In My Mind Carin Vacillated Between Saint And Whore

Memories they can’t be boughten
They can’t be won at carnivals for free
Well it took me years
To get those souvenirs

My Apartment
3-18-78

It’s been awhile. It’s been fun. The young lady back a page stayed; my
first relationship in two and a half years. It’s been good. But why
does history have to repeat itself? She just received a phone call
from the guy that gave her self-actualization seminar. I was doing the
dishes, standing next to her while she was talking to him on the
phone. She enthusiastically agreed to go with him for coffee, but then
she asked if she could bring her boyfriend along and there was a long
silence. She then said “okay,” and hung up the phone.

Instantly a dark cloud envelops my body. What’s new, nothing! Opening
up to Carin felt so good, and then crash, the valve slams shut. My
body vibrates with the shock wave. My stomach snarls and tightens.
What can I say? What can I do? I say nothing, and the dishes come
clean one at a time.

If that guy on the other end of the phone had said to her, “I don’t
want to meet your boyfriend. I want to talk with you,” and she agreed
to meet him, then where did that leave me—the dish man? To an
independent observer, it would be perfectly clear: The guy on the
phone was making a pass, and Carin was going for it. She was going to
check him out.”

Well this is my situation and consequently I am tormented. What am I
to do? I may be wrong, and if I am, I am guilty of thinking the worst,
and what if I am correct? This nausea can turn out mental tangents
until Hell freezes over, regardless of who’s right or who’s wrong.
We cannot know each other’s thoughts; we can only react
to each other’s behavior. Imposing my truth on somebody else is a lie;
whether it’s true or not! And so I wash dishes, quietly.

The cloud sinks, as I swim in my thoughts, but there is nothing I can
do or say. But even though I know all this I still can’t stop my mind
from conjuring thoughts. I am responsible for myself
alone, and if I want it differently then I lose because I can only be
accountable to myself. But, my conjuring thoughts continue, and Carin
vacillates between being a villain and a Saint, the girl of my dreams
or the worst kind of whore. The man on the phone becomes a
teacher, a lecher, and then the devil himself, and I just keep washing,
washing, washing, one dish after another,– one dish over and over.

Well, I finished the dishes, and opened some beers. On the stereo,
John Prine was speaking for both of us when he said, “Now some folks
they call me a coward cause I left her at the drive-in that night, but
I’d druther have names thrown at me, then to fight for a thing that
ain’t right.” I didn’t go with the cloud, I’m happy for that. For
this place and time, everybody is doing the only thing possible.
Nobody has committed a sin, nor are they wrong. There shouldn’t even
be a conflict. Everything is as it should be. God, the more you
understand the more you’re tested.

I went through a lot of thinking from dishes to pen. I hope I caught
some of it on paper. My thoughts are what motivated this writing, and
this writing is what pulled me out of my thoughts. My life is more
stable now. I even stopped smoking cigarettes again, yesterday. Carole
Sue sent me a birthday card expressing her willingness to get back
together. What normally would have caused a great deal of inner
conflict has, thanks to my relationship with Carin, been reconciled
without discomfort. Now, even my relationship with Carin has been
reconciled without discomfort. I’ve learned how to become content
while allowing other people the opportunity to discover contentment
for themselves. My stability is not a consequence of my relationship
with Carin, rather, my relationship with Carin is a consequence of my
stability. And, if it’s not too much of a contradiction, I’ll say
adieux because I’m just a wee bit too “tipsy” to continue.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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2 Responses to In My Mind Carin Vacillated Between Saint And Whore

  1. ElizOF says:

    Curious to know what actually transpired on that phone… 🙂

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Many years after Carin and I parted ways, I received some unflattering information concerning the time the two of us were together. It came from one of Carin’s old boyfriends (the person who introduced me to her in fact). I’m pretty sure what transpired on that phone was not something I wanted to know about–and am glad that during the time we were together I never had any reason to doubt her motives concerning our relationship–a gift to me that I will always appreciate! Thanks for the comment.

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