Saturday, April 24, 2010


Once in a while I have met people who, when asked if they would live their life over differently, say that they have no regrets. I admire that, but it's certainly not me. No Edith Piaf, moi. I have plenty of regrets. Plenty.

I was talking about this with my ex, T, last night at our weekly Friday dinner. Although he is not as infallible as he believes he is, he is extraordinarily, sometimes frighteningly, intuitive about people. I refer to him as the DFO, the Delphic Fuckin' Oracle. And I hate it when he is presciently right when I don't want him to be.

But he was right about one thing last night. When we were talking about regrets for paths both taken and untaken, I said that in principle I would do things differently, but it would be very hard to actually decide what to un-do. The reason? That along with unhappy parts of my life have often come very happy parts. Lose the one, you lose the other. How do you rearrange that? He himself is a great example. In the end, we failed to make a go of it as partners. But we have loved each other for almost 20 years now. Would I forego those nine years if it mean not having him in my life? T said that he knew one thing for sure I would let go of without hesitation: P.

P was a guy I fell in love with in the 80's. He was ten years my junior. Handsome, sexy, charming, a voice like corduroy over stone, a lost boy (over 21!) with a sad tale and a drinking problem. The dark archetype of the narcissistic butch wounded boy I have fallen for more than once. And he was straight.

What more need I say? That was a lot of pain for no good reason; I would skip knowing him, given a second chance. (I didn't even get laid!) When I think of some of the situations I got myself in because of him, I wince. The night involving drinking and the fire escape and underwear....Ouch. Maybe I played some role in his life that Providence decided he needed, but I can't think of anything worthwhile for me that came of that relationship. Except maybe to show me that when it comes to eros, I am as brainless as any man has ever been. That, too, I regret.



PNWReader said...

I think we need more details about P. Your catharsis = others' titillation. A win-win? Or am I just being vulgarly curious?

OreamnosAmericanus said...

I'm afraid that more details would transform catharsis into humiliation.

Anonymous said...

I definitely feel for your attempt to do the impossible in eros with P -- even if it doesn't even seem clear to you now what you were hoping to achieve with a hetero guy you were in love with. I can't even guess but maybe it wasn't so "brainless" as you insist, though. My own impossible attempt involved staying in a relationship with a womangirl intent on raising a family: I had been given the notion -- family culture, Christian culture, general culture -- that "saying yes to risk" etc etc would surely heal my anxieties etc making parenthood impossible for me, whereas "realisticness" is a failure to affirm life and so on. When it became clear that my personal problems were not evapourating by virtue of openness to risk and so forth, the relationship ended -- but not without both of us having endured tremendous stress, pain, sense of failure, going through the ringer, etc.

So obvious now to me that this was doing a "brainless" saying yes to risk by me that put me and another person through agony for an impossible 'transformation' of me -- except that religio-moral obligation is imposed on us from earliest childhood by meaning systems that insist on overriding our own "selfish" independent-mindedness.

High intelligence gets used by the religio-moral introjects [is that the Freudian term I mean?], so that high intelligence becomes part of the problem. Not that it sounds like your hopes and agenda vis-a-vis P were determined by cultural authority. As I said, I can't guess. You see in your relating to P a mistake driven by "eros" and a "dark archetype." Perhaps. In any case, I don't suppose you feel that only an IQ like Leibniz's (rank'd at 210 as the highest ever retroactively study'd via consideration of childhood precocities) could have perceived that it "made no sense" to try to work out a romantic relationship with a hetero guy. You had a brain at that time, and a good, sharp intelligent brain. But your brain was shut down -- or rather used by eros and archetypes in order to keep you connected with P.

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