Monday, April 28, 2014

"Every Love Story is a Ghost Story"-DFW

This is not a love story. At least not in the way that this term is taken today. At the end, the girl doesn't get the boy (or girl, in this modern age.) At this point, it is a little early to tell what the girl does get. (And she's not a girl either. She's a woman. She's over 30. Not only is she older than her mother was when she had her, but she's older than her mother was when she remarried and did her 'happily ever after,' even though we should all know by now that 'happily ever after' is only the start of all the real hard work. Though of course we always forget that.)

But maybe it is a love story. Because the girl, wait, scratch that, woman has found love. Lots of love. Love she didn't think she'd find again. She found two people to love at the same time. On the same date that was supposed to just be for a side fling D/s relationship. (She was supposed to marry a lawyer and start having kids, but that didn't exactly work out like the fairy tale it was on paper.) So she did find love and people who wanted to commit to her and start a family, though not the traditional kind of family but a family nonetheless. She moved in and they started making plans for getting a bigger place, one to fit the three of them, allowing them each space and privacy and give the visiting child a place of his own too.

But this is not a love story because it doesn't end there. Love stories always end there, at the happily ever after. The woman has two major shortcomings. One is that she doesn't work a job that allows for her to work enough hours to pay (what she feels is) her fair share, at least not without working so much that she has a nervous breakdown. Which leads us to her second and larger shortcoming- she's crazy. I'm trying not to put this in a derogatory way, but just the facts. She is bipolar and has borderline personality disorder. To say the least, she has a low tolerance for distress and doesn't have as good of an ability to bounce back as the average person. She's doing better than she has in the past and she tries to work on being better but things are as they are right now and she will probably always be this person to some extent.

This is also not a love story because her lovers also have shortcomings. Not cute ones that resolve themselves by the time they decide to be together or ones that the lover is miraculously able to change by the time they coming running through the airport to stop their lover from leaving. Nope. These people are who they are as well. She knows this and loves them because they are who they are, though, like everyone, sometimes she'd like them to do something(s) differently. She tries for unconditional but she's not perfect. Mostly she just tries to not be one of those types who wants to change a person. But as things got closer to moving day, everyone was stressed and had turned inward and away from each other. "This is just how they are," she told herself. "It will cycle back and everything will be fine after the move."

This is not a love story because they didn't move. The apartment complex was gonna screw them and they decided not to sign the lease. They were a week away from moving, half packed. While they felt triumphant in not getting screwed and working as a family, they were now further away from their goal of living together in a larger place. And the woman was still just as worried as she had been before about being able to afford her share of any place they got that was big enough. Hell, if anything she was more worried. The place that they thought they could afford was only that way because they screw people out of money. Everyone else was still stressed and turned inward. She was so lonely. Every night she went to bed alone. There was very little physical or sexual contact in the household, which was what she craved to keep her head straight, to feel loved and wanted. It's not that they didn't show her or tell her that they loved or wanted her, just that it wasn't in a way that she could take in. That first week after she had a heavier schedule because she had told her work she needed more hours to afford the new apartment. She caved under all the pressure. By Friday, she missed a shift, no call no show. Only a compassionate coworker who's son has bipolar saved her job, or so she is hoping. She started to spiral into that suicidal depression she had struggled with all her life, blocking everyone out herself.

This is not a love story because the woman is leaving. It's not unreasonable for her to ask for the things she asks for. (At least for the most part.) And it's not unreasonable for them to say that they can't give her those things, at least not right now, at least not at the level she needs them. But that leaves her feeling lonely and unloved by people who are just in the next room. Which will leave her resentful and angry before too long. The woman has a friend who has space to rent out in her house for pretty cheap and, though it is her friend, if she can't pull her weight there, it will only be her who eats ramen noodles every night and her credit that gets fucked up. (Update: the woman's friend's therapist doesn't think it's good for two crazy chicks to live together so she's not really sure what she's going to do. )

This is not a love story because the woman knows that leaving could mean the end to their story. Though they cry together and reassure each other that they are still together and it will actually be more special when she comes to visit because they won't have seen each other for awhile and they'll be all over each other as soon as she walks through the door and they are making plans for how to actually shore up their relationship, she knows this could be the beginning of the end, the slow death of what they had but could not sustain. The woman has seen lots of movies and love stories don't end with the heroine alone with her two cats in a two room mother-in-law apartment on the other side of town. But the woman knows she'll kill herself if she stays, that she is killing herself with each night that she masturbates and then cries herself to sleep when the people she want to have sex with are just twenty feet away. The woman knows that it is killing them too. That there isn't enough for them to care for her hurt in the ways they do and care for themselves and/or each other too.

So this is not a love story.


Marcy Appl said...

I was rooting for a happier ending... Really good post, though. Honest and insightful.

AvaAlso said...

Maybe the woman is wrong though & things will end up rom-com happy. Who knows?