I’ve been thinking a lot about those Fatal Attraction references that The Man made about me. I’ve never seen the movie, but I think maybe I identify more with the Michael Douglas character than with Glenn Close. I remember from somewhere (probably from an old episode of Siskel and Ebert) that (after focus groups demanded it) the story ends with the married couple safely back in bed, having vanquished the hostile outside force. In other words, the movie is an advertisement for monogamy, a cautionary tale that only nightmares lay outside the marriage bed.
(As a side note, I think that a lot of the couple-centric problems that outside partners run into (wall-building, rule-making, hierarchy, and a general atmosphere of fear) stem from the fact that the bunny-boiler trope is so pervasive that even honest attempts at non-monogamy evoke traces of her.)
Now that The Man and the Scary Party are behind me, it’s very tempting to wish that I could use the scariness of the experience to fortify myself for a life of monogamy—after all, Sweetie has nearly all of the things that I need in a partner, plus so much more: she is chivalrous, brave, smart, deeply loving, and as the icing on the cake, fantastic with knots. For the foreseeable future, until I learn how to actually listen to my intuition and treat myself as somebody valuable even in the midst of man-smell, I am only with her.
And yet, every morning this week, I’ve had the same dream: kissing a man. A real one, not the goth-boys-who-did-not-grow-up-to-be-goth-men than I’ve been drawn to lately. He is decisive, clear, desirous, and hot. Maybe he’s my own animus, or maybe he is real. Or both.
Likewise, when I look up porn (at least there’s not so much anhedonia this time), it’s always of the many-men-one-woman variety. There is the simple fact that I lovelovelove penises, even if my relationship with those who have them tends to be fraught.
Before the now-long-past thing with Bill, I believed in something simple. I thought I could find someone, make out, synch our calendars, fall in love. I thought that if I was open enough, my missing person would appear. It never occurred to me that I would be asked and tempted to give up my autonomy, my dignity, my voice. I don’t know what to make of this year, how much of it I’ll keep and how much I’ll shed, easy as deleting my Fet profile.
I still don’t know if what I want (two real, deep relationships, one with Sweetie and one with a man) is a real possibility or a dream to be let go. My need to be loved by a man is so warped by compromise and taboo that it seems like just a huge risk, but a life without it seems very sad. There aren’t any answers for it now, just a quiet, simplified life and a hope that someday soon I’ll feel well enough to socialize, that someday soon I’ll be on solid ground.