January 4, 1984


“When she comes, she goes.”

At least, that’s what Paul Simon sang, going and coming, understanding the nature of love a little better than I do.

Sometimes, she’s even chased away, sick from the coyness of her intended target, target of love, of hate, or eternal greed.

In many ways, it is a typical situation – reversed: male being passive; female being aggressive.

Yet even in a typical situation it is difficult for the agrees to maintain interest with constant refusal.

At some point, the target must concede and love triumph.

This is, of course, the essence of romantic comedy – love conquers all.

I think my ex-lover as seen too many of these films as a child and acted in too many such plays while in school, bathing herself in a deluded sense of reality – this despite her intense education in Freud and others who constantly debunk this myth.

She flew back to college after yesterday’s disaster with Pauly.

This was not a lack of her trying; she used her entire bag of tricks yet could not come up with the right combination to unlock Pauly’s heart.

He is a tough nut to crack.

Although he would never admit it, Pauly was once a romantic, too. And like many romantics, he locked the doors to his heart after being hurt, and has refused to give anyone the key again.

He has reverted into being a misanthropic hermit-artist, a man who scorns humanity’s follies and predicts the world’s end through war and pestilence – filled with silent rage, leaving no opportunity for love to hurt him again.

But there remains a kernel of hope inside of him – perhaps acting like a beacon that drew her to him in the first place, hidden deep inside and over protected by a shell so tough nothing short of nuclear annihilation will reach it.

He defends this kernel to absurdity as he might his virginity. His romance is based on Mary Stewart’s vision of Merlin, alone on a hill, a wizard that reigns behind the scenes, without election, without pomp, without threat of upheaval.

She, of course, could not accept “no” as an answer, and so spent time and money trying to reshape his comfortable world in a place where she might feel comfortable as well, when it is not possible for both worlds to coexist.

And she fled back to her own retreat in the mid-west sick of me, of him, of grim impossible hope, she filled with justified anger at the fact that Pauly accepted her gifts, but not her, without explanation or justification, without an ounce of remorse – at least not on the surface.

She clearly failed to understand him and how he tends to use people and set them aside when he no longer needs them.

And she supposed she could fill the void left by his original lover, while assuring him that she isn’t the same person, and will not do to him what his original lover did.

He already knows that she isn’t the original, and covets that wounds like a dog over an old meatless bone, gnawing constantly at it, thinking he can still taste the original flavor, when all he tastes is the blood from his teeth rubbed raw.

1984 menu

Main Menu

email to Al Sullivan