I’m kidding

 

I’m against marriage, against any amorous commitment, and I act in intimacy according to the principles that form a rock band and keep it alive: as long as the chemistry works and it’s well seasoned, with applause, lots of humor, some stimulants and fans, everything is cool; as soon as the chemistry starts to show signs of alteration, I give up. It’s much too complicated to try to maintain a relationship after the attraction and the chemistry die down. I have an infantile behavior, of course, typical for a superficial Westerner, raised upon libertine values, with no sense of responsibility and brakes with regard to the cultivation of pleasure, the mentality of a person who doesn’t know the value or the price of freedom, and whose sole purpose in life is to burn daylight like he is twenty, even in the geriatrics clinic.

I’m kidding.

I had a man who mistreated me and abused me so much that I’ve got a phobia against any type of intimate commitment. I lived confined in an unbearable climate for years. You know how it goes: you show up young and beautiful at the City Hall, with your friends, your relatives, the entire lot, you say “yes”, you sign the document, while a tear trickles down your mother’s cheek, and you wake up from a nightmare, 10 years later, you look in the mirror and you don’t recognize your mug anymore. You see a dull face, with dark and ghastly eyes, with some queer wrinkles around the mouth, and you wonder: who is this creature?

I’m kidding.

I’m a failed idealist, the classical case. When I realized that there is no love and passion and devotion, I gave up on it, what was I to do? I adapted, I stopped hoping for the impossible, I adjusted my expectations to the real offer. People have common interests and needs, that’s what consolidates most couples and guarantees their longevity, whereas I dreamt of a game with a higher stake; in fact, what am I saying? Not a game, that’s just it: I yearned for the great art of the Eros.

I’m kidding.

In reality, it’s much simpler than that: none of the men I craved ever loved me. None of the ones I could have been happy with wanted me, and I ended up in relations with fellows that didn’t really interest me. And after a certain age, when you see that history keeps repeating itself, you draw a line and say: that’s it, no more. Change of scenery and of desires. I’m kidding. Who the hell can defeat his own heart’s impulses just because he wants to?

Of course I’m kidding.

So you’ve understood: I’m a nymphomaniac. I can’t settle down. I must have absolutely every man that crosses my path, otherwise I feel terribly frustrated and I am capable of doing unexplainable things, such as using a lighter to burn the dress of my second storey neighbor, if I catch the door to the drying room open and the dress hanging on the clothes line.

I’m kidding.

I’m ashamed to tell the truth: the truth is I’m a good girl. I’ve always been a good girl, and attractive boys have run away from me like great entrepreneurs run from the IRS, and I was only looked upon with interest by those guys who could barely put two words together at a party and tripped themselves when they asked you to dance. The tragic part is that I’ve always liked a type of man who only wants runway models and vamps, and I understand why. It’s natural. If I were him, I’d prefer a hyper-sensual woman who rubs her thighs together lasciviously when she fidgets in her chair and caresses the restaurant table’s leg with her high heel, over one who is so modest that, after trying on every form-fitting dress in her wardrobe, eventually chooses to go out on a date with a loose sweater, so that the man she passionately wants won’t think that she’s trying to sexually incite him, God forbid! It’s obvious that, if I were a man, I’d be the kind who trips himself until he loses his balance and falls over his partner, and when he tries to pick her up, after the accident, he makes a joke about the polish on the floor. Only with such a man could I afford a marriage, which is what actually happened. Do you understand? It’s difficult for me to value the matter.

I’m kidding.

I was only sixteen years old… The typical situation: a group of teenagers, a summer evening, in the park, we smoked some weed, we played the guitar, we laughed. I had been invited by the cousin of a classmate. While we were making merry in a group, he behaved as decent as possible, he kept touching me from time to time, discretely, he ran his hand through my hair a few times. Then, after everyone left for home, he offered to take me home and I accepted. He had a car. When he took a wrong turn, I warned him, innocently, that he should go back, but he continued to drive forward. Whatever. The fact is, no matter how gentle and patient a man is with me, I still don’t trust him, none of them. The only people who don’t raise my fear or my suspicion are those who have a slightly imbecile air when they smile at you, who don’t know what to do with their hands when they are intimidated and who can talk to you about anything on the tone with which the people on the radio read the levels of the Danube. We all know it, these men are truly harmless, and they seem to beg to be wife-ridden, but they are as bland in bed as delicacies for kidney patients. If you are a normal woman, you don’t really feel like keeping a no-salt diet, do you? I would only risk getting married with one such fellow.

