Friday, December 08, 2006
We Are All Connected By Pain
One of my friends used to date a poet named Mike who when not stunning his system senseless with boilermakers, wrote some great essays about when he first started to drink like he meant it (age 12) and some odd abstract poetry, most of which dealt with getting eaten alive by women (lots of fish imagery was employed to this end) or about devoting himself to the writing life, which he compared to a sect of medieval monks who beat themselves with little sticks and whatnot to remember Christ, not in that bullshit go to church once a week way, he said, but really remember. By Boilermaker Two, he'd really warm his hands to this idea. I wish I could be one of those fucking monks, man. They knew what was what. Boilermaker Three: I need one of those sticks with thorns on it. We are all connected by pain. That's the only way we know someone. If they leave you and you still feel pain, you will always be connected. Like so much in life, I couldn't tell if what he said was genius or booze-fueled crazy, but I listened and liked the sound of it. I'd be hard-pressed when he asked if he could mail-order a stick with which to beat himself. When I said I didn't think monks did that anymore, he'd turn foul. Of course they do, Michelle. What do you think they do all day? I didn't want to fight with someone so impassioned, so I dropped it. I didn't point out that Trappist monks spent a fair bit of their time making beer and cheese, and I'm sure God liked that as much as the hairshirt behavior.
My friend and Mike broke up -- their relationship had been doomed from its conception given the dramatic difference in expectations. She hadn't expected so much gloom and so many boilermakers; he had wanted someone fun, he said, weird considering his fixation on the masochistic monks. If all this wasn't enough, they went to see Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives together, their last date. It's one of my favorite Woody Allen films, but it's not ideal for a romantic evening out. It's all about the deep horrors of certain marriages, and its one of the last vehicles for Mia Farrow, Woody's extremely estranged ex-wife. Woody and Mia said awful things to one another in the film, things that must have been straight from the last days of their torture rack relationship. Maybe Mike was onto something with that connected by pain thing. At any rate, nobody needed to get a little stick to inflict torment on themselves. Words work just as well.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I’ll play it now and tell you what it is later." Miles Davis
1/2 Southern Comfort
Serve chilled in a martini glass.
Benedictions and Maledictions