September 17, 1998
Jumping On The Lincoln Bed


And another one bites the dust.

Another "doomed, goofball romance," that is.  

Sigh.

At least I'm getting really, really good at this End-of-the-Romance stuff.  Pop open the Dreyer's!  Slip into the world's ugliest rattiest bathrobe!  Toss the Irish Potato Famine Opera CD into the boom box!  Break out a fresh new box of Puffs Plus With Aloe!  Assemble the necessary voodoo doll components! 

Commence wallowing!

So, you ask, "Who is the Miserable Cretin who broke your heart THIS time?" (if you're one of my friends) ... or, "Who is the Poor Dumb Shmuck THIS time?" (if you have ever shared a pillow with me).

Long and short of it is that *Someone* and I have finally decided that we're gonna bag the whole Trying To Still Be Friends thing. In recent weeks it had become more and more of a struggle 1.) for me to listen to his constant non-stop endless mind-numbing irritating brain-deadening *commentary* on the Bill and Hillary stuff, and 2.) for him to pretend that he likes ANYTHING about me. ("The garbage doesn't take itself out, you know.")  So ... we're going to quit pretending.  He's going to concentrate on his new job and his cats and his Ollie North radio show, and I'm going to concentrate on The Knife Factory and the online journal and the virtual cat I downloaded this week ... and we're both probably going to be better off.

The whole thing sorta blew apart, finally, two nights ago. He was driving me home from work -- for which I paid him $1.10, btw: the equivalent of bus fare -- and on the way we stopped at the Oregon City Library, so he could photocopy this fabulous Wall Street Journal article he'd been talking about all day. ("You are gonna LOVE this," he said repeatedly.)  We experienced some minor problems copying the article -- he didn't have his glasses with him, and he was getting irritated because he couldn't read the instructions on the Xerox machine -- so I went up to the front desk and asked one of the volunteer librarians to give us some help. Finally we managed to print out a legible copy of the article. 

In the car, *Someone* handed it to me. "You're gonna LOVE this," he said again.

I read the title of the article  --  "American Calligula"  --  and my heart fell. More Bill & Hilary stuff.  Oh boy.

Please understand. Over the past few months, I have really tried to get into his political *stuff.* I took the Rush Limbaugh book into the bathroom, once or twice. I endured the intern jokes/the *Free Willy* jokes/the cigar jokes. I dutifully sat by his side as he rapturously downloaded the Starr Report last weekend. But the truth is that my heart (and stomach) have never much been into it.

Anyway. I sat there in his car and read this article, written by Peggy Noonan (one of *Someone's* personal gods, apparently), and the very first thing Ms. Noonan went off on was how a famous female television producer and an occasionally-famous female TV actress, in a moment of childlike glee, were photographed jumping up and down on The Lincoln Bed.

"What's the matter with that?" I asked innocently. Frankly .. it sorta sounded like fun.

The look of horror on his Young-Cranky-Republican-Turned-Old-Cranky-Republican face said it all. (It was as close to an actual facial expression as he ever gets, anyway.) He was genuinely appalled that I would even ask.   And at that moment our relationship ended, I think. Once and for all.  Tonight he wrote me the standard "Re: Re: Fwd: Have A Nice Life" letter.

So how come I feel so sad about all of this, if I knew it was never meant to be in the first place? And if it was such a pain in the butt merely to ride in a car with him for more than five minutes at a stretch, without feeling like he was sucking every last drop of life and energy out of me?

Maybe it's because he came along and rescued me last year, at the precise point in my life when I most needed rescuing. That's probably some of it. I'd just had my heart freshly pulverized, and he quite willingly stepped into the role of Rebound Rescue Guy. He threw everything aside -- upset the order of his life completely -- just to hop onto that white horse. I owe him something for that.

And maybe because I loved him, in whatever way I could for as long as it lasted  ...  and because there is a little part of me that loves him still, the way I love everybody who rescues me (and eternally despise anybody who could have rescued me but didn't) ...

... and maybe because now I am really and truly alone here in Oregon, for the first time, and I'm not quite sure if that's going to be OK.

More this weekend ...




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