Artificial drama makes me impatient, but I try to keep that impatience tamped down because I'm often a little drama factory myself. At least, I am in my head - I try to not let it slip out my teeth or typing fingers. Also, I understand it's people's way to deal - in the same way that they'd rather look like a bastard than a patsy, even when the risk of being a patsy is small, they'll prefer to see themselves as some sort of wronged romantic heroine when the truth is that there was a big emotion that had nowhere to go.
Another thing that makes me impatient is a lack of imagination, and yet I have no imagination when it comes to other people's emotional existence. It can take me years to arrive at some sort of useful juncture when I'm trying to understand the people I love, or who I loved, and sometimes my subconscious needs to help, like it did last night in a 'Bluebeard' dream.
I was in the courtyard of La Pedrera, which had been moved to Paris, and he was there as well, bright-blue-eyed, happy, and rather scrawny as he had been when we first met, before I’d cooked and biked the heroin-chic modeling years out of him. He was acting in his sweet way, with the sweetness that made me want to stay with him long after it was evident I had to go.
‘It’s damp here,’ he observed.
‘Yes,’ I said, pointing to a half-basement apartment behind us. ‘We used to live there and I don’t think it was good for our lungs.’
And then his new girl was there. She looked slightly like me, but much better – that sort of stupendous, mid-size dark blonde you get in a stretch here from Denmark down to northern Italy, through Holland, Alsace, Luxembourg. I liked her instantly, and their rapport was adorable. They started frolicking around the courtyard, and as he scooped up a handful of rainwater to splash her she grabbed my arms and hid behind me. ‘Don’t let him get me!’ she cried, and they both fell about laughing.
Wondering if I’d be pressed into a ménage à trois I’d have to politely refuse, I consented to go to their apartment to pick up some stuff I’d left there. As soon as we entered they both went down for a nap. I gathered up some of the more important and portable things and made to leave.
On my way out, he woke and rolled over to face me, naked as a jaybird. ‘Don’t be a stranger,’ he said, and I told him I’d arrange to come back and pick up the other things later. I kissed him on the forehead and tucked him in next to her, where he fell back asleep almost immediately, a happy little smile on his face.
When I woke up I knew that boy can’t be my bogeyman anymore. I remember too much that I shouldn't forget. His sweetness was just as much a part of him as the batshit craziness. And although that brand of batshit craziness is unacceptable to me, I've been coming to realize for years it’s not really deviant in Central Europe, where their genocides are in living memory and those damnable Italian fuckwits are gearing up for another with their gypsy-hating and sheer fucking pig ignorance. All that fury, all that anger, those words and that way of acting - no wonder it confused him so much when I was revolted by it. It's normal here.
And after having gone through what he went through with me - being rejected because I couldn't accept that fury - how could I expect anything except that he'd get more conscious of it, and go into his next relationship with a greater desire to show more of his sweetness and less of his batshit craziness? Why would I choose to believe he could be some sort of lurking monster when - with his wealth, extreme good looks, generally sweet character and a level of fucking insanity which is merely typical by continental standards - some perfectly reasonable European woman would snap him up and perfectly reasonably love the shit out of him, and that woman - and the man himself - would probably benefit from what he learned through our relationship?
In short, how could I focus so hard on the 2% chance he's the revenge-obsessed monster he acted like when he realized I wasn't just play-acting breaking up with him, and the 98% chance he's happy with someone much better suited to him now? Sure, the 2% chance exists. But the other 98% chance is much, much bigger and rather more pleasant to dwell on . . . so much so, and so obviously, that I wonder if - no, I know I've been choosing to believe that getting over Mistress La Spliffe is impossible. Throwing a mean-spirited sop to my ego whilst throwing prime rib to my pride, my paranoid fear. Harming my mental health, my pleasant memories of the good times we'd shared, and some of the lessons I should've learnt through our relationship.
Because, of course, as my analyst was always at such pains to point out: everybody in the dream is you. As was that girl, his new girl, who was as pretty and happy as I felt myself to be when we first got together all those years ago; a girl who didn't utterly fuck things up, but who did what she felt was right at the time, and who had some joy with that man that made some unpleasantness worth it for a long time. And in the dream, he was me too; the 'big bogeyman' part of me, who is almost statistically certain to have hurt Mistress La Spliffe more than the man himself ever even wanted too. Happy now, playful, reasonable, and put to bed.