a pure woman faithfully presented.
it seems right that my year of wild oats should end in love and disease. though the love, thank God, finally seems to be clearing up. a relatively mild case of love, i guess—(i’ll tell myself this; i’ll try to believe this; maybe it’ll help me get back to myself faster)—though at times it’s been extremely painful. and i’ve already been treated for the chlamydia. one dose of antibiotic at a cost of $1.50. much much easier to deal with than love. and if you have to have an STD, well, it’s certainly the best one to have—to me it’s kind of like a very good reminder that i need to be more careful. in a way, the love is too—i need to be more careful with my heart; more careful about protecting all my private parts. i will be in future. or at least i will try. i don’t need to have sex with everybody in town next year. (the year starts on oct. 20th here. i’m using my special calendar.)
i didn’t know i had chlamydia until i finally got my lab results on saturday morning (the day before yesterday). though i had already been treated—they give you the prescription right away if you think you might’ve been ‘exposed.’ even though it’s a relatively minor deal, i was of course hoping i didn’t have it. because of course it doesn’t feel so great to know that you had a sexually transmitted disease. and then you face the awkward conversations. if you don’t know when or where you got it, They recommend that you inform all the partners you’ve had in the past 4-6 months—a most excellent and virtuous plan but i don’t know if i’m going to do it. i probably will—but. i’m (very obviously!) not a saint. i will, of course, tell most of them. i have already told most of them. (i really can’t face telling Tread-Lightly yet…!) but all the conversations i have had were absolutely fine, absolutely model ‘thank you for letting me know’ kinds of exchanges, with one very major exception: Meyer Lemon.
i texted him. and almost immediately i got a call back: ‘i think you texted me by mistake.’ ‘uhh….what? no.’ ‘i think you meant to text somebody else?’ ‘no i’m sorry, i’m afraid not.’ and then i heard a woman shouting in the background. oh dear. it turns out that Meyer Lemon’s psychotically jealous (?) british fiancée (!) is in town and she was reading his text messages. now before i sent my message, i did wonder briefly whether there was a better way of getting in touch with him—he called me about two weeks ago saying that she was coming to town the next day but he was hoping to get rid of her immediately—‘you know i called it off, i don’t understand why she’s coming’—but i haven’t heard much from him since then and the one thing i know about The Fiancee is that she’s incredibly jealous. but calling or showing up in person seemed much more likely to me to arouse suspicion, so. i went with the text. and then i had a pretty terrible day.
i shouldn’t have let the craziness get me so down—well, and to my credit, actually, i refused to let it ruin the day—i went to a low-key little party and then came home early and poured out all my woes to the BFF—but a day that starts with someone calling you to tell you that you had chlamydia is already a pretty bad day. and then continues with a trip to visit a sick friend in the hospital. (perhaps the one who advised you to get tested in the first place…) (The Gift Horse looked so pitiful, so vulnerable, lying there with a tube down his throat! the doctor and the nurse came in—it all sounded terrible, it sounded like he was going to need surgery to remove a bowel obstruction—seriously, i sat there for almost a whole hour and cried. and usually i am at my calmest and best in grim situations! and The Gift Horse himself is used to surgeries and medical interventions, he was almost blasé about the whole thing*—he wasn’t in any pain—there was just no excuse for me. worst. visitor. ever. and the funny thing was, at the party i went to in the evening, a couple of his friends were there. and i told them what a terrible visitor i was. ‘yeah, i know,’ one of them laughed. ‘he was texting me while you were there. he said, “it’s really good to see her but she won’t stop crying! it’s really weird and it’s bringing me down!” i mean he was somewhat tongue-in-cheek about it, but.’ ‘well. i’m glad he was able to see the humor in it, even at the time! i really felt awful. in fact i kept apologizing while i was crying! which made it worse of course. and then he had to yell at me to stop apologizing. which made me cry even harder for a while. yeah…he told me that if i wanted to come back to give him notice so he could be prepared.’)
