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.
(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.
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.