I’m kidding.

In fact, nothing I’ve said up to this point is true. I just have a great imagination. I’m an artist. You know how artists are.

I’m kidding.

I’m religious. Yes. I know, in our times, a religious woman has a hard time finding a partner. I cannot even fathom accepting a libertine or a degenerate, a rascal or a skirt chaser, someone who is not a God-fearing person.

I’m kidding. I’m really funny, aren’t I?

I didn’t have the good fortune of other people, to be born with parents that could afford to send me to university. My mother raised me by herself. My father knocked her up and left with another woman, blonder and younger than her. I’ve had to work ever since I was 18. I’ve had all possible jobs, I was even a chicken separator on a farm. I had to take the chickens and separate them according to their gender. This might be the only species in which females are somewhat more valuable than males. When my time came, I too got married, just like all my friends did. I wasn’t going to be called the neighborhood whore, although I swear it would have been better than what followed. My husband is a day laborer and spends his time in front of the Super-Bet at the corner, he drinks everything he earns… and after he drinks… Some women are luckier than other, that’s just life, that’s the destiny I was dealt. I can’t exactly praise marriage, it’s logical, isn’t it?

I’m kidding.

It’s clear to you that only an intellectual can talk like this, of course I have an academic education. I also have a PhD. I’m the head of a laboratory in a multinational company. And I’m not going to abandon my career for God knows what whimper to ask me to support him or worse, some retard to send me to the kitchen to make him some food. If a man asked me to make his some soup, I’d smack him. What century do you reckon you’re living in, you bastard? Grab the damn phone and order some sushi or get a mistress to make you soup and leave me alone, I have assignments to turn in and conferences to attend and great responsibilities on my shoulders! Besides, I can have any man I want, a strong woman isn’t denied anything. Money and fame can buy anything, including true love. I guess you all know that.

I’m kidding.

In fact, I’ve always been a simple girl, with small demands. I only wanted a good boy that I could count on, a shoulder to lean on and rest my head upon. I wanted a capable and modest man, who knew his place. And I only had hypocrites and sentimental crooks, even punks who played me like a thimblerig. With time, I realized that even my small demands were too big and I’m not expecting anything anymore, I only have casual relations, everyone who wants to can enter and leave my life and my bed… I myself have become a train station and I’ve grown accustomed to the rumble of the trains. The sirens don’t even startle me anymore.

I’m kidding.

The truth is I don’t even know how the existence of some couples is possible. Maybe they are just travesties. Who knows what the unseen side of the iceberg is hiding? I’ve always had whatever one can humanly wish for, except love. I’ve received every award possible, I’ve won all the contests, I’ve been a chess champion, I’ve had the best friends in the world, the ideal job and the fanciest apartment in the center of the city. But I didn’t want any of these, not really. They just happened. On the other hand, ever since I was 5 years old, I’ve wanted a boy to love and to love me. I’ve been having the same dream for a few good decades now. To be honest, some slight modifications appear from time to time: when I was five, we played ball together on the waste ground at the corner of the street; in high school, we climbed mountains and went hiking together, or we rode our bicycles through the parks and secretly kissed in the attic of my grandmother’s house; at 20, I dreamt that we made a splash by holding hands at jazz concerts and everyone said: oh my, they look so handsome together, and in that dream, we both had long hair that we kept untied and flowed in waves over our shoulders; I imagine that in my fantasies from when I’m 60, we will both be bald, and I will be wearing a head kerchief and will barely dare to touch his fingers with mine as we walk along the street together, so that children won’t point and laugh at us. That’s about what love is. It’s in a different dimension. And I’m in no mood for an earthly relationship. It would be a curse. To deal with a man you don’t love. I’d rather die a spinster.

I’m kidding.

Of course a guy who isn’t all that appealing and with whom you don’t exactly share the deepest connection of the soul will do too, in the absence of something better. You know what they say: “make it until you fake it.” Or was it the other way around?

