Saturday, July 21, 2007

One Enchanted Evening

The weirdest date I ever had included the man who would eventually break into my house and rape me and a mutual friend of ours who had such a disturbingly strong attachment to the my rapist (whom I will refer to by his initial K as that is his real initial) that he invited himself on our New Year's Eve date. K and I were going to see Fatal Attraction (my friend Hank used to say when something was very obvious, self-service humor, make up your own joke -- this situation applies) and then I was going to serve spaghetti in my parents' house as a "romantic" night as they were going to be out of town. Now I understand that anything involving me cooking does not constitute anything remotely romantic unless one considers nursing someone through food poisoning romantic. But at the time, I had high hopes and had procured a can of Ragu, my mother had cooked some hamburger meat, and all I had to do was boil spaghetti. Our mutual friend found out about the plan and begged to be in the waiter in this dinner scenario that was becoming less "One Enchanted Evening" and more "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" I cringed at the thought, tried to talk everyone out of it, but K thought it was inspired (We can include everyone!), and I wanted to cry at the thought of yet another date devolving into talk that included way too many Monty Python references.

I saw Fatal Attraction with both of them at the tiny theater where I'd seen seen almost every movie, the one where I'd go as a child after I'd collected exactly one hundred pennies and handed them over in a ziploc bag, dumping them on the counter, ashamed that the clerk would have to count them, but happy to be getting my ticket and going inside to see such classics as My Secret Admirer and Zapped! The dark provided comfort then, shade from the terrible Texas heat, a respite from the constant droning worry in my head. That night was no different. I loved the movie and admired the Glenn Close character, her wild lifestyle, her scary single woman apartment in New York, the creepy all white wardrobe. While I understood the point of the movie was to make her look pathetic and act as a warning against infidelity (even then I understood the film's purpose was to convey that all those dull, conventional choices were actually the right ones, ie, a metaphor for the growing AIDS epidemic), it didn't work on me. I thought about the excitement of the characters' lives, the way they careened into disaster with excellent outfits. I thought about going home and having K's closest friend serve us our spaghetti dressed in a fake tuxedo dickie collar he had obtained for the occasion. About how my parents would come home and ask if the spaghetti had been a hit. I'd lie, of course, say that everything went great. And what I didn't know is that it had, that everything was fine then in ways that it wouldn't be later. But like in Fatal Attraction, it's when everything is quiet, even boring, that trouble is brewing in ways that you don't understand but will be made to, in the worst possible ways, ways you can't even imagine in your grimmest dreams.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"My traveling companions are ghosts and empty sockets/ I'm looking at ghosts and empties/ But I have reason to believe that/ we will all be received/ I'm going to Graceland." Paul Simon

Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Office Space

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday!


Charles Gramlich said...

Fatal Attraction was a great movie. Glen Close is a helluva actor.

Cheri said...

Crazy Steve! I never told you about the snakes haha.

When I was a kid we had a cartoon tape of our favorite shows that my mother would put on when we didn't have cable to watch, and it was all recorded over the HBO version of "Fatal Attraction." My mother wasn't very attentive in her recording abilities and between different shows snippets of the movie would pop through. My first memory of this movie is the scene where Michael Douglas drowns her in the bathtub, right before she raises up with the knife, screaming her head off. I'd sit with my glass of kool-aid and my dum-dum sucker on the floor, mouth agape to this horrific scene, waiting for the Ninja Turtles to come back.

Oscar Winner said...

Never saw it, never will. Glenn Close was enough for me in "Dangerous Liasons." Scared the beejus out of moi.

paul said...


the walking man said...

Rape with the exception of years of spousal abuse & murder is the absolute worst thing a woman can endure. Like my wife leaving me and taking my daughter and having another man being called dad by her is one of the worst things that I have endured for 25 years. Not close in violence but it is one of those events in a persons life that never leaves them even after you make a truce with it, you think about it every day and you look for ways to undo the memories and the "why me?"

You move past it but you never forget it. Repression of memory is not something God has ever been able to d for me and I doubt that it is one of His specialties.

Yet there are ways to get comfort and solace from learning that life is nothing like a movie and nothing like the Hollywood screen writers idea of "cool."

But these things I can not teach, it is not my place, it is the Comforter's place to teach you how to receive these gifts. But again I can only say that you are not responsible for the actions of others and if you are still holding onto the thought that somehow you caused this by maybe letting the third wheel in to serve the dinner or maybe you opened pops liquor cabinet then you have to forgive yourself for holding on to it.

I don't know if the troubles I have had have always come from the blindside when I least expected them or not all I know is that when trouble comes knocking now, in whatever form it comes in after the first go round it will know that I will gladly die before I let it have power over me.

The One who created all things has that spot and together we will fight to the death for my master to retain it.

And yes in case you were wondering I do think about my daughter and granddaughter who is soon to be 8 and I have seen 7 times every single day with regrets over the way things turned out. I do not do as that asshole said when he was referring to rape, "just lay back and enjoy it" I allow the pain of that relationship to come in and hurt me until i can only sigh and say "I was married to a young (2 yrs younger than me)self centered woman who used me to get what she wanted. she got it I lost it, but I was fortunate that the kids really are loved by their step father" that is the only comfort I can draw for myself.

My only regret is the vasectomy i got right after the divorce is because I couldn't have a child with the woman I truly love but then fuck it you can't make a new start, you can only go forward through time whether you want to or not.

There I even got a profanity in this post. Michelle no matter what you are always in my heart and conversations with the One who loves me (ask him why he loves me, it's still a mystery to me. Has no taste in friends I guess)

One less anxiety will not hurt you, you have plenty more to cover that gap.

Very much Peace from His heart to yours, open your eyes just for a second so this little bit of light can enter, then you can squeeze them tight shut again. (Her words not mine)



Getty72 said...


Fatal Attraction will always be one of the best films ever... the "boil the bunny" bit always makes me shiver.

You have an excellent blog.

Best wishes ~ Graham :)

the walking man said...

See Ya Tammy Fay You Had a hell of run too and found peace at the end, I was reading a tribute to you in PLANET OUT today. You know the newspaper weekly for gay and lesbian and transgendered and bi-sexual folks. They called you an icon.

I don't know about that but I am glad that your pain is done and now you sleep with your ancestors in comfort.



Dan said...

unless one considers nursing someone through food poisoning romantic

I admire your ability to bring humor to such a tough subject. Hugs to you for that Michelle.

eric313 said...

It all goes back to banquet and healthy choice. They aren't great for dating either, but then again, they are their own positvie statements about standing alone.

Yeah, romanticizing pepper steak with rice pilaf and pot pies...

It's been a while since you brought it up, but the themes work together well. They all do. You could get the best out of all the recent months of your writing and put together a really good, fast paced memior of a season in your life. It would so work! You've already got it written, it's all here.

Just saying hi and I'm still reading you, friend.