You might not cure it, but eventually you’d die anyway. When we began searching for the table with Bennett and the others, we found ourselves suddenly lost in a series of mirrored boxes and partitions which opened into each other. Would people believe who He was then? How could you do that to your husband? A new start. He was a swinging stockbroker who dabbled in hallucinogens. A little girl who said what she meant and meant what she said. Aschenbach and Tadzio. It went through me like a knife. She hates the dust which flies into her nose when she lifts the bedspread. The sweat was pouring down with the tears. Or was I going to make my fantasies and my life merge if only for once? I had to participate in it by eliminating the possibilities. You say love-but you mean security. At this rate neither one of us will know what to do when he finally emerges. His muscular thighs. You were supposed to study criticism. I suggested using one of the first-class cabins while the people were out, but Charlie was chicken. Isadora Wing, fighter of windmills, professional mourner, failed adventuress…”. Or almost. It was only opening nights that wilted him. I knew my itches were contradictory-and that made things even worse. My name is heather. “As long as you want it,” he said, ambiguously. I mean maybe you can write it off that way-but I have a somewhat greater stake in deluding myself that something positive went on here.”, “You can work it all out with your next analyst,” Kolner said. She is capable of absolutely everything except self-preservation. But what was that other voice inside of me which kept urging me on toward zipless fucks, and speeding cars and endless wet kisses and guts full of danger? “Who do you think you are-Eleanor Roosevelt?”, “I just get sick and tired of everyone bleeding about the poor Palestinians. “I really don’t mind at all,” I said. It looks less like an embrace than like a rescue scene, she sinking, he reluctantly allowing her to cling to his leg for support. “Madam, if you want to get laid, then you’ll get laid.” Me started the car. Was that why I had to go? That was the end of me. At first I wrote about “safe” subjects-ruined castles, wine festivals, historic restaurants, odds and ends of Heidelberg history and apocrypha. It was so simple really. Or are they the right reasons? Where was the female Chaucer? Our idyll was over. “Be my guests,” I said to Adrian. Just tell me what corner.”, “I think you’re trying to make a fool of me.”, “Brian, darling, I only want to see you. “I won’t go on taking it forever.”, “I think we ought to get out of here, get the next plane back for New York. Slob that I was about everything else, I had never messed up on that score. You almost like the idea. as anything. I met my first “phallos” at thirteen years and ten months on my parents’ avocado-green silk living-room couch, in the shade of an avocado-green avocado tree, grown by my avocado green-thumbed mother from an avocado pit. With Charlie? “I’ll turn her passport and shot record over to you.”. Was she his ace (or ass) in the hole? He had a right to protect his children. Started believing I was a fictional character invented by me.”, “The point is that fantasies are fantasies and you can’t live in ecstasy every day of the year. She handed me a book with my name on the cover. Even from me-if he conceived me to be a threat to them. Our hearts were holding hands. A A's AMD AMD's AOL AOL's AWS AWS's Aachen Aachen's Aaliyah Aaliyah's Aaron Aaron's Abbas Abbas's Abbasid Abbasid's Abbott Abbott's Abby Abby's Abdul Abdul's Abe Abe's Abel Abel's The days that followed were nightmarish. Is anyone? Oh, I reserved the right to go out with other people from time to time, but he saw to it that I was so inundated with his presence, his talk, his gifts, his typing of my papers, his ransacking the stacks for books I needed, his letters and phone calls and flowers and poems vowing eternal devotion-that inevitably the other boys seemed like very pale imitations. I stopped in Rome as I’d planned and took one more week in Florence before going home to face the music with Charlie. That’s important. In general, I seem to like men who can make that quick transition from spirit to matter. Or was I? There are the echoing sounds of frozen feet. What stirring discussions of Kotex and Modess, and (for the very, very daring) Tampax! Don’t you see that men have always defined femininity as a means of keeping women in line? It was a most dangerous business to judge a writer’s character by what he wrote. They’re just like writers. I always talked in my sleep, and he always answered. I’m sorry to say this, but it does.”, “Who made you the guardian of the spirit of Pope? Charlie had this Harvard impediment. But as for me, I never could.”. But they are not honest. I am so proud of her! In the summers he would retire to his country house in Vermont, composing at a Bechstein under a slanting skylight, emerging from his studio to make clever conversation with the poets and young composers who followed him there. He was out. And since the walls in those buildings were paper thin, even noncuckooing tenants (like us) heard a steady barrage of cuckoos all day long. But Hollywood insists on imagining the artist as a dreamy-eyed matinee idol with a flowing bow tie, Dmitri Tiomkin’s music in the background, and a violent orange sunset above his head-and, to some extent, all of us (even those of us who should know better) try to live up to this image. You’ve given me a splitting headache! The most interesting modern writers know this. That was the basic inequity which could never be righted: not that the male had a wonderful added attraction called a penis, but that the female had a wonderful all-weather cunt. They collected on his walls for two years, chiming