all over this town.
the letter was probably not one of my best ideas. but i’ve never let myself make a romantic ass of myself like that before—maybe i just needed to do it for once. i’m not embarrassed. well, okay, i’m a little embarrassed.
i did get a response. but Tread-Lightly sent it via facebook messenger for some reason and i hardly ever look at facebook (as it is a great force of evil in our time) so it took me a while to see it. and oh what a response it was. so long and so pompous. i went out one night last week and did some dramatic readings and let some other drunks do some too. it’s definitely the personal fable, writ large—well i called that one! that’s always a consolation. he makes it sound like he’s on a sacred quest. i was about to excerpt but i got a sort of queasy unethical feeling. i can summarize it, though: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME. and present the critical reception: ‘it sounds like a machine-translation of morrissey lyrics.’ ‘so did this guy read too much tolkien or what?’* ‘i think you dodged a bullet here, dora.’ ‘so….you’re dating the phantom of the opera?’ ‘OK, one classics professor and four grad students agreed that a passive use of “beheld” is not technically wrong, probably, but is not mellifluous.’ ‘that’s disgusting.’ etc.
basically he said he shouldn’t be with me and maybe shouldn’t be with anyone (on account of his magnificent turmoils and sundered life** etc.) and he was genuinely freaked out by how intimate we had become. he really didn’t like that i’d fathomed his depths. it was not the facebook messenger message of a young girl’s dreams.
AND YET i responded. really in an attempt to de-escalate the whole situation. to get things back in the vernacular. (‘wait! MISTAKE! there’s no way i was in love with this guy. i tell him i love him and he tells me he loves himself…maybe i just loved his flesh and curls…maybe if i can take this discourse down a notch, i can get my hands on those again…’)
and then he responded again. (what a pair of prosy old goats we are! and we both really like to have the last word, evidently…we have that in common.) Tread-Lightly’s second message was really harrowing. it actually gave me a Bad Feeling. (‘wait! is this guy some kind of hardcore near-delusional narcissist? did i fall for him because he fulfills some deep pathological need? has this whole thing been pure pathology, start to finish?’ etc.)
AND YET i had to say something to that too. though i kept it very brief.
and he’s written to me, yet again…but i don’t want to read it.
so. yeah. acres of prose. a lot of ink has been spilled; countless one-sensed organisms have been destroyed. all for a not-very-worthy cause. (the beatles have already said it better than i ever could.) it would probably be funny to read the whole correspondence—the two very different styles—probably the love between someone who really loves george eliot and someone who really loves tolkien is doomed from the start, eh?
AND YET i’m still thinking about him. even thinking of how we could try again. i’m sure i’ll write about him more…i have to apologize in advance for that. thanks for putting up with me, my dear imaginary. i have to say that the Tread-Lightly affair has shown me how truely wonderful my friends are—because they really have put up with me going on and on about this man for months. so patiently! with so much kindness! it’s really touched me. i have felt so tedious…(oh what a prose i’ve been!)
* ‘whoa, actually, his favorite book is by tolkien! how did you know!?’ ‘uh….not hard to guess.’
** i try to approximate the style