Friday, May 23, 2008
It is the third day after the full moon, and one is still free from nerve storms, odd compulsions, and cries of "Loren" over a lost love. If only I'd done this, or done that!.
No matter. The current "Param" is gone after ripping all the pictures off the wall. Her therapist had told her, oddly, that she should always show her anger. The therapist sounded to me like a nutbar .
She was on the phone today. "Goofus! I'm sorry. I'm in Toronto with my sister. I'll be back tomorrow night.
Pick me up at the GO."
Sister all right. There was this guy from Texas always in the background.
Guess she tore down all his pictures too.
I like Texans. They're a lot like Newfoundlanders. No mincing of words. A straight-ahead philosophy.
A Newfie will observe: "Every man's got to eat a tonna shit."
(I sincerely hope they change their diet out there in the outports).
A Texan will say, "If you can't solve a problem, can't get around it, or under it, you kick the shit out of it!
There were certainly days when I wanted to "kick the shit" out of The Param. But besides the manic-depressiveness, hypoglacemia, and hairdresser talk, she was movie-star beautiful, with long delicate hands and a body like Nicole Kidman's. I could not keep the men away from her when we went pubbing. And on the beach, prancing around in a bikini--forget it.
Something of a philosopher herself, she would tell me to stop swearing when I mentioned Immanuel Kant, she would quickly add, "Get in touch with your feelings."
I held her as beautiful but stupid, till one day, after a night of sex, she had said, quietly, "Finding out about yourself?"
Professor Rath caught in mufti.
"You were doing what?" asked my carpenter friend.
Mufti. It's a disguise.
"I was just going to say, that in a world of yin and yang, so many men want to play yin."
"What is this? Zen and the art of scaffold maintenance?
"Well, you once wrote the book on that. And I read it.
I hang around with failed MIT candidates.
"Don't feel so bad about MIT. I hear there's a whole faculty there trying to put together an erection.
Women's Lib and all that. They're under pressure."
"Damn lab reports." He was still smarting over the failure.
So he became a master cabinet maker, had his own business, and still he wasn't happy.
" I want to be a Ryerson Institute of Technology guy like you."
"No big deal, " I'd said. "All you have to do is sit there till you get to the advanced degree. Get in good with your faculty advisor to get that constant A, and that's all there is to it."
Aeronautical engineering. Glorified model airplane making. And you can get a degree out of it.
But airplanes have to do witth the spirit.
My spirit is droopy tonight.
Sixteen hours till the Param comes back. You look at the minute hand on the clock face. You can actually see it moving.
No matter how "together" you think you are, the Furies do come.
Three-thirty in the morning and your insides are rumbling--maybe all philosophy is an upset stomach-- while the moon moons all over you through the window.
Self-conscious and alone. And the furies keep coming. If only. If only I hadn't left my wife.
The Param was not the kind of woman my former wife would have cared to know socially. Southern Californa, where the sun seems to bake people's brains. "Get in touch with your feelings." "What time does the ocean close?"
No, the wife had been intelligent. Maybe intelligent enough to rid herself of a dog-in-the-manger husband, herself a bit dog-in-the-manger, having piggy-backed onto my dream and when the money came, well, dog-in-the-manger all the more.
Two rich fuck-ups becoming a viable one.
It worked for a long time.
Ah well. A little like two PhD's in the same family.
There is animosity.
And I got that piece of paper and got the book published.
And stupid me had to rub her nose into it.
Hell hath no fury.
"Give her a little time to catch up with you," the carpenter had said.
But I had developed an ego about the size of Newfounland. Me? God's chosen? Being treated like this?
"Dunno pal. With this California bomber you've dropped a bit in taste for women.
"Ah. Yeah. But there are things she does...."
Ah, he sighed ruefully. MIT!
"Never too late, Newt. Try U. of T.
Ah. Newt descending his staircase.
I was descending my own staircase.
Losing an intelligent, attractive wife to--say it on--a bimbo.
But the "bimbo" was relationship-wise. "Depressed, honeybunch? That's what you get when you fuck around with us broads."
Ah Hemingway and his struggle. The upper head and the lower head. Damn thing has no conscience.
Over-stimulated man. Can be led around by he nose.
"Do you want to live, or do you want to die?" asks the therapist the Param had sent me to.
Ah. : "Get in touch with your feelings."
"But that's the whole point. I have betrayed my wife, and I have betrayed myself. Get in touch with that and you want to put a gun to your head."
"Finding out about yourself, lover?"
And I thought the Param was stupid.
Professor Rath and the Blue Angel.
Kick the shit out of the Texan. But there will be others.
I open the fridge and take out a beer.
That's all it is.
And the auras of too many lovers.
And the strange, unexpected feeling in the morning.
That one had been born again.