and cuckooing at odd intervals, driving his wife and children as crazy as the army was driving him. It really sums the whole thing up, I think. Five hours later, he arrived. Already I was attracting the kind of quizzical glances a woman alone attracts. Somewhere around the end of the third year of our marriage. We were sleeping by a roadside somewhere in France that night and it might as well have been the moon. I cracked the virgin spine. “I wonder which of us is Mummy and which Daddy?”, I had a sudden mad impulse to pack my bags and get away from both of them. The very ordinariness of his needs comforted me and made me feel hopeful. She married a Lebanese physicist at Berkeley, had four sons in California, and then moved her family to Beirut where she proceeded to have five daughters. I loved Bennett and knew it. (I am not sure whether or not this was part of the Stekelian method.) A kind of six-day truce between my id and superego. But I was dimly aware that being able to get up and wash was at least a sign of life. And there were flirtations over fattening expense-account lunches. The surroundings were Spartan: a pullman kitchen whose cupboards were always bare except for boxes of dried apricots and bags of hard candy, a rented piano, a single bed, a tape recorder, a portable record player, two cartons of records (which had never been unpacked since he brought them from his parents’ house two years before). I sneaked past the front room in Aunt Simone’s house (past Aunt Simone and Uncle George who were both snoring musically), and found Chloe and Lalah sitting up in bed together reading aloud from a porno paperback called Orgy Girls. The superb taste of the coffee, the sunlight streaming down, the people posing on street corners for you to admire them. Poor benighted Gillian’s mother had insisted on a baby Jesus and a virgin birth. “We don’t believe in posses-siveness or possession.” I thought I was doing a pretty good imitation of Adrian. Remember the days when you felt pleasure, when you were glad to be alive, when you felt joy so great you thought you’d burst with it. Most mornings, Charlie slept until noon, then got up and had breakfast at one of the dairy restaurants left over from the old immigrant-neighborhood days. One is “mature” (i.e. My mind was blank. You’re just scared.”, “Who’s bullying you? Will Abelard the Gelding go? Not quite blue, not quite gray. Now she was trying to be tolerant. But nothing helped. “I refuse to be categorized. He used the same ventriloquist’s routine on tangerines and oranges and even bananas-making them sing and speak and even declaim in verse. With my family? I had no sense of myself as a writer and no faith in my ability to write. Randy had her period (or “got unwell,” as my liberated mother and grandmother said) and so did all the girls in my seventh-grade class. It was the usual panic I always have the first day away from home, but it was worse because of our being back in Germany. She cooks, keeps house, runs the store, keeps the books, listens to everyone’s problems, visits the cemetery, weeds the graves, plants the garden, scrubs the floors, and sits quietly on the upper balcony of the synagogue while the men recite prayers about the inferiority of women. She had no juice. Why didn’t someone show me some alternatives? They gossip anyway: the original form of consciousness-raising. The psychologizing bastard.”, “You do your share of psychologizing too, sweetheart. Shown up for the traitor I was. Now I had betrayed them both. The ironies multiplied so fast you could hardly absorb them. “In this society,” Jude is saying, “the standards of art are set by press agents and public relations men-which means that there are no stan-”, “I’ve always said,” Papa interrupts, “that the world is divided into two types of people: the crooks and the semicrooks…”. I felt like a human Ping-Pong ball. Leopold Bloom fries kidneys, takes a crap, and considers the universe. I read the telegram first, then gave it to Bennett. from my family. “Would you like to join us?” When in doubt, eat. Everything about it is musty. Converts already. I remember certain details: Adrian’s wheezing snore, the enraged look on Bennett’s face when he entered the room (and, in rapid succession, me), the way we three slept entangled in each other’s arms, the large mosquito which fed off our mingled blood and kept awakening me with bites. I used to walk the streets of the old town alone in the rain. My husband was God knows where. It was my fear that was missing. There were cut velvet capes and feather boas and suede slacks and Aztec cotton caftans and Japanese silk kimonos and Irish tweed knickers, but absolutely nothing like an angora sweater set. Chloe was moping around waiting for letters from Abel (they had been going steady since she was fourteen). So much love channeled into the nurturing of fruit and flowers and animals? I sat next to him and reread it over his shoulder. Can’t you putdown the goddamned magazine? What would I say? No “lady writer” subjects for me. I would come and come and come and each orgasm seemed to be made of ice. Maybe you should blow Daddy and be done with it? The husband issued policy statements and the wife kept her mouth shut. He is hypnotized. Had I? Nothing happened. Your whole mouth has turned liquid. Charming symbolism. Please tell me. They’re not supposed to. Though I had been class poet in college and had won the usual prizes, I was now convinced that nothing I was writing was good enough to send anywhere. The incident, however, provided us with a mission. I sat bolt upright. They were usually entirely different from what I’d imagined. But the most astonishing part was the setting: a gigantic pine-rimmed bowl nestled in the unearthly quiet of those fairy-tale woods. Often property of government. We don’t let ourselves cry as desperately as we might. After all, I was alone, wasn’t I? He was like some of the guys I’d met in Italy. It was hopeless. They will!”