The refrigerator has been acting up, and I left a watermelon in the fridge too long. “Someone left the cake out in the rain, I don’t think that I can take it.” Richard Harris wrote those lyrics, and they might apply to my life. For some reason they popped into my head as I was writing, …”leaving a watermelon in the fridge….” I bought two small ones a couple weeks ago, when Elaine was coming over to play chess. She had plenty and I finished off the rest – it was deliciously sweet. I saved the other one in case we played chess again the following weekend, but instead we went to the lavender festival near my house. I had met her and two friends at the cafe across the street and we all went together. We listened to music and I bought some plums from the local farm there, but we didn’t stay long. Everyone decided to leave after we toured the old hotel. Elaine and one friend came with me back to my place and we talked awhile, but they went home after a short time. I haven’t called Elaine since, although we could have done something this weekend, perhaps at least play another game. I toyed with the idea, called my step-daughter instead and invited her to go do something Friday evening, but had to leave a message on her cell phone. She didn’t call back, but I never did call Elaine.
I decided to just stay by myself this weekend. I’ve sliced the watermelon up and I’m picking out the good stuff that’s not been frozen. There’s a slight off-taste to the whole thing, but I always have trouble letting something go. I paid for it, I want to enjoy it. Like, all that money and work I put into a house I’ll never be able to enjoy. Whine, whine.
Watched a really interesting movie today: La Moustache. I’d been wanting to see it since it came out, but at that time, in 2005, my then wife wouldn’t have been interested in something that boring. It’s not that bad. It is odd, but I found it so easy to identify with the character who shaves off the moustache he’s had all his adult life and no one notices the change. Of course, that is what the movie is built around, but it is more of a story about how two people who love each other can suddenly pull apart, and find themselves strangers. All during the movie one can not tell exactly what happened. That is certainly the way it is with relationships. One minute everything’s nice, the next minute it can be horribly bad. These two people struggle to hold things together, and the viewer knows something is wrong, but it’s never clear exactly what. One suspects the female character of being crazy, even while it’s not clear whether or not the male character is crazy now, or was at some point. Both people believe the other is having reality problems, but neither gives up on the other.
I suppose that’s the most unreal part of the movie, not the mustache that the audience knows was real, not the insistence of everyone else that it was not, not the tendency to think that perhaps the moustache was all in the man’s head and the pictures not real. What seems most unreal to me is that the two people find a reality they can share at the end, and end up back together as if nothing had happened. A year ago I learned that my wife’s view of reality was totally different from my own, and that we could no longer even talk to each other in any way that made sense. She felt I’d given up on the relationship, which I hadn’t, and I took her throwing me out to mean she was the one who had given up. I have no idea of the truth, and it no longer matters. My stepdaughter told me her mom is telling people I told her I didn’t love her. Not true.
In La Moustache, the truth ends up a casualty. Although it is bitterly important at first, in the end, the other truth, of their feelings for each other, is what wins out.
I suppose that’s what I’d always hoped about Karen, thinking we had some kind of feelings for each other, and that those would eventually win out. Karen’s reality is a bit different from mine. She mentioned how people sometimes try to intrude into other parts of her life, and how she’s had to change emails and drop various on-line activities once people intrude like that. She has every part of her life compartmentalized, I think, into family, Halloween friends, other on-line friends, and other people in her life. She cannot accept any overlap in those areas. I didn’t realize until we were having lunch this past Friday that she had meant that I’d found her space online where she has friends that enjoy Halloween as much as she does, and that that was an entirely separate part of her life, one I had no business even knowing about. I joined that online community, just to see the pictures Karen had posted there. I know, it’s a stalking issue, but I had given up on that line of thought already, and didn’t know she knew I knew about the site. I’m beginning to talk in circles.
Well, at least I did find out that something was bothering her, and what it was.
Strangely, I don’t care what she thinks anymore, in the same way I don’t care what happened and what misunderstandings prompted my divorce. None of it matters. I really am liking this living alone stuff now. I don’t want to go out with anyone, don’t want a lover, don’t want new friends. I must have retreated to an older me, the one that I remember that hates everyone else. It’s an odd way to feel, but here’s no anger, no bitterness, not much in the way of feelings at all. I’ve been following this serialized story in the NYT Magazine, Mrs. Corbett’s Request, and one character describes another as a man who had given up; “…he just gave up.” He said that men give up, that with one look at them you can tell they’ve given up, whether it happened fast or slow.
That’s seems to be where I am. I haven’t given up entirely, but I’m almost there.