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Archive for July, 2010

beloved,

it is mere minutes since our parting and i am bereft at the memory of you on my lips and tongue, your smell, your sweet taste.

together, this very night, we retreated to my bedroom, a glass of wine in hand. i had hoped to savor you both in tandem. but i found that once i had you in front of me, nothing could restrain my hunger.

was it your glacéed strawberries, blushing deepest scarlet, so fresh and bright? your tender crust, crumbling delicately onto my tongue, buttery and rich? was it — dare i even mention — the sweetness of your center, a soft cream so smooth and delicate, faintly almond-scented, with traces that still linger on my tongue?

the loss of you, my love, strikes at the deepest part of me.  i can only hope that this plucky little pinot noir will fill the void.  i fear it never could.

i remain most adoringly yours,
&c.

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david brooks wrote a cursory, pop-psychological/sociological assessment of the mel gibson crazypants spousal abuse clusterfuck in today’s new york times.  one reader comments:

“I would question whether a career ender should be based on a private telephone conversation involving a romantic break-up. Wouldn’t all such conversations be shockers to outsiders? The speakers always sounding like monsters? Can we really judge people by their lowest private moments, when extreme emotional shock drives people to the brink of insanity and irrationality?”

i don’t know.  but i do know i never threatened my exes with murder or assault; never alluded to punching them in the mouth and knocking their teeth out; never, in fact, punched them in the mouth or knocked their teeth out; never threatened arson because i didn’t get my libidinous way.  and none of my exes have ever said these kinds of violent, abusive things to me, either.

based on what i could gather from gibson’s panting, ranting craziness, he was pissed off because his girlfriend had fallen asleep waiting up for him, and consequently he didn’t get the blow job he was expecting.  does missing out on a single instance of oral sex (or any other kind) seriously represent “extreme emotional shock”?  i’m sorry, but this verges WAY too close to the kind of boys-will-be-boys catch-22 that dictates that women are entirely responsible for restricting the out-of-control libidos of men, but damned if you do, honey, because that will just make them threaten to burn your house down.  put on your big boy panties and deal with it, mel.

now, i’m all for privacy, and i think grigorieva’s first move should have been to turn the tapes over to the police instead of to radaronline (i don’t know enough about the situation to know whether she did or didn’t, or in what order).  i can say this: i would be embarrassed if my boss somehow got a hold of any of my private conversations that occurred in the context of a breakup.  but would i fear for my job?  HELL NO.  i think people should own their actions, and i don’t think you should treat anyone in a way you’re not proud of, a way that any reasonable person wouldn’t be able to empathize with.  under difficult circumstances, can you make a defensible case for expressing impatience, frustration, even anger?  sure.  can you make a case for abuse?  no.  never.

</soapbox>

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i’d like to document that right now i’m extremely happy.  this was a weekend rivaling any i’ve had in a while.  not because it was fourth of july — although the extra day off certainly helped — but because i got to spend a lot of time with someone i love, and it was a lot of fun.

i say this because i think i have, i think everyone has, a distorted reflective sense of happiness most of the time, and i want to try to get better about that.

there’s a salient example on my mind.  i generally think of my final year of college and the summer after it as having been pretty happy, on the whole, with some notable exceptions.  but those exceptions may have been closer to the rule themselves.

i’ve painted those things over with the merry veneer of weekly trips to packard’s, food porn appreciation, copious amounts of west wing, and the fact that i went to the frickin’ inauguration.  all pretty cool.  but i’ve spent a few minutes looking back over old communications, and have realized — remembered — that i was miserable most of the time last year.

this is a peculiar defense mechanism that humans have worked out.  we have a remarkable ability to whitewash our histories.  it’s the appalling reason infant boys aren’t anesthetised for circumcision — because they’re too young to have a vocabulary for pain, so they’ll never remember it.  we enter the world in what must be a terrifying trip down a tight, dark canal — thank god we forget that.  but even as adults, there are chasms between experienced and perceived and remembered happiness.

i described myself as “partly cloudy with a chance of showers” one day, which was a fair description.  all my problems were — are — first-world problems.  in the grand scheme of things, they were — are — just not terribly impressive.  but from my limited perspective, it is fair to say that that year was not my best.  the dizzyingly awful (at the time) career prospects, the grueling academic schedule, the heart-rending, multi-layered breakup.  it was, for lack of a better word, rough.

there were, of course, all manner of sensations manic and delightful.  plenty of triumphs.  but to think that in my memory, i succeeded in relegating everything that went badly in a relatively difficult year to a mere footnote.  i think i even relegated it to a footnote at the time.

i don’t want to footnote things.  i don’t want to be ungrateful for any good fortune or pollyannaish about any bad fortune.  i just want to learn how to be a little more honest with myself.

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