Duplicity

I saw your wife today.

The one that doesn’t “inspire” you anymore which you complained to me about once.

I had a really good look at her since she was in line ahead of me. She looks like a power lesbian, everything from her super-short badly dyed blonde buzzcut, to the cadence of her walk, flat-chested, no breasts, her zero style-intelligence, her bad skin. At 48 or 49 she’s aging horrifically. Plus the energy off of her was cold. She had no idea who I was.

There was absolutely nothing feminine about this woman. There was nothing warm or kind coming from her, her “aura” felt sterile and boring and bland and the only thing I kept thinking was “You married this?” Right away, I KNEW you were always hiding something. I started wondering that maybe I had misread the situation completely and that you’re either sexually confused at best or gay at worst?

Remember that day at the cafe?

Me: I know, but most people settle don’t they? I mean why bother?

You: Look, (angrily) I’m not interested in you. I’m married and I’m going to stay married.

Me: (taken aback) (quietly)…but of course….

You: That’s right.

Me: (sighs loudly and then cheerfully) Alright…Fair enough.

You: (shocked) What?

Me: I said fair enough. I think we’re done here.

You: (Flustered and a bit panicky) (hand up in the air like a stop sign) Um. Look…. I don’t really know you…

Me: And you never will at this point.

You:It’s just (long sigh)…I’m not inspired anymore….I look at my daughter’s face and I’m inspired (the kid would have been a year old at that time)…

Me: Oh….So why did you come here today?

You: (Again flustered and trying to back-pedal) To have conversations like these….

Me: I see…

(We stopped talking and sat there in an uncomfortable silence for like 15 minutes. I wouldn’t look at you. but the place mats on the table were glossy so I could see your reflection. Literally every 2 seconds you would look at me in panic. I was in pure fury and stared hard at my scalding hot coffee. The thought crossed my mind to throw it at you and give you a burn, but then this voice went off in my head and just said “Don’t do it.” It took everything in me not to.)

You: I need to go.

Me: Sure. How much do I owe you (motioning to the coffee)?

You: Don’t worry, it’s on me.

Me: Thanks.

(I get up, put on my winter coat and walk out. You ran over to the counter to pay for our drinks and quickly ran after me. Outside, I’m waiting at the corner for the lights to turn green so I can cross. You came up beside me.)

You: (furtively and meekly)…So….are you still going to talk to me?

(I’m ready to scream now. But I figure someday someone is going to beat the living shit out of you within an inch of your life and that person isn’t going to be me.).

Me: (Flippantly) Yeah sure. Why not? (and we continued walking in silence towards the train station. You knew I was angry and didn’t say anything)

You: I need to go to the bank before the train.

Me: Oh, Ok (and I kept on walking)

You: (You follow and says nothing)

We walked for 30 minutes back downtown because I figured you needed to go to your office.

You: Um..I don’t need to go to my office.

Me: (Screaming now) WHAT!!!! We were walking for 30 minutes and you didn’t say anything sooner???!!!!!

You: (you look like you’re going to cry and scared that I’m screaming at you) I thought we were walking to the bank….

I just walked off in a huff and you ran after me and said nothing.

Listen, you shouldn’t be eyeing students or meeting them for coffee. That suburban pick-up you married is the one who you should be “having conversations with” and it’s her job to “inspire” you. And if she doesn’t then the question to be asked at that point is why the hell did you marry someone who doesn’t?

Remember that day on the street, after I stopped communicating with you, where I caught you stealing glances at me by peeping out from underneath your umbrella every 2 seconds from across the street? When I caught you, you ran off like a bat out of hell. I shot off an email to you and said that if you had something to say to me, to just say it and not look and act like someone out of a skit from the Benny Hill Show. Naturally you never replied.

How does someone that emotionally immature and dishonest, who acts like a neurotic creep get tenure at McGill as a poli sci professor?

Call me slow on the uptake but it has finally dawned on me why it really never worked.

See, truth and integrity actually mean something to freakish, rare dinosaurs like me but I’m just realizing that truth has a relatively insignificant value in public intellectual life, in literary life etc. Ideology, personal comfort and careerism matter more to you.

There was no way in hell this would ever go anywhere. You can’t have a deep relationship with someone shallow and superficial.

You never understood what I was motivated by and I didn’t see properly what you were and are after.

Until now.

You mistook me for a “bad girl” when really, I’m not. That was projection on your part from God-knows-what.

The whole time you were trying to manipulate me to join you in the lie. And I just wouldn’t. I finally see it.

Julien Benda’s book “The Treason of the Intellectuals” is based in this binary notion that there are two competing sets of values in the world: fame and fortune on the one side, truth and justice on the other side. The gist of Benda’s book, is that the more vigorously you are committed to truth and justice, the less you’re going to see of fame and fortune and vice versa.

