Tuesday, September 20, 2005

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Though her affairs, for the most part, were love affairs, it is plain from almost every page she wrote that she would have given them all up if she could have had Sartre for herself alone. --Louis Menand, The New Yorker.

The tragedy of Simone de Beauvoir was her insistence that the sovereign role she played in her relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre was of her own choosing. I was reading The New Yorker yesterday and there it was. It hit me like a burning bra. No matter how high-minded these pop philosophers were, no matter what they espoused, they were still human and acted accordingly. She introduced her proteges to him to appease his philandering, but when the third party did not consent to all the rules (mainly, agreeing to relations with both of them), verbal daggers were sent through the mail and egos, secretly bruised. Her fierce loyalty to this infamous womanizer (despite her own open affairs) wasn't a commendable step in the evolution of marriage, monogamy, and the institution of romantic love, but a pitiful tactic to keep her man. It must be recognized that Beauvoir was an intellectual and as such, was an individualist. But I can't help thinking that maybe, for the same reason, she irrationally justified her lifelong pact with him in an attempt to stand out in his eyes, to stand out from the beauties he frequented. Their relationship was not one of equals because he made the rules; she was not his equal because she obeyed them. Beauvoir might've been rebelling from bourgeois traditions, but she ended up jumping into another system of ideas, rationalizations and explanations. Jealousy, Sartre expressed, is "an enemy to freedom: it controls you and you should be controlling it." (By "it", he also meant "passions" in general.) Theoretically, yes. Realistically, no. Wasn't his constant pursuit of the male prerogative a passion too? An inpulse he, by his own definition, should've contained?

So here I am, pondering whether I can really relinquish my feelings, however unreasonable, when M. Biologique, after a five day absence, comes pounding at my door. Sitting on the couch, eating a freshly baked cookie, I asked him if he had anymore. "Don't you know," I informed him, "when you make a pilgrimage to my apartment, you're expected to bring a peace offering?" He sheepishly slid in the fact that 6' Amazon had made them, then later revealed that he and her were now dating (or in his words: "kinda got together"). "Wait," I cut him off. "You're going out with her?"

"Um, well, uh, sort of. A bit. You expected that, huh?"

That did it for me. I've never moped this long in my life. Five days have been wasted being long faced and agitated. I'm no longer a co-dependent because he has someone else who'll save him. I am so over him, it'll take Superman to bring me down. Friends? Bullshit! I'm much more than that. Girls may come and go, but I have his balls. What was I so worried about? I am a constant, renewable source of intrigue for him. Why else would he keep coming back? He said so himself. Girls might be calling him "un dieu, un dieu," but I keep him on his toes, force him to behave himself. He needs me more than I need him because I'm the one too interesting to settle. To paraphrase the Rolling Stones: Under my thumb/ the boy who once had me down/ Under my thumb/ the boy who once pushed me around.

As we walked away from the cafe after schlepping around my place, I told him to look at me. He did. And I slapped him clear across the face.

"Don't ever do that to me again."

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