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When I was very young, I
associated jealousy with "I am not a jealous person."
I'd seen too many "I Love
Lucy" episodes. I decided
that I would live without it.
I believed that one could use reason
to design new ways of living, that
My first test: my first humanity could consciously change it's
girlfriend broke up with culture, that there can be new things
me and started sleeping under the sun.
with my older brother. UNCONSTRAINED
I didn't even get what was happening
at first. she was giving me the "just
friends" line, but sneaking around and
avoiding me for some reason... I was I had known that she liked my
angry at her hypocritical, irrational brother. We often talked
behavior. about things like that.
I was embarrassed I hadn't
seen it. A stupid mental
block, excusable because
it's conventional but The convention: They had an
contemptible to me for the age difference of over ten
same reason. years. She was 17, he was
When I did figure it out,
the anger evaporated. I
think I did a fair job of
dealing with the Though there were tense times..
I remember trying to cover
I think I felt sorry for my brother-- the sound of their voices
he was willing to let her seduce him, in the next room with
despite the risk about what might music, choosing a Leonard
happen between us -- was he so Cohen song: "the walls of
desperate? He felt guilty about it this motel are paper
later, and he was worried that we thin..."
were drifting apart because of this,
long after I'd forgotten about it.
If I was going to be mad at him for
anything it would be about him not
telling me what was happening.
Later on, by the way, when the
third Brenner brother got into town,
she tried to seduce him, too.
I respect her for this: she's
probably not the only person who would
have a strange notion like "wouldn't
it be neat to collect a set of three
brothers", but very few people would
actually try to do it. Most people
are so trapped by their conception of
he normal they can't live up to their
I'm on good terms with her again.
Recently she apologized to me
about this whole thing ("I wasn't
very cool about that.").
My second test: my second
girl friend transfered out
of state. We had talked
about "open relationships"
so she immediately began
sleeping around. Later
I understood this was a
preemptive strike: she
didn't want to be rejected
Didn't bother me that much that she was
actually doing it, though I had to
insist that I wanted her to tell me the
details. I felt like if she was willing
to talk to me about it, then our It did put me into a strange
relationship was still the primary one. head. I was continually
She had trouble understanding this. listening down inside of
myself, looking for traces
of anxiety. Or staring at
the world intently, laughing
at some strange pieces of
Another test: A girl I'd been trying
to seduce said she was really
interested in a friend of mine. I did
what I could to help set her up with The conventional eye takes this as
him. It didn't get to me, so I count proof I didn't really care about
it as a win. her. It was a non-standard
relationship, ergo it must have
always comes wrapped
in a neat ribbon of
The Nth test: The other
guy gets the girl.
If I can see why, it isn't "The better man won."
all that distressing.
The worst times though
are when I think the
guy is a jerk
That kicks in a complex
of furious thoughts:
Did I really make
that bad an
impression on her?
If she likes someone
does this mean What does she
she's worthless? think of me?
I'm not missing
If she's so something, am I?
screwed up that Does this guy KNOTS
she likes guys have some good
like that, then points?
something wrong Am I deluding
with me for myself by ragging If all women like
liking her this on him like this? worthless men,
much. maybe I should
try to be worthless.
And Maybe I
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