May 19, 1987
††††††††††† There is no dull routine with Peggy. But there are quiet moments, the lull between storms that almost makes the ride worth it all.
††††††††††† Nothing is predictable, however, and I am up and down in a crazier fashion than I ever figured on.
††††††††††† Things got a little calmer after my birthday, but not smooth. Iím feeling way too insecure about everything, especially about what might happen next.
††††††††††† Part of the problem has to do with her dancing Ė no, not from her dancing, but my being there when she dances. Perhaps Iíve just grown tired of the scene, although in some ways, the scene has changed now that Iíve become involved in it. In the past, I was also someone invisible in the dark, one of a crowd of lonely men. I was always too busy documenting what I saw in the faces of the other men to notice too much what went on with the dancers.
††††††††††† Peggy found my story about my Fotomat boss Bob Adamís birthday party puzzling. Someone had hired a stripper to come to his office party. When she showed up, she seemed to take an interest in me. I dove for the nearest exit.
††††††††††† ďWhy did you do that?Ē Peggy asked.
††††††††††† It was pointless to try to explain, so I didnít.
††††††††††† The whole of last week was overshadowed by the fact that I am getting older and Tom coming over to help with her car.
††††††††††† She teased the hell out of him, even whistling at his butt when he changed his clothes. I donít think she completely understands how men feel when we are around her. She use canít escape the barriers of her own feelings. This is made worse by her intolerance to any of us who try to explain what our feelings are. She thinks sheís being attacked. She thinks that fantasy fears are negative opinions of her.
††††††††††† She might be the cause.
††††††††††† There are a thousand little things about herself that she keeps secret, things that would likely shock the pants off someone like me or Tom if she ever revealed them.
††††††††††† Perhaps Tom knows more than I do, which is why he maintains his distance. Last week, he told me that Peggy has a difficult time distinguishing between the good and bad guys.
††††††††††† I think heís wrong. I think she knows perfectly well who the good guys and the bad guys are.
††††††††††† It is a matter of love.
††††††††††† Those who love her will put up with a lot more than those who donít.
††††††††††† We are constantly being tested as to the level of our love.
††††††††††† My third serious blow out with Peggy came Friday night when I asked Peggy out to dinner and her mother manipulated her way into coming with us. I felt cheated and angry, and noticed a lot of similarities between Peggy and her mother. Both acted a lot a like. Both manipulated in the same ways.
††††††††††† Peggy put me in the spot of telling her mother no.
††††††††††† I almost went home over it.
††††††††††† Once at the restaurant, I got offended again. Several of Peggyís relatives showed up, neither mother nor daughter introduced me. When those relatives asked Peggy if I was here new boyfriend, she hemmed and hawed.
††††††††††† I had wanted time alone with Peggy. But when we got back, she fell asleep. I left early for work.
††††††††††† Saturday was similar since I still suffered the spill over of the previous day.
††††††††††† Her car wasnít working again. But we managed to get it to her house.
††††††††††† I was still upset about the Michael story, and though I said nothing about it, she seemed to know.
††††††††††† My 9 p.m. she was asleep and I wandered out, eventually making my way to work again.
††††††††††† She hadnít wanted me to leave. She mumbled about my staying over for the night. But I desired escape.
††††††††††† By Sunday, things turned around again, and almost up. Peggy had to dance that night. I had to drive her. We played a little before she had to go, and then she went off to work. I came early. My uncle was home again from the mental hospital. I got drunk, made something of a fool of myself, slept over, and woke up still thinking about the issues from the weekend. But they were beginning to fade.
††††††††††† But one issue wouldnít fade Ė the fact that Peggy uses people.
††††††††††† She denies it. She makes a show of resisting it. But then she indulges in it.
††††††††††† Matters with my uncle got bad yesterday when I searched for him at the center and couldnít find him there. The hospital called. He wasnít even supposed to have come home.
††††††††††† Surprise! Surprise!
