Did I write a short story with a moment that changed everything? I wonder. Did something change? I suppose it did. Do you feel better? I'm still here.
I feel myself more willing to lead a double life. It's where it's been headed, it seems. It never was that way with me. Art is what makes life bearable. Art or artifice. I cannot escape - cannot think of a way to escape that is - the lot I'm in right now.
I'm not content, not at all. And yet I don't know that I would wish to re-invent myself and come back as a content person, content with all the rules, and with operating within them. There is some lack of imagination there, or so I perceive, that I cannot see giving up, not without cost to my essential sense of who I am. I see dogwalkers at the park every day. They look so content, so settled in their ways, happy. They don't exude "dream" to me. Am I wrong about them? Who knows. Perhaps.
I've tried my hand at another short-short and as usual it's plotfree, the lovers get straight to it, there's no tension really, just plenty of well, you know, although to make the time go by, I find myself (as Nabokov prescribed) trying to caress the details. Today, pale blue toile window coverings, a breakfast.
The room I describe is a room I actually once spent a night in (by myself), a very strange night that's haunted my imagination since. It's nice for me to conjure details of it again in a completely different context.
The other day I was walking up Warren Street looking in shop & gallery windows and wished so much that I could somehow rub a tarnished vessel and make you appear right in front of me.
So it is nice to think about that beautifully furnished little room at the top of the house & to conjure you there with me too, though the house owner - who, as far as I know, could not be nicer and very kindly put me up for the night (no, I wasn't incapacitated or passed out drunk, not at all - but I was stranded) - is gone, at least from my little short fictions - he's the "Master" traveling in Europe.
I am glad I had twenty happy years with D. But now we're not happy with each other at all. He is not the man I fell in love with and married. And now (no, not now, over a long period, by degrees) I've left him, in my mind, my heart, if not corporeally. I cannot go back. It simply won't happen. I cannot will it to happen. I know how bad it "looks" that he (grudgingly) goes out and works, while I sit around blogging, writing fieldspun porn to a stranger I have purportedly met - as he has intimated - whose identity I guess at and feel fairly sure (since I don't meet many people) - and yet cannot be certain.
One is supposed to be happy with what one has, not wish for more, or at least not wish for the unattainable. I had twenty years like that. I can't say that I was "happy" - I had all kinds of problems and frustrations - but I was very, very happy with D, and that was an abiding comfort & constancy. It simply wasn't an issue. I thought I would love him forever & ever, case closed. Now that that isn't the case, it's a real problem, has become one.
Right now we have the sort of marriage where we live as estranged housemates. We're on speaking terms everyday, he tries to make ends meet, I keep him in meals, we coordinate together after a fashion. We share the same bed now, after not having done so for very many months, but haven't touched (let alone kissed, or hugged) once since. Our cats sleep with us, they're the ones who bundle against us. I lie awake, dreaming up impossibly sexy scenarios with a stranger whom I've run into a couple of times - if it's even him.
I'm 51. It's not easy. Sex & death. I never really understood the connection, when it comes up metaphorically. But certainly I get it now. I cannot accept that it is all over for me in that department, that incredibly life-affirming, wonderful, visceral, organic, lipsmacking, slurping, wet department. I was on ice, or dead, or numb, for about the last ten years (previous to the last two when everything in me woke up & I began to transform). I can't just go through menopause and emerge the other side content to walk a dog and live alone or with a sexless stranger. I have simply got to experience that again. And yet mindless, depersonalized sex isn't what I have in mind either. They won't last long or be fulfilling for me. But I do think there might be an interstitial middle ground that I could see happening - someone I have a connection with, but on a part-time lover basis. In other words, I don't feel in a rush to find someone and remarry - but rather - well, see if I can't compartmentalize a bit myself, after all. This is a complete rambling babble, I know. I was never that judgmental to begin with, though I had my deepseated feelings, inclinations. Now that I'm faced with the prospect of it, desiring it, actively seeking it, I understand infidelity in a way I never did for many, many years - simply because I wasn't faced with it. I don't know. I don't know the answer. But if I wrote a short story with a moment that changed everything - that's what this blogging Scheherazade has been wishing, dreaming, longing for, and writing for, for all this time - not provisional reprieve - but deliverance.