A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

Marriages

Outside, the rain continued to pound down on the asphalt pavements. The best marriages are tangled and contradictory affairs, their psychological terrain unknowable to all but the immediate participants.

Davinia’s husband, Eugene, sits stroking his fluffy white bichon and listening to Jim Morrison wail softly on his stereo. On his desk sits a mock-up he’s made of a Harper’s Bazaar cover, with his wife’s face superimposed on Britney Spears’s body. Well, that’s what she would be like if his imagination could be allowed to come true.

She imagines herself as one of the girls—let’s call her Dana—She’s as close as you can get to being a Barbie doll while still breathing. According to the clique cartography, she’s probably a popular sophomore. Boys come and go, putting their arms around her bust to say hello, and a chasm between her snug top (she wishes!) and her denim skirt (how did that get in her wardrobe) beckons back. Would it be hard not to be popular?

Davinia’s husband, Eugene, sits fondling the morning’s paper, his eyes flicking nervously across the pages. He’s looking for evidence of bored husbands doing mischief. It doesn’t matter to Eugene who the mischief is with, or what the mischief is – it’s the thrill of seeing others do what he can only imagine.

Davinia is tired after her day. Eugene hasn’t been paying her enough attention. She schemes behind her fashionable Hermes glasses of how to pique his interest.

Davinia has had quite a day. Early morning she is transported back to England at the dawning of Second World War. She is thrown together with a brylceamed, mustached young English fly-boy who sweeps her off her feet. Just after their relationship is consummated after a picnic in an uncharacteristically sunny English countryside, he is inconveniently called back to his squadron and, before lunch, she has news that he has been shot down-believed dead, over France. Lunch had been a torturous affair as Eugene ridiculed her pitiful attempts to replicate the perfect Provence omelet. After lunch she had parachuted into war torn France and experienced the most exotic and explicit adventures. By six, she was exhausted.

They were arguing. Their respective fantasies had not managed to keep the distance between them from seething with the contempt and malice they felt for each other. Davinia was reading – Women, on average, excel on tests that measure recall of words and on tests that challenge the person to find words that begin with a specific letter or fulfill some other constraint. They also tend to be better than men at rapidly identifying matching items and performing certain precision manual tasks, such as placing pegs in designated holes on a board.

She correctly thought that a man probably wrote the article. Anger welled up inside of her. Eugene made the mistake of looking up from his newspaper and read bits of an article to her about some new age guru who blamed women for the ills of the world-unemployment (more women taking up the precious few jobs rather than staying at home and having babies), rising prices (they instead on cooking foreign muck that had to be imported-Eugene was still exacting revenge for the failed omelet), and violence (women were as violent as men and when a man hit a women she had taunted him for far too long). Davinia exploded,

“Yeah well,” yelled Davinia, “imagine talking to a fish, and you asked it to describe its environment. One thing it probably would not volunteer is that things are awfully wet down here. Men are so fucking insensitive. If you ask one to describe and understand violence you would be struggling to get one to admit that it’s mostly done by males. The truth of it is that if we could stop men beating women and other men, we would pretty much get rid of violence altogether. The maleness of violence is so fucking obvious that it is rarely even noticed; it is the ocean in which we swim.”

Eugene reeled back. Rarely had her heard Davinia to be so articulate. His brain screeched to try and come to match her repartee.

“Err…, well…., what about….., just because…..” He mumbled to a halt. Thinking on his feet had never been a strong part of Eugene’s character. He paused and then it came to him in a flash; a picture perfect reproduction from the Harpers Bazaar article that had run against Britney Spears headless body. “Look darling, “ (he curled the word so that it could be interpreted as either an insult or an endearment), “from observations of both humans and nonhumans it has been proven,” (he liked that-it sounded very authoritative), “that males are more aggressive than females, that young males engage in more rough-and-tumble play than females and that females are more nurturing. We also know that in general males are better at a variety of spatial or navigational tasks.”

Davinia crossed her arms and humphed. “ Right, like the time you found your way to Mike’s place. Oh yeah! And that time that you found a whole new way to get to the West Coast. It only took three more days than the standard two hour drive.”

Eugene paused to recollect what Davinia had managed to drag out of the distant past. “You have to admit it was rather scenic though,” he floundered.

This just infuriated Davinia and she moved onto a topic that always grated between them.

“And don’t get me started on men who rape,” she started.

Davinia’s husband Eugene, who had been down this path many times looked hopefully around for the bichon. A walk in the fresh air, sans Davinia, looked awfully inviting.

These long weekends are a bitch

Davinia lowered her eyes and, in a low but steady voice said to Eugene.

“It says here that she told her lover to wait in the car while she went to get a present for him from her car. They had a brief but intense sexual relationship, which had lasted about three months. She returned to the car with a bucket, yellow ribbon around the rim, overflowing with petrol. She threw the bucket over him and then a lighted match. Just think Eugene, a woman fighting back.”

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