Living in the past Ė as usual

 

June 26, 1983

 

Most people live in the past Ė even me.

But for some people it is more of a burden than for others.

For Louise, past and future mingle so it becomes difficult to determine where one leaves off and the other begins, just as it is impossible to separate her new lovers from her old.

Yet for all of that, her life is predictable and her conversation with prospective lovers usually centers around her last lover, and can be summed up in one phrase: ďHe did that which is why Iím the way I am.Ē

When I brought her and Ruby back to my apartment in New Jersey and introduced her to the life I lead, she grew confused Ė even scared.

Perhaps even more so, bored.

Louise lives her life boisterously, often missing subtle things.

Most Americans do.

They donít take time to look closely at anything, to slow themselves down to see small things changing around them, growing restless and bored when forced to confront things that donít explode in their faces.

Perhaps social refinement evolves out of boredom, people struggling to find something to occupy their lives in situations that have no distractions.

Maryann lives in the past, too. But unlike Louise, she is full of regret for past decisions.

She doesnít have a regiment of men marching through her life the way Louise still does, although Maryann once lived a wild life, too, full of cocaine and discotheques, all of which seem to have faded from her life as she broaches 30.

It used to be we couldnít trust anyone over 30. Now they are the only people we can legitimately call friends.

Now Maryann searches for something else, something new, something she avoided in the past, but now seeks with her whole heart and soul: a baby.

She just hasnít decided which man she wants it from: the man she is living with or the man from the past she claims she still loves.

Her hunt began three years ago before she knew either of them, when she called me out of the blue to ask me to come over to talk. We avoided becoming lovers by accident.

I wasnít looking for involvement despite my age.

Now Iíve become an advisor, a mentor, a comforting friend without any possible words of wisdom to offer her.


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