Wednesday, April 08, 2009


On the plane back toward the Big Woods, we were treated to a chance to see an edited version of Twilight, which, at least in its edited form, is a pretty sorry excuse for a movie. It is somewhat redeemed by Robert Pattison's ability to act as well as look decorative, though even he could have done with less hair gel. On the other hand, it's always a pleasure to see someone do well twice in a row; his appearance in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire drew attention, and Twilight, for all its woes, proves he deserved it.

I have to say, I loved the concept of virtuous "vegetarian" vampires sucking only the blood of animals, but it does rather strike [in WS Gilbert's immortal words] "at the heart of the whole fairy system." I am not overfond of most vampire movies, with their tireless harping on sex and repression, but sex and blood is what it's all about, or at least it certainly used to be.

These are apparently vampires a la "abstinence only."

Well, who needs to have their blood sucked to get a kick out of sex, anyway? Yes, it worked for the Victorians, but they have been gone for quite a while. And why on earth do we still claim to be wrestling with Queen Victoria? The poor old soul has been dead for over a hundred years and we really should give her a rest. If the people who made the old-time vampire movies thought that Puritans, or orthodox Jews, didn't spend a lot of time enjoying "it," they should actually read some of their descriptions of the joys of married life...

But it does still seem that a vampire who refuses to do his thing might be termed a bit of a self-loathing plasmosexual; maybe it just strikes too close to home for me. Who knows? Oh, well. One of my mantras of the last few years is "who am I to judge?" So why not vegetarian vampires?

But back to the beginning: I have always identified with vampires. That is: I get a great deal of pleasure from following people's lives, from participating in them vicariously. I love hearing people's stories; I almost prefer author's biographies to their works. [Well, almost.] Other people's lives are, as the saying goes, "meat and drink to me." Isn't there something just a bit parasitic about that? I get to depend on the stories I am used to hearing, and I miss them when they come to an end. I always read too fast, and am distraught when I get to the end of a book I love. But who's to blame for it being over so fast? No one but me, of course. Anyone who has read this screed for a while knows that I wonder about people when they stop posting for a while, though I no longer assume something terrible has happened--I know there are lots of reasons not to post to a blog. Don't I know. But who wouldn't want to know what the further adventures of Drew, or Chris, or any of the various Joes, toasted or otherwise?

Not that they owe us anything. In fact, most of the Blog Brothers are probably desperate to find an excuse to quit. I would if I didn't also view this little postage stamp of the internet as an opportunity to let off steam and keep track of a life that doesn't make much sense. I know for a fact, having hit a certain age, that I will not remember much of what happens now in just a year or two--I can already see how my interim in the Weird Little House is beginning to get jumbled and confused.

Then there are the moments when the past comes blazingly alive.

The other night, as the Goat and I were lying in bed, the conversation wandered around to marriage, and Goat asked me why Isis and I had not been married in a church. And that perfectly innocent question suddenly brought many things that I have not dealt with on a day-to-day basis rushing back to the surface of consciousness with a burst of almost physical pain. I had a sudden insight into what I had not been able to forgive Isis for, no matter how much more she had to complain of herself--when my came to forgive her as she had forgiven me, I could no longer do it. Too much blood had flowed under the bridge.

I suddenly was aware in a way that I have not been for some time not only how much I had given up in coming out again, but how it had happened--much of it in terribly vivid detail. When I responded to the Goat's prodding by telling him what I could not forgive [which was probably not wise], he agreed that it was a terrible thing. What I have been sickeningly conscious of in the days since then was how little it was, compared to what Isis had put up with over the years, and in the years around the time of the "unforgivable sin" in particular. The Goat quietly remarked that he was a pretty flawed human being, and if I couldn't forgive, where was he going to wind up? That is of course the $64,000 question, but I don't have the answer...

So I have been living the past in an unaccustomed way the last few days. There is no going back to it, but I do yearn for the easy togetherness, for the comfort of common life once all, or most, of the rough edges have been worn down and you start to get comfortable with each other. I miss almost every moment of the two of us just sitting down together with our children, whether it was a weekday dinner or Christmas morning. It's gone, and it will not return. And the person who gave everything to give me those pleasures is the very person I have abandoned in pursuit of my self. Which, considering that my great religious "conversion" of so many years ago turned on just that issue of pursuing my own interests, sexual and otherwise, at the expense of others, is bitterly amusing. I have turned my back on putting myself first, and somehow come around back to it.

The Naz had rather angry words for those who put their hand to the plow and then looked back; one can just imagine how he would have felt about those who did more than look. [I spent years looking back before I went so far as to move back...] And the apostle Peter, as I have said before, wrote tellingly of those who return to their old ways like a dog returning to his vomit. It's great language, but it's not so nice to apply to oneself. Though I am a dog, and I have certainly returned to my former ways. I guess the word "vomit" does rather stick in my craw, to coin a phrase...

There are compensating features in my present life, but they are just that: compensating features. I have said often that the Goat and Isis resemble each other in lots of creepy little ways. One big way is that both of them are able to forgive. I may be more flexible, but once I am bent beyond a certain point, I break, and I apparently stay broken. Who would have thought it? I always thought I was pretty forgiving, but it turns out I can nurse a wound as well as the best of them.. [That is, of us.] I can only live in hope that the same is not true of Isis: I have never had occasion to find out until now...

And I have been painfully aware that crossing the street has not left me less riven than I was before. By the time I left home, I had no choice anymore. But I am still riven. And apparently covered in vomit on top of everything else.

Oh, well.
Thank God for love; I don't know how people face life without it.
Hang in there, everyone.


  1. I'm sorry you and the Goat are having problems. Keep at it, all works out in the end.

  2. ER:

    no, we're not having problems--his love is, after all, what keeps me getting out of bed in the morning.

    It's just that every once in a while the past rises up to bite me in the heart--no way back, not even regret, really, just a returned consciousness of what I had and lost. I spend most of my time without even thinking of it, which is why it hit me with such force the other day.

    Glad to hear from you; I hope you are alive and well.

  3. Thank you for your reflection about putting your hand to the plow while looking back. I find myself so distracted right now that I am surprised no one is commenting on my crooked furrows. Perhaps it is just a midlife crisis; life has the cast of all duty and no delight. Your words actually give me much hope: people can change their minds, and it can be OK.