Thinking difficult thoughts this morning. Do you wonder why I sob? How is it that one can be happy with someone for 20 years, then not. I read a short short story by Lydia Davis this morning, entitled A Double Negative, quoted here, as in the NYRB, in full:
At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.Is that true of me? Under other circumstances I might have wanted a child, or at least felt that if things were secure enough that having one was reasonably in the realm of possibility. My instincts were correct. Things were not secure enough. I am sorry about that and it leads me to believe that I made a very grave, irretrievable mistake a long time ago without my knowing at the time or for years after.
The Davis story reminded me of another double negative, from last fall, in reference to myself: "I would like to see you again at some point, and perhaps more importantly, I wouldn't want not to see you again sometime." Yes I have been reading your blog the past couple of weeks, you recently responded to me. Why was it too much (was it too much?) to add a comment, for example, perhaps, that you enjoy my blog? If that's the reason you look at it. Maybe your motivation is more akin to the way you noted that a number of women from, at one time or another, your father's past showed up at his funeral. It's nice to know that one day there might be a group, that it has been forming. I studied your letter last fall: "The intense feelings I carried for many years are now remote," having been replaced with a “new framework,” its nature undisclosed except in exclusive terms of temporality, the old framework defined solely as the remote past, the new framework as the present.
I might have made a good mother. I would have started by not naming a daughter after myself. I would have comforted her at menarche, and taught her how to shave her legs.
I have to allow for the possibility that I have a strong masochistic streak, or at least that I don't not have one.