I don’t even have to mention again that I’m kidding.

In reality, I’m an ordinary person, I have a partner. When you are cheated on, you get angry, you invoke the old promises, the truth, honesty and virtue. When you cheat on someone, it doesn’t seem as serious. I’m not a supporter of flaunting contracts and promises. Promises and contracts are for employees and labor people, for business partners. On a professional and social level, they are the guarantee of the well functioning of things; on a romantic level, they are the guarantee of failure: all they do is falsify relations, intoxicate them or keep them alive artificially. A relationship is maintained through effort and struggle. In your professional life, the contract doesn’t spare you of the need to efficient, but in your personal life, most partners claim the guarantee of convenience, comfort and satisfaction, on the basis of the contract. As soon as they get married, they begin to sit around watching TV, gossiping about politics, killing time on Facebook and nagging the person to whom they’ve vowed eternal faith for the wrong position of the dish towel or the strainer, to give some examples… Idling around in front of the TV as a couple is, most often, a direct consequence of agreeing to the contract. It’s not normal to sit around and expand your belly or your bottom in front of the TV and demand to be loved only because you have a contract, that’s what I’m saying. And you complain that your lousy partner is cheating on you, if he is not very caught up in the snares of convenience. Routine is sometimes worse than the cruelty of separation, than the cruelty of having your love refused (in case you fall in love like an ox), it’s a serious illness, maybe the worst couple’s chronic illness.

I’m kidding.

In reality, I’m the ox who falls in love. I mean the cow, although “ox” sounds more clement. Even in the allegories from the genre of fables, we can still glimpse a trace of misogyny. I won’t get married because I’m addicted to love and sex… The current diagnosis manuals admit it as such, the addiction to love and sex is an illness. Those like me are addicted to the phenomenon known in folk terms as “falling in love”, just as some diabetics are addicted to insulin, some criminals are addicted to forbidden substances, and some compatriots are addicted to pickles. In our area, I’d say that pickle addicts are the most numerous and most warped, because they seem harmless, but they’re not. When they have no more pickles, they become irritable, they are even capable of giving you a lecture about the frightening truths encoded in the Marxist theories about capital and concealed by the authorities, and, what’s worse, they don’t even realize that the lack of pickles if the source of the conspiring fears that put their judgment to great trials. When you believe you are doing fine and you seem to have settled into a relationship, that you have your own “quelque chose” that suits you, wham!, you fall in love. And everything blows up. You can’t get married when you know you have such a handicap. It’s like being short-sighted and insisting on getting behind the wheel and taking someone else in the car with you.

I’m kidding.

I’m a lesbian, obviously, you’ve surely noticed. Of course not, lesbians don’t talk about men obsessively. They don’t talk about them at all. In fact, I’m an ordinary woman who is bored to death in a relationship in which the most exciting moment is when he kisses her passionately, after the national football team scores a goal.

I’m kidding.

I’m sad. I tell myself jokes, so that I will not think about what’s bothering me. I’m in a situation in which I suffer like a dog and there are no guilty parties for the fact that I’m suffering like a dog. Especially when you consider yourself a cat, the fact that you end up suffering like a dog is humiliating and unfair… And you’d like to have someone to blow off steam with. I’ve already scraped my fist on a wall. All the joints in my fingers hurt when I write. I’m a masochist. That’s it. No. There has to be a bad fate, mine. There has to be a fate, so that I can rebel against something.

I’m not kidding.

I’m a poetess. I hate numbers. I love summer, bright colors, warm temperatures, I want to feel my heart boiling over. No. I want quietness, I want silence, there’s too much noise in love, too much waste, too much swarming through parallel worlds. I can’t stand poetry. All I want is an intense moment of reality, one that I can be sure we didn’t live together, inside my head, that the lips which touch mine touch with the same ardor or sadness, that we meet on the same wave of temptation, of candor or of the absurd. A single moment of reality in two. Certain. Shared. So that I can die in peace. It doesn’t matter if it lasts five minutes or a lifetime. It just has to be. You know it was. From this point of view, we are all the same. This is what we all want. And this is the tragic and romantic side of things. The cynical side is that there is no wound created by a futile dream that reality cannot bandage.

I’m kidding.

Or I’m not kidding.

As you wish.

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