Wednesday, June 15, 2005

8:36 PM


Sitting at the bar. I swirl the drink in my hand and watch the ice cubes shrink and slosh in the bottom of the glass. Amazing how those old dead Romans could just sum it all up in three words. Odi et amo: so much pithier than approach-avoidance conflict.

"
Some part of me wants him to die. I'm just not sure if it's because I want to be with her... or if it's because I want her to suffer."

Talk about a conversation killer. But what was there for James to say? I was grateful for the silence, actually. Telling me I was a jealous, selfish jerk would have been pretty redundant. If he knew about that little chat I'd had with Stacey earlier today -- the one that ended with her rather strongly hinting that I should just stay away from her -- he didn't bring it up.

He stayed a while longer. He didn't order a drink; he had his wife and his dinner guests waiting for him. I ordered my second after he left.

To be glad that Mark wasn't responding to treatment... I disgust myself.

And, my God, I am so stupid. Why did I have to bring that up with Stacey? Why did I ever open my mouth? I wanted to know if she wasn't over me, if I still meant something to her. Last night on the roof, when I was holding her again... but she was thinking about Mark.

Do I still mean something to Stacey? But what if I do? What if she were to admit it -- what then? Can I take the answer? It's like she said: did I expect her to drop everything and come back?

And why do I care? Do I love her? But how can I really love her when I could even think about wanting her to suffer?

But if I could possibly want to see her suffer, that means she means something to me. So does that mean I really love her?

I take another drink.

Wilson is right. Stacey is right. I should just stay away from her.

But I can't.


Odi et amo: quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.


I hate and I love: you're asking me how.
I don't know. But I'm feeling it. I'm ripping apart.

6 Comments:

Blogger Sanlin said...

It must be hard to resist dishing out some *quid pro quo...* ("this for that") to Stacey, given your turbulent and disrupted past history. Even though you kept your leg after your infarction, I sometimes think it's your heart and relationship that were amputated, instead. Cut off, unexpectedly, before things could run full-spectrum in the uninhibited way many people experience. Having to deal with the infarction and all the personal and professional fallout, afterwards, arrested the natural arc and development of what would have happened, otherwise.

You walled yourself and your emotional wounds off from the world for five years. But, a series of people and events--Wilson, Cuddy, the Ducklings, patients, Vogler and Stacy--have opened everything up, again.

Small wonder you're feeling "ripped apart." But, you should know, better than anyone, that sometimes a wound has to be opened up and cleaned out for it to heal properly. That didn't happen, in terms of your heart and emotions, five years ago. I hope it happens, now, so you'll be able to move forward in your existence and do more than just barely "function" in an emotionally amputated way. Science, logic and reason, alone, aren't sufficient to navigate through the complex waters of being human. They do not provide a rich enough spectrum of human experience—especially not for a soul as passionate, artistic and sensual as yours. What you've tried to deny yourself in other venues has survived in your music and embattled oases like your friendship with Wilson.

You have a lot more to give--and get from--the world than just cracking cases, Doc. If Stacey is a catalyst for that, my impression of her will fall more on the *amo* side. But, if she's all about sliding a blade between your ribs and giving it a few twists for good measure, I'll lean towards the *odi* camp.

Without the infarction, Stacey's life and yours would have moved forward towards some logical conclusion. Whether it would have been marriage, breaking up, or something else, it would have given you something concrete that you could have worked through and dealt with on all levels. That didn't happen. So, here you are, today, suddenly facing her and her *husband* after not seeing her for five years. That would be enough to throw *anyone* for a loop.

I don't think Stacey's dealt with certain issues, either. She thinks she still knows you. But, people like Wilson, who have gone through the past five years with you, know differently. She wasn't there to see the changes five years of chronic pain and Vicodin dependency have wrought. For all the things she's been wrong about, she was right in believing in you and your abilities. She knows, everything else aside, that if anyone can help her husband, it's you. What a predicament. She's desperate to help Mark, but, simultaneously, she should know (if her mind isn't completely occupied with Mark's illness, right now) what her request is going to do to you. But, she came to you, anyway, because you're the only one who can do what you do. I think I hear the Alanis Morissette tune "Ironic" playing in the background...

Sanlin

July 03, 2005 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Baylink said...

Shame none of the things in that song *are* ironic, isn't it?

They all *just* suck.

PS: what's up with the time warp?

July 03, 2005 5:07 PM  
Blogger Sanlin said...

I find the conspicuous lack of irony *highly* ironic. ;-) But, that's just *me.* ;-)

And, Baylink, haven't you perused the influential 'How To' book: "Playing With the Space-Time Continuum for Fun and Profit?" ;-) It's a good read. ;-) Rewind, pause and slow-mo modes can have beneficial effects on a narrator's abilities to explore situations in greater detail and expand on particular themes. This can be fabulously useful, especially when employed in concert with the odd time effects produced by strange events such as the well-documented "summer hiatus." ;-) Remember, as the Doc says, "time is not a fixed construct." ;-)

Sanlin

July 03, 2005 5:28 PM  
Anonymous bazjack said...

Is the poetry Catullus? Or Ovid? I think it must be one of those two.

Despite the Vicodin, alcohol, obsessive work habits, etc. I did not really consider you overly self-destructive until I found out you read Latin poetry. Please, stop while you still can.

July 04, 2005 3:15 AM  
Anonymous Auditrix said...

Baylink: the time warp -- what Sanlin said, except for the "Profit" part. I wanted to write the "Honeymoon" posts with timestamps corresponding more or less to the episode timeline, including the two missed appointments, and real-life time (which has been in short supply) is slipping away faster than blog time.

bazjack -- it's Catullus, Carmen 85. So how many years have you docked from your lifespan by reading the poetry of the ancients?

July 05, 2005 2:18 PM  
Anonymous bazjack said...

It's not so much years off the lifespan, but the quality of the years. Depressing poetry is bad enough for the attitude, but depressing poetry in a dead language is even worse.

Actually, I think it's just Catullus that is really bad. I liked Vergil just fine (war stories instead of depressing poems). Although your translation was much better, more colloquial, than the strict form we had to use.

July 05, 2005 4:27 PM  

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