Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Purgatory

"So," he finally said. "You want to go for coffee?" At 10 in the evening? I asked. Why not? I only live 45 minutes away.

I ended up spending the night at M. Biologique's. I was momentarily surprised that he granted my flippant request; he's never let a girl sleep over without male accompaniment before. We had another marathon debate session. It was predictably charming. He noticed my haircut; liked the way it fell across my face. Picked up some paper and charcoal and sat down to draw me in variations of the same couch-sitting, tea-drinking, mug-hugging pose.

He read me Rudyard Kipling's works in bed, having fully memorized "If" (1895). I rolled over and turned the lamp off. It was 3 a.m. already.

"I'm happy," I said dreamily, head slumped across my arm.

"I'm happy too," he added quietly after.

Is it reasonable to attain fulfillment from two sources of comfort because one cannot provide what the other freely gives (and vice versa)? Appeasement is excruciating. My thirst for possession is embarrassingly irrational. If I settle to be the "other woman," am I acting on defiance or compromise? Human complexity creates limitless structures of attraction, but none ever withstand the ire of moral scrutiny. I'm unsatisfied not because my atypical arrangement is upsetting me but because it is an atypical arrangement frowned upon by a society that knows more about sustainable success than I do. Can I go on being content when I know what I'm doing is supposedly "wrong" (a concept synonymous with "lacking mainstream popularity")?

***

From Lost Worlds:

Adolescents, Envy of
"[We live in a] world of branding and expediency and the dullest, nastiest music in the history of humanity, but the poor little bastards have to like it because ... because everyone has to like the music of their times or get left out, even though it is so boring, despite the rude words. (Bitch! Nigga! Ho! Aren't we baaad! Pee po belly bum drawers! Heeheehee!)" (p. 24).

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