Friday, June 26, 2015

keep out

It has been a long time now but I once had a terrible boyfriend that I loved. We bonded over books and writing, wrote long notes and letters, tried to figure things out with words. However, when it came time to do our own work, he became wary and watchful.

All he could imagine was that I was writing in my journal about him, or about my desire to be with other people, because what else could be going on inside of me? What else dare go on inside of me?

It has been a long time now but it still makes me angry.

click to enlarge
When I read this page by Summer Pierre in Forgive Me #2 I started to feel sick. When I got to the part where she cuts out the passages that obsess and terrify her boyfriend, my heart broke a little. Now I know that no matter how much you give away to that person it is never enough, and it is never worth it because you get wise, you get lucky and you get out, but a little smaller and little more rounded than is best.

If you don't get out, you get The Husband Stitch by Carmen Maria Machado. This story is framed by familiar urban legends and concerns a woman's sacrifices for her desire.

"– I have given you everything you have ever asked for, I say. Am I not allowed this one thing?
– I want to know.
– You think you want to know, I say, but you do not.
– Why do you want to hide it from me?
– I am not hiding it. It is not yours."

Though the above quote is plain and bare, the story itself is subtle and entrancing. I love how Machado takes on how women are punished for being complex, the resignation inherent in many life choices and the importance of an inner life.


Steve Gutin said...

I haven't looked at your blog in years. The first post I saw at the top now says "keep out." I thought for a moment you meant me, or everybody, but I pushed my ego aside and read on. I immediately felt calmed by your intimate, painful story, I guess because I recognized your rawness, and I found that comforting, even though the events and lessons learned were not. I was jolted when I realized/remembered that I was reading a book review. I did not read the passage in the picture by Pierre; I felt that your own story had already said it. I did read Machado's passage, though, and saw its direct relation to your own raw tale. I felt more than I generally care to feel from a 7-paragraph book review. But it was yours, so that feeling was good. Keep up the great writing. " get wise, you get lucky and you get out..." is gold. I may borrow it, but I'll bring it back.

Carrie said...

Oh, Steve, thanks for stopping by. And thanks immensely for commenting.

Steve Gutin said...

I'm trying harder.