††††††††††† My time with Peggy got shortened. But I kept looking at the names she had written on her calendar, Bobby and Bill, wondering why she wasnít with any of them. I wouldnít ask. She had been playing some strange records, about having babies. It was a repetitive theme. I told her I would take care of her if she ever got pregnant.
††††††††††† She laughed and asked if I meant to get her that way.
††††††††††† I told her I would get her that way if she wanted.
††††††††††† She did not get angry at my remark.
††††††††††† I left it like that, although I also left sexually frustrated. She takes aggressively, but gives passively. Satisfying me seems more burden to her than anything and often causes her pain.
††††††††††† Just why, I still donít know, one more part of her life I know little about, but know that it would probably knock me over if I found out.
†May 20, 1987
††††††††††† More and more I realize that it is impossible to reach Peggy or make her understand feelings that are not her own.
††††††††††† She takes offense at the concept of fear, thinking she is being blamed for it.
††††††††††† And without a serious effort to make her understand, she often misses the point of our conversations.
††††††††††† And she simply refuses to keep mum about her past sexual exploits, even after repeated attempts on my part to tell her such tales bother me.
††††††††††† She doesnít completely understand just how frail the male ego is and Iíve already made up my mind that if I find myself in the position Michael wound up in, all this is over. If sheís seeing other men, I just donít want to know about it.
††††††††††† Iím not saying Peggy is stupid.
††††††††††† She senses something and told me yesterday that she wouldnít want me to seek out another woman for sexual satisfaction.
††††††††††† She mentioned the fact that she had once been pregnant. This lasted five months, vomiting every morning before a miscarriage ended it.
††††††††††† She didnít elaborate or suggest whether the miscarriage was caused by violence or by a heavy dose of dope.
††††††††††† From all I can gather, I realize someone did significant damage to Peggy early on, her mother, a lover, who knows, and that it canít be easily undone.
††††††††††† I love her. I think she loves me. But she says love means something different to her, less acute, and may not require her to be loyal or honorable.
††††††††††† Thereís no honor in Peggyís love, no matter how hard I try to cultivate it.
May 22, 1987
(from a letter)
††††††††††† Well, I ended it. Badly yes, but itís over, dead, lost forever. And rightly so.
††††††††††† And for the first time in months, Iíve come to understand the reasons why Iíve felt so insecure.
††††††††††† With Peggy and me there are two different philosophies when it comes to love.
††††††††††† She sees men as pieces to a jigsaw puzzle and always keeps another man in wings in case the current one does not fit her needs.
††††††††††† She rarely missed an opportunity to remind me that I could be replaced if I didnít measure up.
††††††††††† I lived with the idea that I could somehow fit myself into her life, two humans interacting, molding each other to each otherís needs. This requires both parties to agree to change.
††††††††††† But loving Peggy is giving her an opportunity to rip my heart out. I was always too flawed, and lived in fear that she would dump me at any moment regardless of how much I did to keep her.
††††††††††† So I forced the issue.
††††††††††† I could have broken away more easily, but I panicked. I yanked back my vulnerable parts and went home, aching over her like Iíve ached over no one before. But at least now I have control over that pain.
††††††††††† I set it into motion, I wasnít blindsided by it.
††††††††††† It wasnít just the idea that she wanted other men in her life. I could have lived with that. It was that there was no future at all for use.
††††††††††† Sheís wanted by the police and flaunts it. Sheís an alcoholic and continues to abuse it. There never a tomorrow, only today, and that wonít do for someone like me who is looking to build a life and a relationship.
††††††††††† So I got out, a few days before her birthday, wanting more than anything to be with her, to hold her, to give and give.
††††††††††† But Iíve drained myself on her, and still she wants more.
††††††††††† She lives with the illusion that everything is gentle and fine. But the illusion breaks down inside of me. I live with lack of sleep, rushing here and there, trying to patch up the places where the illusion breaks down.
††††††††††† Itís over. Iíve pulled myself back from her, and the sudden rush of loneliness hurts like hell.