. Finally we got in the car. I sensed that Charlie was more snobbish than he was intelligent. “What happened?” Adrian says, appearing from the men’s room. “I never would have been able to do it without feeling as strongly about you as I did.” And then with a shudder that went through my whole body, I remembered my longing for him in Vienna. Look-I lived with Martine once when she fell apart. He was afraid of losing my loyalty now. And why didn’t he speak? What was this pounding thing inside of me? What big bosoms and C-cup Maidenform bras and curly pubic tendrils! Even this trip is pathetic.”. I used to pore over words like “period” and “menstruation” in the dictionary. I can’t watch,” and I got up and ran back to the swimming hole. I wear it for Everyone would think I had to pee. He thought the sun revolved around the penis. I nearly convinced myself all over again. I learned what an orgasm was from D. H. Lawrence, disguised as Lady Chatterley. But instead he fell asleep in my arms. I was in a frenzy of outrage and moral indignation. It’ll be like The Grapes of Wroth. Stranded in midair over the Atlantic with 117 analysts many of whom had heard my long, sad story and none of whom remembered it. Sylvia Plath and the Grim Reaper. I couldn’t be a communist because my mother had been there. contains some random words for machine learning natural language processing He looks exactly like your father-or maybe you hadn’t noticed.”, “I hadn’t noticed. Brian gave the impression of never shutting up. They sat in the audience wearing black caps and gowns. By four o’clock, we were on the Strassenbahn bound for the University of Vienna to register for the Congress. And after you die, the plot is not your concern. At the Linda Bella Clinic in La Jolla, the illusion of voluntarism was rigidly maintained. Somewhere in an article on body image I had read that at times of stress-or ecstasy-we lose the boundaries of our bodies. That’s your speciality. I must be the first case of a twenty-nine year old’s menopause on record. But who was the man I really wanted? What a setting! Nobody can rape a woman unless she consents at the last minute. “PIERRE!” I heard Randy Screaming outside the door. Sheep! I look and look and look, and no matter how little I find, I’m still sure I have some silent asymptomatic form of the clap. As if aging were, above all, rigidity. (They knew it was dirty, even if they didn’t understand all the details. I looked at their lumpy legs and lumpy asses. It was easy enough to kill yourself in a fit of despair. I indicated to Bennett that I want to sit in the back row, near the door-and as far as possible from the heat generated by Adrian. (What else indeed? “You sweetheart!” He takes the book. There was no particular system. If, for instance, I imagined my sweet, gentle girl as a competitor, it would only end in my telling her, as I did seventeen months ago, that I am fond of her and that I implore her to withdraw from the strife into the calm uncompetitive activity of my home. Despite the heat and the motley assortment of boyfriends, I loved Florence and there were moments when I hardly wanted to leave at all. He also had a Danish-modern desk (also APA-approved), and a brownish Foamland couch with a compulsive little plastic cover at the foot and a hard wedge-shaped pillow, covered with a paper napkin, at the head. The bruise on the heart which at first feels incredibly tender to the slightest touch eventually turns all the shades of the rainbow and stops aching. He was pushing the armrests up to make a bed for me. Since I had no. I don’t know why you’re so mad. I don’t even know my own name. They had a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights, a Volkswagen camper, three kids in camp, and the fourteen-year itch. Chapter Text. All his evidence proved overwhelmingly that artists were, as a group, weak, dependent, childlike, naive, masochistic, narcissistic, poor judges of character, and hopelessly immersed in Oedipal conflicts. We are always slightly abashed in each other’s presence-as if we each knew a terrible secret about our relationship, but could not speak of it. “Do you really like Bennett or do you just enumerate his virtues?” Adrian asked. You’ll screw yourself up so thoroughly that you’ll never do anything worthwhile again.”, “How can you expect to have anything interesting to write about if you’re so afraid of new experiences?” Adrian asked. But a woman is always presumed to be alone as a result of abandonment, not choice. She teaches me the names of flowers. ), “Well it is. An officious Austrian girl in harlequin glasses and a red dirndl was giving everyone trouble about their credentials for registration. As if she were waiting for Prince Charming to take her away “from all this.” All what? As if you could get along without laughter as long as you had analysis. I had painted myself into a corner. inside the pants or outside? His limp prick had penetrated where a stiff one would never have reached. I was abandoned. ), and with an impressive life of its own. Hence Italian art. You’re supposed to work and suffer-and the trouble is: you believe it. His desk was piled high with books, papers, and all kinds of junk, and he was always on the telephone or always shouting directions to the three cowering Assistenten who worked for him. On the agenda: Hardest But I had nothing to contribute. I am nailed to the cross of my imagination. Really, I thought, sometimes I would like to have a child. He was also a human cannonball and a nonstop talker. 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