anyway. back to Meyer Lemon. i texted him just as i was leaving the hospital. and in between that time (about 1) and the time i went to the party (about 4) i literally got ten calls from him. well—nine from him and one from The Fiancee. very stressful. Meyer Lemon told me The Fiancee had been threatening him and he couldn’t get her to go back to england; he asked me if i knew who i got the infection from (!); told me that The Fiancee and i were the only women he’s been with in the past two years and before he and she slept together they both had STD screenings and showed each other the results (!!); etc. etc. also told me that he’d recently gotten tested himself because he was noticing some unusual symptoms (!!!) (information it would’ve been good to have gotten earlier.) the craziness was relentless. and i didn’t even answer half his calls—because i was navigating snarly traffic or taking a shower or otherwise trying to go on about my day as i’d intended. finally he told me he wanted me to lie to The Fiancee—he would put her on the phone and i would tell her that nothing happened between us. ‘i’m DRIVING.’ ‘well i can put her on and you can talk—‘ ‘well can i do it when i’m not driving? there’s this marathon, there’s all this traffic….’ (and i was crying again.) ‘you’ll call back when you get home?’ ‘yes.’ of course i didn’t get the chance, because of course they called me first.
now in the car i’d thought, well, i do not like lying, but i don’t like my life to be crazy either—and i do like Meyer Lemon, and i don’t want his life to be any crazier than it apparently already is—there’s no harm in telling The Fiancee that we never slept together. then i thought: but WAIT. i didn’t tell Meyer Lemon that i had chlamydia just for the hell of it—it’s not National Tell-Someone-Something-Shameful-About-Yourself Day—i told him because i don’t want him or The Fiancee to have a disease. and we had unprotected sex. there’s really no way i can lie about this. so when he put her on the phone i said, ‘look. i don’t know what you want me to say.’ and i heard the most terrifyingly correct british lady-voice: ‘i want to know whether you slept with my fiancé Meyer.’ ‘yeah, i did!’ and they hung up. ooh. i did not like that. ‘look,’ i wrote. ‘i’m happy to talk to her more and explain that i have no claim on you, we were just messing around, or whatever. i’m not trying to be difficult. i just don’t want you or her to have a disease. that’s what this is about.’ then he told me that they weren’t sleeping together. (information it would have been really good to have gotten earlier.) and that she would make sure that his daughter would know that he had ‘this thing.’
well. i did feel rotten then. but quickly realized that the daughter thing was the very definition of an unforeseen consequence! (also, all he’d have to do would be to tell his daughter: ‘she’s crazy. don’t listen to her.’) (also, if you’re with someone who is terrorizing your children, that is your own shame, and i think it is a great one. way way worse than chlamydia.)
well. so it turns out there are worse things than being alone! i don’t know how i let myself get so derailed by all this madness—i feel like i shouldn’t have engaged as much as i did—i mean these people were not acting like adults. i guess it was just the prevailing loneliness and the fact that the day was so shitty and emotional to begin with. and of course you have to feel like the interloping slut when the jealous fiancee is calling you up—though Meyer told me he had been engaged but had broken it off because the woman was so crazy—threatening to kill herself whenever he changed his facebook picture from the picture of the two of them together (oh modern calamity!), reading his daughter’s diary, etc. i mean there was absolutely nothing to indicate that they were still together….or would ever be together again.
one thing i will say: i think all the hijinks and high drama helped and are still helping to get my mind off love. i still have to be concerned because i have to see Meyer Lemon on thursday—my bar does these events with his record store periodically, that’s how i met him—well, kind of—that’s how i first encountered him, anyway. and presumably he’ll bring The Fiancee? i can’t imagine she would let him go without her? and i’m certainly afraid that she’ll want to confront me—i mean, especially if she’s drinking, right?—and/or tell everyone at the bar that i had chlamydia. or worse. i thought of asking for the night off but decided i wasn’t going to let the crazies disrupt my routine. que sera, sera.
it will be so nice to stand on that deserted beach in scotland.
* since then got the very good and very unexpected news that the obstruction resolved on its own. the man is eating soup, he’ll probably go home tomorrow! the horse has nine lives.