Hope your money and appearances comforts you on your deathbed or when you start thinking of your legacy and realize no one cared and no one is gonna remember a complete sentence of anything you wrote.

8 Comments

  1. Cally 6 years ago

    Thank you for posting this, I can most certainly relate to it.

  2. someone 6 years ago

    funny how u can be so judgemental on the way his wife looks u were probably nothin but a skank to him.. i’ve been in ur shoes he stayed with his wife u were just a distraction for a bit stop hatin on the wife she is the victim in all of this not u so stop tryna sound like the victim.. and grow up

    • Keep smilin' 6 years ago

      Absolute perfection!

      I have to say that it was a superb piece of prose and not a scintilla of emotion or meaning was lost in the translation from the verbal to the written form. Noam Chomsky would be proud of you and your thoughts perfectly echoed those of William Congreve when he wrote “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell hath fury like a woman scorned”

      But that does not begin to it justice. It was brilliantly witty and you would be able to teach the Gillette Corporation something about sharpening razor blades…

  3. Dan 6 years ago

    Speaking of, if it helps, sounds to me like guy was denying how he felt even to himself. Your little talk was him trying to convince himself, mostly, it seems. But… Think you accepted it before he convinced himself, before he could even accept it. So he got mad because he wasn’t done. (Haha) He couldn’t even be true to himself so of course his talk is all bullshit.
    But, here’s a little info from someone who’s got one foot in the professional world (more a toe, really, but still) and one in academia: people don’t “grow up” they don’t always “mature” in areas such as love and relationships and emotions and feelings. Most of the growing up and maturing is all in their head. It’s an act or a role that even they’ve convinced themselves is true. The world, when it comes to emotions, is more like high school than you’ll want it to be. You’re gonna be like, “seriously” “wtf” just the same as then. (Surely you’ve seen sex and the city) The person may be incredibly mature or competent in one area, say their chosen profession, but incredibly immature in another area at the same time, say relationships and connections with their true feelings.
    At the same time, the immaturity is one of the best parts about starting to care for someone, I think. Would you want food without salt? Emotions and that immaturity are the spice, and sometimes there’s too much pepper but you still spice the next meal. Hope you keep trying, is what I’m saying.
    Basically, you dodged a bullet on this one.

  4. John 6 years ago

    Holy Moly! that was an amazing- Incredibly well written – I want to read more!
    Bravo. Hope you find someone that treats you better. You deserve it with that intellect and talent.

  5. Mark 6 years ago

    So I’m not the professor you were speaking about, thankfully. Actually I was reading through this site for art inspiration. I have to say I have never read any post better than that. It was like a short film. I have no idea who you are but I’m feeling a bit taken back that by you sharing that story i feel completely attracted to you and actually feel a bit of admiration. I do not expect to ever meet you or anything I just wanted to tell you, you are one hell of a girl.

    Thank you for the voyeuristic peak into the lives of two people, one a thoughtful and well spoken student of life…the other would seem to be a typical middle aged frightened male. I loved the tale of him following you down the street – I had this image of his dejected face as he slunk along behind you – hilarious for me, annoying for you.

  6. QPrime 6 years ago

    That was a quality vent, complete with digs at academia and its would-be darlings. Just the sort of thing I hope for when I read random posts.
    It is very rare that someone posts something that is both entertaining, well written, and thought out. Think your target subject will actually read this?
    My unsolicited take…while IQ ranges vary, typical cheaters have the same end goal. A fling with no strings or consequences. Those with a little extra brain power can spin this to seem as if they seek an innocuous friendship based on intellectual conversation, but the end goal is always the same: intimacy without risk. He thought he could mold you into what he wanted. He thought wrong.
    Hope he does read this so he can enjoy that electric shock of panic when he reads the McGill professor with tenure part. Just enough information to give him heartburn but not enough to identify him. Well played.

  7. Sam 6 years ago

    At the risk of sounding condescending, you seem much smarter than the average CL poster. For that matter, just smarter in general. I’m sure there are charming men available to you that are neither narcissists nor married. Would just like to say that you smart, astute and dealt with your situation with maturity.
    I was simply amazed with your post. It scorched the earth with a level of focus and dedication to detail that is oh so rarely seen. Most people always wish they took the time to be so thorough in their wrath and simple assessment of the circumstances that lead to the current state of frustration and anger they are feeling, yet most just idle along until it seems as though the moment has past. So I commend you for your dedication to…..well I guess its best described as purging of your mind and conscience leading to what I hope is a modicum of closure for you.
    Not that this is a spectator sport, and not that there isn’t a bus-load of emotion involved, but your diatribe was absolutely friggin’ brilliant.
    If things went down like that, holy shit, you were under classed by a factor of ten. Professor-dude is the worst kind of man-child….
    So bravo…I wish I had your strength when it comes to that. I tend to try to avoid confrontation and always look to appease by simply walking away, so if anything please take my admiration as a compliment.

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