You Like Bitches, I Like Crazies

“You just like bitchy people. I like the crazy ones,” you declare to me at a time when we finally decide to be honest about the past. With retrospect is supposed to come clarity, but when it comes to you, all retrospect lends is more bafflement. Funny how all the crazy ones you claimed to have liked have somehow remained in my life, or, to be clearer, I’ve remained saddled with them. I guess faux crazy attracts crazy, whereas true crazy sustains a relationship with them. Like Charlemagne, whose real name is Evan, but he started going by Charlemagne when he moved to Paris because he felt it was, at last, embracing his “true identity.”

He moved in with me a few weeks ago and I have strong doubts that I’ll ever be able to get rid of him, though I want to believe his seemingly earnest recountings of his daily search for an appartement are real, and not completely imagined. Maybe there is some shred of veracity to what he says. Just as there was to what you said in your announcement that we would be married and live happily ever after. Maybe you, too, were basing that on something that was vaguely grounded in reality, like the plot to another, more normal person’s life. I suppose I can’t argue with you in my fondness for cultivating relationships with bitches, somehow subconsciously seeking them out, how else does that explain the presence of you in my life for so long? But for most of it, you were performing your crazy shtick–so zany! I told myself. No, I insisted, there was no meanness in being treated like little better than one of Ira Levin’s Stepford wives. Except I didn’t even have any legal benefits for my time served in the kitchen and in the bedroom. So much time. All surrendered to you. And for what? Did it ever occur to you that women are “bitches”–as you so clearly view them–because of the congenital subjugation they’re expected to endure for the sole sake of getting a little dick now and then (usually very literal in that size-related adjective). For the presumed “blessing” of not having to roam this planet like a diseased pariah because you can’t manage to “lock someone down.” Must have some kind of tainted fruit down there in your nether regions to be so blatantly condemned to spinsterhood.

When you first introduced me to Charlemagne, it was after we had just moved in together in the sixteenth arrondissement (I wanted to live in the eighth, but you were always bringing back down to earth). We had met him at an open mic night at a since closed bar called Quinzième Siècle. Often, it felt as though the fifteenth century in France might offer more amenities than this bar, but still, it was a place for one to engage freely in that odious American term, “self-expression.” He was going on a rant about Charles Manson being the most racist white man to have ever lived, using black people as pawns in his little cult scheme. That cockamamie “Helter Skelter” manifesto. I was instantly off-put by his oratory nature, but you were reeled in, striking up a friendship during intermission that saw him coming over to our apartment more frequently than Kramer showed up to Jerry’s. It signaled, to me, the beginning of the end for our “romance” phase in Europe, which we had just moved to after several heated months of planning the transference from Boston. Though I wanted to stay there a bit longer, maybe go to grad school like all people who haven’t got the foggiest notion of how to function in the real world, you were adamant about leaving–with or without me. For you I chose “with.” Wasn’t ready to reconcile our irreconcilable differences just yet.

“Are you really going to need that in Paris, Emily?” you inquire as I throw a copy of Woody Allen’s biography into one of the book boxes.

I protest, “I’ll have more time to read there, don’t you think? I can write a treatise on the makings of sexual predators with it.”

He rolls his eyes. “You’ve really got to get off this sexual predator bandwagon. I was under the impression that you were somewhat intelligent, didn’t swallow everything the media shoved down your throat.”

God, you were a cunt. Always insulting me with some crack about my baseness in intellect. Yes, I continue to see just how right you were about me loving people with a mercenary persona. Maybe it was all those old movies I watched as a child, seeing the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Barbara Stanwyck get away with cutting remarks under the label of repartee. But I wasn’t wispy enough to carry off such a lashing tongue. Blowzy, sure, but not wispy. I started noticing that my “comedic timing” wasn’t often very well-received by the men I casually found myself with–for “dating” or “relationship” was always too strong a word to describe anything that had ever happened to me. I should have known such “humor” wouldn’t go over so well with you either in the long-run, would build up some long-standing resentment over my so-called insensitive and misandrist remarks. It was likely the reason you acted so cavalier about changing continents with or without me. I should have taken the hint and not bothered. But then again, I may never have found the wherewithal to move to Paris were it not for you. You who have since returned to Boston, of all places. The only place that, in the winter, can rival the temperature of your heart year-round. Unfortunately, for me, I fell prey to the charms of Paris, with its shit-scented streets (now I know why that was always mentioned in Glamorama) and its claustrophobic feeling.

In point of fact, the biggest bitches in the world live in Paris as no one can match the méchant ways of a Frenchie. Particularly the women. Jesus Christ, they’re snooty as fuck just because they can eat bread all day and remain thin. So again, your assessment of one of the most glaring disparities in our personalities is accurate. And you probably only liked me for a brief while because you thought I was a bit nutty before you decided I was a “Snow Queen.” If that’s so, you only further aided in freezing me.

And as I come home to the sound of Charlemagne rambling on about Allen Ginsberg being the biggest hack to have ever bloviated his way into the poetry world, I start to feel validated in my choice to prefer humans with a hint of bitterness to them.

I nod my head toward Charlemagne, not interrupting his flow. God, how I want him to leave, but I haven’t the strength just yet to deal with the awkwardness that will come when I ask him to find a new couch to crash on and he essentially refuses. It automatically puts me in the position of “evilness,” doesn’t it? Because, as I realize while lighting my cigarette on the burner and climbing out the window to enjoy it in peace, women are bitches (“demanding”), men are crazy (sociopathic). So diametrically opposed are these two integers in the equation called monogamous love that I often cite it as the number one reason there is no god. And then I exhale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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