back, beautiful big and orange, impossible to ignore
, undealt with. Ice and then plants grow.
I don't know what happened in the meantime. Avoidance, dancing throughout the house. Anger toward the happy people. Constantly forgiving, and excusing, and muttering under my breath. I never really swore much, not ever before: it was a joke. It made it more dramatic when i did. But i would find myself unbidden repeating over and over
Fuck you ..., Fuck you ..., Fuck you ...
i worried myself. i kept my head down.
No responses. Some housemates move out and i win myself my own territory, i have my own room, the dance continues. I start to stop hoping. My hope is anorexic, barely kept alive.
There is a door
between our rooms. Somewhere in the time following the death of the car and the new room, i have started an affair with the worst possible person, no, the best. Absolute betrayal
, but it's easy to forget when nothing seems wrong, and there is a place where i feel i belong
. He doesn't even suspect. Or would i know if he did? The door remains open and i feel like i haven't gained much, except that all the walls are mine, though the air is his. I can feel him in it.
The household threatens to dissolve with graduations and migrations. Where will we go? I don't know. There is no discussion. Nothing. Everyone's plans are up in the air, except ours, which are embedded in stone. Opaque.
I have not written in the book for quite a while, since the conversation when he admitted that he coudn't care what other people felt. Can that be love? Since the conversation when he said he could talk to people, just not to me. Sometimes he is so fragile, damaged, and i melt. And i keep forgiving, again and again. Tired yet? I am fatigued. I don't know what to do.
In the introduction to Happy Birthday, Wanda June
recounts that his father once asked him why he doesn't have any villains in his books. I wish i could remember the wording of his reply, but it's obvious
, isn't it? There aren't any villain
s. Just people. "Less love, and more common decency
" There is no villain in this story, but certainly also no hero
This one you know, this one i noded. It's my simple rock-star lust at first sight
easy good tasty simple affair
. And i have no excuse
, i swing from bravado
d. How many lovers do i need? I can't afford to ask that now. Anyway, my camoflage
for this one is dazzle camo
- (learned that from Cruddy
, the term anyway). I'm blatant. Dan takes messages from him. It's almost horrible. I say, i'm going down the street to see the Drunk Stuntmen
. Then i don't come back. Or sometimes, when the time is running short, and i am claustrophobic, and tired, and desperate, i just leave. So i left, because he said he wanted to show me a Brothers Quay
video for His Name is Alive
's Are We Still Married?
(though he'd told me that none of my music annoyed him really
except HNIA - after 3 years, he told me) but then he started watching some other movie, and i was running out of time to get my stuff done
. I left, without saying anything.
I got home early, late, morning: my next contact with him is the book lying on my bed when i got home from work the next day.
5.11 If you decide to leave tonight without warning until the middle of the night , could you please leave some kind of note ( or clue ) If not , I guess I'll "see you" in a week or two. I'd love to actually share a bed with you once in a while . Just because I sleep in my room doesn't mean I don't want you around . After all , I leave the door open .
That video is in ( on ) the VCR It's rewound to the spot that I thought you might want to see . At least I finally wrote something in here
5-11 Yes you finally did. But i think it's too late. The door always open feels like surveillance, and my love for you has withdrawn to a more sheltered place. What can you expect? I will always be your friend but i can't handle being your girlfriend anymore, at least for now, at least for now until you find some territory inside yourself that you're willing to share. So, i'll be back soon and i'll see you tonight, but you're too late. Don't hate me.
I have to go out, i'm pressed for time, i can't wait around to tell it to his face. I am more or less unforgivable, and it takes some cheek
to ask for it. But i am also gleeful secretly - i am finally doing something. I think i exist.
I think really, it's not my problem
, maybe i'll live. And also, maybe he'll learn. Maybe he need to hit his own personal bottom before he ever ever learns to want it better. Maybe it's not my problem. I'm dying for somebody to tell to tell me to tell me i'm right. I'm all right. He'll be all right. OK
This was not the intention. I wanted it to help. That evening is intense, i just want to pack and sleep. I fly the next day.
7 pages of misery, suicidal, apology. So repetitive, but so familiar - take me back. I think of everything i've read about abusive
cycles. His dependence and my freedom, anorexic hope and holding breath and stalled life. I'm so sorry.
this IS unfinished.. "The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily.."