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Refuge for the rational.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Your Mother Should Know 

I used to know this guy named Aaron when I was crazy and I could never figure out why I hated him so much. I knew that it was partly because he had an attitude towards my negativity that I saw as morally superior. I don’t remember what we used to fight about, but he used to say things like “you know, people do care”, and it would always make me feel guilty and confused. Now I realise that I still hate him, but this time my reasons are different.

I’ve watched a lot of biographies about Marilyn Monroe. She’s quite fascinating. Despite her usually ditzy roles in films and her voice to match, she was highly intelligent and fought for more challenging roles. After she committed suicide, they found a fairly sophisticated library in her house. Another fascinating thing about her is the men she was involved with; I’ve heard it said that part of the attraction was the fact that she was damaged goods. Beautiful, intelligent, sweet and fucking nuts. I think people like to think they can save people like that.

In retrospect, I know that this is true. That’s why I hated and still hate Aaron. There was some kind of attraction to the craziness for him. He pretended there wasn’t, but he was so much more focused on it than I was. I suppose next to me, he could try to look saner.

I also know this is true because all the men I dated at that time were the same as Aaron. I could never figure out why they were so stupid for me; I was, after all, far younger than them. They all seemed to fit a similar profile: They were graduate students or “professionals”, they had “grown-up” friends who seemed painfully prudent to me, and they all seemed pre-occupied with my nuttiness. They took me to the symphony and out to dinner at nice restaurants and bought me things I didn’t really want, and when I decided I was getting too close to trophy-wifing it, they would try to “keep in touch” for months and even years after. A naïve person would claim that it was all about the sex, but Marilyn and I know better. They just couldn’t have a nervous breakdown on their own.

That character is so prevalent in our society. You young salesmen, students, artists, lawyers and engineers—you’re all the same. And Salinger was so right about you.
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