To: The Boss
Date: August 3
I thought I could protect myself against such entanglements, but it’s obvious I can’t. Didn’t really like this Lizard Lady, not at first. I’ve admitted that often enough. Never could marry her. But I cannot understand how she’s convinced herself she’s in love with Noah. Of course, she’d thought herself in love with me, too. I cannot tell her that’s not where it’s at, that she’s not ready to settle down in a small town and raise kids. Shit, she’s from the Queens and the Grand Funk Opera. Admittedly, he may be “stable” now and she may have changed him. So he’s doing Ivy League graduate work in Business Administration. Maybe he will even “make something of himself,” as she says, perhaps implying something about my own present flotation. That’s even after the slurs, against me and against the Pawnee Express, as she senses it. But how can I tell her nobody evers really escapes into love? Her confusion cannot be resolved by running away with somebody else. Especially somebody as rickety as Noah, whose letters are those of someone in love with love itself. I’ve been there before. I’ve written those letters when my own relationship was crumbling, when I’d thought my presence was insufficient to my dying love. That’s when you resort to the old “I can’t live without you, you’re my very life” formula, as honest and original as it may seem at the time. She wanted security. I refused to promise her that – commitment, yes, but dishonesty, no. How the hell should I know where my life’s going these days? You’ve been teaching me to live one day at a time, for sure. Yes, she’s inviting trouble. All of this means I’m down, for a while, unable to tell her what is coming upon her. She says she’ll finish college, get her teaching certificate, but she’s really so undisciplined. Too wound up to savor the moment. In bed she would rather feel guilt than delight. Nevertheless, she’s still anxious to take off her clothes and climb in with me. Wants me to rape her, which it can’t be when she’s all so willing. But it’s an obvious game. She wants me to see a shrink. She has two and their advice often contradicts, which is exactly what she wants. That way she doesn’t have to follow either. Most of the time she’s so uptight she can’t open to anyone. She projects her doubts about herself onto me. She loves to mess up my mind and more.
Then she confessed everything to Noah. Her relationship with him upsets me, anyway. So he beat her up. It made her feel better, she claims. It relieved his tension and her feelings of guilt. Then they slept together. Of course.
She wants to be friends, listen to opera together, but somehow I don’t feel that way. She’d talk about Noah; I won’t want to hear it. Empty lives united are still empty lives. Doesn’t she see that in her sister’s life? Certainly she admits hating her brother-in-law because he jumped her once. She condemns them both for their emptiness, yet desires the same situation.
What the hell am I doing here?
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