July 17, 1996
“Day after day, love turns gray
Like the skin of a dying man.
And night after night
We pretend it’s alright,
But I have grown older
and you have grown colder
and nothing is very much fun anymore.
I can feel one of my turns coming on.
I feel cold as a razor blade
Tight as a tourniquet
Dry as a funeral drum…”
OK, time for more nostalgia. While I’m feeling all maudlin, I thought I’d share some creative fiction I called a journal. We’ll begin at the beginning. . .
I wanted to begin my new journal with something witty and original, but nothing of the sort presented itself — not surprising, really. I decided to keep a written journal for a number of reasons: probably the main reason is for cathartic purposes. Everyone — and I am certainly no exception — needs a creative outlet for his energies; ergo rather than creatively murdering an undergrad, I chose a journal. The free flow of my thoughts, dreams, ideas in a physical, written form should precipitate a more careful, pensive style and provide that integral practice that every writer needs. There we are, non-reader, a number of excellent reasons.
Now I do not intend this testament of my all too prurient thoughts to ever be read — at least not during my lifetime. Goodness knows I have enough problems without the fallacious stigma of a young Humbert Humbert. Yes, while I am as twisted and neurotic as the Underground Man, I must appear to be as reasonable and pedantic as a Victorian narrator. That probably makes me sound Machiavellian, yet I must always assure myself that my motives are at the most altruistic and at the least benign. I truly want to be the best human that I can, but ironically it’s the people that I meet on a quotidian basis that have made my misanthropic predilections dominant over my beneficent ones. Therefore, this journal will more than likely be full of paranoid neuroses, mordant invectives, and scathing vituperations, rather than ebullient love for my fellow human creatures. I believe that it was Alexander Biely that called all human beings “spawn.” Yes, we are all just secret creatures waiting — lurking in the crepuscular shadows to pounce on the crippling misfortunes of our neighbors.
My my . . . I must learn control or my non-reader may think I have sociopathic — no! — psychopathic propensities. Well, perhaps I do, but the meteors of psychosis have left the surface of my sphere crater-free. This is good if I ever wish to get anywhere as a Machiavel.
OK, now I’m rambling in an attempt to demonstrate my erudition in a creative way. Well, I can’t fool myself. So far in my scholarly career I have written nothing of value; I have scored poorly on that odious test; and I will be lucky to ever have the venerable Ph.D. after my name. This prediction is based upon inarguable evidence: my past fuck-ups.
Yet, before I relive the past (there are many blank leaves in this book), I must celebrate this time of beginnings. I have this new writing project, not to mention my thesis, a new semester about to commence, and more eminent than that, my brother’s wedding on Saturday. Bart will finally marry his high school sweetie Samantha. I shall soon have a voluptuous sister-in-law — a blonde, firm, voluptuous sister-in-law who better never lose those looks, not having the mental prowess to “fall back on.” While I am happy for them, I cannot help but think of my own failed marriage. Read: miserably failed marriage. Speaking of psychos, Leigh turned out to be, well…
She had confided in me on our first date a la Chili’s that she had had an abortion in high school; she claimed rape — not that I question that. Though in the six years that I knew Leigh, we never discussed the situation, nor the bête noire that left the package precipitating the stretch marks on her breasts and stomach and the far deeper scar on her psyche. That experience ended her church-going days at Baptist World and began her “feminist education” at Manatee Community College.
I met her while she was still dating Ben — the whitest black guy I’d ever met who happened to be in my contemporary literature class. I t was a semester before I met her on a failed peregrination to a Star Trek convention to Marina Sirtis. I believe that my first thought was a particularly racist one: “How can this guy can get such a sweetie when I can’t?” I got over it and concentrated on my studies.
I never found out about her attraction that semester., but when Ben left for Florida State, Leigh quickly made her feelings known., beginning the four-year courtship that was to end in marriage on December 30, 1994. Less than six months later she became attracted to a bus boy where she worked (I still don’t know if they had sex) and began treating me as if I was subhuman, or demonic really. Apparently this guy is the son of a minister at — yes! — Baptist World who encouraged Leigh to begin attending again. She quickly rediscovered Jesus — an eidolon she ostensible never lost — and sounded my funeral knell. All this happened while I was vacationing in St. Louis with Jonesy.
It was hot day in May when I received my last modicum of affection from Leigh — I guess in a final guilt fuck. She never touched me again. Ironically the nouveau Christian showed no remorse, no compassion, no sympathy — she would have been happiest if I had I just died and went to hell. That way her responsibility would never have to be addressed. That’s probably how she had that abortion — just how she cut me out of her life.
She’s left me, Mr. Responsible, to take care of the divorce — something I have yet to do. It’s not that I have any delusions of reconciliation, but that I have much better things to do. She’s the one that fucked it up, so logically she should be the one to clean it up — that whole reap/sow thing.
What bugs me the most about this situation is the fact that we dated from the fall of 1990 until the winter of 1994 when we were married — that’s four years of a caring, loving, stimulating, passionate, affirming relationship that went sour in just five months of marriage. That’s what worries me about Bart and Sam — they’ve been dating since high school. Watch out, mon frere; they turn psycho overnight. I know Leigh’s turn wasn’t a random, quixotic phenomenon — there were reasons, but I’m afraid their enumeration shall patiently await a future evening.