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Twenty-Ninth Sitting

Monday, Sept. 20, 1982: Dear diary: I woke up today and had I had breakfast and the DOGS were jumping around the apartment and they wanted my breakfast but I said no because I like breakfast so we gave them some licorice instead and She tried teaching them to lay down and Duke did and Coyote did but Sonny and Teddy Bear are too dumb and Sugar Dee just kept jumping and licking my face. She's so cute and small and fast! I like her! And I like Coyote too because he's so cool and Duke's swell too except he's fat but he's Her favorite one anyway which is why She gave him more licorice than anybody. And I think Louie's gotten lost because I heard Zelma yelling around for him/her/it during the night. There's a new dog too and he was barking all night until Zelma went out and did something with him. I saw him this morning. He's white and big. She took me to make pots last night and I got all frustrated because I couldn't do anything and I didn't complain but She was mad at me for having such a bad aditude but I din't and I wanna go back sometime even though it was kind of like putting up insulation. So She was mad at me and wouldn't talk to me much last night until we talked about it and I said that She disguraged me when She said my pot was crummy just because it wasn't round but I liked it and when I tried to do it Her way I couldn't and so I felt inadaquate. So then we talked about work and She said She had a work ethick and thought that you should keep a good aditude in bad situations and should always apply yourself, but I said that work's only good if its for some actual good result and I hadn't gotten to the point where I understood why someone would really love pottery because its just pots, so I couldn't have a good aditude, but I wanted one because She loves pottery and I love Her and want to understand Her, understand? So maybe I'll go back but She won't go with me because She says I sucked out all Her enthusiasum. So we know that we're different now because Her dad made Her stack wood for hours and hours when She was a kid and She thinks there are lots of things like that that you have to do, but I think the only haves come from wanting to do something, or wanting something that requiers you to do that thing. So I would have a good aditude and work and work and work if I made a project mine, even if it was boring, if I did it because it was part of a job or life I really wanted, or because someone I cared about wanted it. So I would be good if I did pottery again because I care about caring about it because I care about her, even if She doesn't care if I care about it or not, which she says she doesn't. Besides the spinning wheel thing is cool even if you do have to kick it and I liked molding the clay even though it was doing bad things in my hands. So She accepted the thing about work not being good unless its for a good thing, but its not internalized. We made up and She said She was being silly because She always holds grudges about little things because She doesn't say anything at the time, but I do and I scream and yell and then don't worry about it anymore. So I said She better talk to me because if we didn't communicate there would be no point and She said yes and We hugged and We went to sleep.

***

Thank you, thank you. I can write like an eleven-year-old, yes, though not like I wrote when I was eleven, which frankly wasn't very different from the way I write now except that I used punctuation correctly back then. I am very seriously considering including in this manuscript some or all of a short story I wrote when I actually was eleven, to demonstrate the progression in style. Since I haven't had to write much narrative prose since then, there hasn't been much progression... lots of characters name-dropped but never developed, an inability to make setting descriptions flow naturally with the plot (or be included at all), etc. Maybe if it's thematically appropriate...

Don't think all my self-ripping means that I don't like this book, that I should just give it up and move on. My relationship with La Buch is shaky, yes, but I think still viable. She keeps me from loneliness; she gives me a sense of accomplishment. Yes, the book and I do love each other, and even if that isn't enough to sustain a relationship, it makes us have to try.

In this spirit, I'm actually reading earlier parts of the book (`round sitting fifteen) to figure out what I still need to explain in terms of exposition to put you at the same level of cluelessness that I am as to how this thing's going to turn out. I mean, I've used some hefty foreshadowing here, more than one conclusion of "something's got to give," but this isn't actually foreshadowing, as I am as ignorant as you, but rather reflects the daily tension/ insanity wanna-be that builds up every day and needs somehow to be dissipated/sublimated, whether through writing a new song with lots of heavy (though vague) lust images, engaging in passionate massage (yes, I will discuss this before too long, erotica fans), or just talking for several hours until it becomes re-obvious that She likes me a lot a lot. I realize this is sort of an unhealthy habit, and I might soon invent some character (Capitán Terapíste, perhaps) to come in and give us healthful tips about alternative coping strategies. All this morning (9/21/93) on Today.

There. I have read many early parts of this book ("What was I thinking?"), and inserted the last sentence or "answer" at the end of sitting thirteen. Go back and look if you don't believe me, then lose your place and flip through pages for hours trying to find it again ("Did I read about hacking phlegm yet?" The answer is "no.") That'll teach you to doubt me, yes! (I hope that sentences like that look like bad translations from other languages. I hope this because hoping is coping and so good. Nyah.) I have thought of a defense mechanism to make this book appear better, i.e. more responsible in performing its assigned duties. The fact that I lack the ability to present a longish narrative painting, that I must tell-not-show, is good, because it means I'm not deceiving you, not trying to bamboozle you into believing my "many-less-than-the-available-total"-sided account is actually true. I mean, I wish you were here to see and think what I am seeing and thinking (though I would be forced to beat on you if this were the case), but you're not, so all I can do is send postcards (very long postcards, all the better to beat on you in effigy, yes!).

So I'm going to just tell-not-even-try-to-show you some of the rest of the exposition, like as if you were my friend and I was trying to make you understand why I'm doing these things that appear to be (further) messing up my life. You see, my account of the problem of the Damaged was never resolved: if Someone isn't holding His end of a relationship (by, say, acting in the habits and traditions of a dead fish), and doesn't seem likely to recover any time soon, should He be dumped to recover alone? I have been so dumped in the past (more than once actually, but for the purposes of this book all the bad elements of all my past relationships will be combined with literary aplomb and the bitterness of reflection into one big referent of evil), and was pretty darn emotionally scarred by it (These are the kind of scars that do not "suggest a continuous band" [see chap. 16], but rather traumatically replace key members every album like the infamous "John Denver and the Funky Bunch"), but in retrospect I guess it was the best thing, certainly better than the complete waste of my youthful energy and the century-long drift towards a miserable marriage and a messy divorce that constituted the major alternative. The question remains: would I do the same to someone I cared about? Would I run `till I could no longer smell her gradual, heinous decay? Strangely enough, probably not... not like it was done to me. What offended me about my dumpage was that I had no say in it; I was not given the opportunity to thoroughly realize that I and X-She were totally unhealthy for each other and so would be wise to be slicing away at the ties between us -- but slowly! No... for me my past went from dandy to dead in less than a week. She, unlike X-She (anti-She), being the light of my life, is not so barbaric... She isn't even willing to admit that He (the placeholder of X-Me) is irreparable, that She's not His cure, until it's obvious enough for both of them to see it.

She's also not too keen on the inhuman idea of scrapping the damaged model in favor of a shiny new one (Yes, I do shine myself... via buffing sessions many times per day; toxic chemicals are our friends!), which also happened to me and made me mighty resentful. So She wants to deal with Him in isolation, to make or break that relationship on its own terms, before I even enter the picture. She has pledged to uphold this ideal, and as it seems wonderfully civilized and in accord with all that I had wished upon myself before, I have agreed, at least on a conscious level... It's much better if We get to know each other as people, as friends, anyway, and not as bearers of heavy relationship-responsibilities like reminding each other to floss, right? RIGHT? Hmmm...

So why oh why did She ask me here, when I would obviously destroy any objectivity She might have towards Their relationship? I do think that that does require a few more flashbacks if you don't mind, but later... I shouldn't work up my phone bill this much. Why don't you call me in about an hour after the rates go down in your time zone, okay?

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]