“And all men kill the thing they love…”


It’s Monday morning, and the day has not started well. When I went into the bathroom for the first pee of the day, I found that my wee blind kitten had managed to step in his own crap again, and had left little shitty kitten paw prints, pitter-patter, pitter-patter, all over the floor. Sigh.

Also, there was nothing nice to have for breakfast. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, and I’m always put out of sorts if it’s not good. Usually I like to have something sweet for breakfast, but today I was craving breakfast tacos, which are probably the most perfect breakfast creation ever. They will be one of the few things I miss about this place when I leave. And, oh, margaritas, too.

There were, however, sadly no breakfast tacos or margaritas for me this morning. Instead I had porridge, made the old-fashioned way with just salt and water. When I was growing up and asked my mum if I could have sugar in my porridge instead of salt, she said that I couldn’t because “that’s the way the English eat their porridge”. The implication was that the English were too effete and spoiled to be able to handle salt in their porridge. She may have been right.

I have also run out of my usual organic Earl Grey Tea, and therefore had to slum it with Tetley (one of the most popular brands of tea in the UK), which I had bought once when I was overcome with nostalgia in a shop selling foreign items. God knows why this stuff is so popular…it tastes like warm goat’s piss (or, well, what I imagine warm goat’s piss would taste like).

After my Oliver-Twist-in-the-workhouse-like breakfast, I started to write in my journal, which has become a bit of a chore lately given that I normally end up repeating everything I write there on here. I’ve started leaving out lots of the more juicy things in the journal because I know I’ll just write about them in my blog instead. This makes me worry that my great-grandchildren will think I lead a very boring life, lacking in imagination, when they find my journal one hundred years from now, growing mouldy in an attic somewhere. Perhaps I should put a sticker on the front of my journal with my blog address to avoid such a disturbing occurrence?

You’d think it would be exactly the opposite, though, wouldn’t you? You would think that I would want to keep the most intimate, embarrassing and gruesome truths of my life for myself in my journal, wouldn’t you? Nope. I most definitely prefer airing my dirty laundry online in the blogosphere. Perhaps it’s because I’m tired of being stuck inside my own head, and crave readrers with whom I can interact.

I do find all this writing therapeutic, though. I think I carry a lot of unresolved anger around in me and writing, specifically blogging, allows me to work through my issues far more thoroughly. This morning, for exampe, while writing in my journal, I suddenly felt a surge of anger towards Midwestern Man. It came out of the blue but I suppose I must have been unconsciously thinking about yet another conversation we had yesterday about his inability to finish his art projects. As you know it bugs the shit out of me that he’s nearly thirty-two and that he doesn’t appear to have got his act together.

The reason why I would be a good teacher is because I’m very encouraging and supportive of other people’s dreams, but somehow I can’t manage to be this way for Midwestern Man. I went through a phase when I’d talk to him all the time about teaching, persuading him to train to be one, too. I do think he’d be a good teacher actually, and he already teaches some evening classes in art, but my constantly harping on about it just made him resentful and bitter. I suppose I should just leave him be, but even if I do, and never say anything about the situation to him again, he’s going to sense that I, deep down, don’t really believe he can do it. I want him to do it, but I just don’t have much faith in him. I know that’s terrible, but I really don’t. I realize that my lack of support (whether vocalized or not) will only make the situation worse, but I don’t know how to make myself believe in him. I don’t have any evidence from his past I can use to help me develop more faith. All I see is a long trail of procrastination and unfinished projects.

I even hate the art form on which he’s decided to focus – the graphic novel. Well, that’s not entirely true, as I do like things like Persepolis and Maus but that’s because they talk about real things, important things. Whenever I look at the graphic novels Midwestern Man reads, they’re all fucking fantasy scenarios…bombs exploding; femme fatales with their anatomically impossibly big breasts bursting out of their tight clothes; apocalyptic scenes….It’s all fucking bullshit. Nothing I can relate to because it’s not linked to reality in any shape or form.

Midwestern Man accuses me of “not having an active fantasy life”, which I find amusing because I think I’ve got far more imagination than he does. It’s not really true either that I don’t like fantasy. In fact, my favourite genre of fiction is probably magic realism because it combines fantasy with (guess what?!) REALISM! When I read Gabriel Garcia Márquez, for example, I don’t think to myself “Oh, here is an author who has taken refuge in the world of fantasy and spirits because he spent all his teenage years, and most of his young adulthood, hiding in his bedroom, never getting laid, because he was too socially awkward”. This is exactly what I think when I see the vast majority of comics and graphic novels, however.

I despise fantasy and science fiction because these are genres written by people who do not have a handle on reality. And how can you write good fantasy if you haven’t yet mastered the skill of seeing the fantastical in everyday, commonplace happenings?!

I would say that Midwestern Man does not have a very good grasp of reality. However, as I was writing today in my journal, it occurred to me that this was precisely the quality in him I had fallen in love with, except that I had viewed it in a much more romantic, positive light. I adored the fact that Midwestern Man was so idealistic. There is a childlike innocence and simplicity to him, which was so refreshing to me, caught as I was in my world of handjobs and depression.

I had admired that quality in him but now, if I really examine myself, I think I would like to destroy it. Pluck it out of his heart, dash it to the ground and stamp on it again and again, leaving a crushed bloody mess, completely unrecognizable.

I wonder why that is. Perhaps I am jealous that he has survived so long and managed to remain this pure and free. Perhaps I want to drag him down with me…Whatever the reason, I want to crush him, kill him, drain him. I’ve done it before to men who loved me, and I want to do it again. The sheer depth of my cruelty astounds me.

I hate his fucking guts. I love him so much. My poor husband.

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12 thoughts on ““And all men kill the thing they love…”

  1. Maria September 14, 2009 at 5:09 pm Reply

    I feel the EXACT same way about my partner most of the time. She makes me want to tear my hair out but I can’t stop looking at her…

    • petrichoric September 17, 2009 at 2:40 am Reply

      I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one with these feelings!

  2. Judith September 14, 2009 at 7:05 pm Reply

    You should pick up Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novel series. Or Alan Moore’s From Hell. Two of the absolutely best things I’ve ever read and with gorgeous graphics. I also love Mike Carey’s Lucifer, which is a spin off from Gaiman’s Sandman and Frank Miller’s “Sin City” books are excellent also (Marv’s story is my favorite, I think)

    Not all the graphic novels are good reads — like you said, overt fantasy stuff — but some of them are incredible and blend the visual with literary to bring out a whole new experience that neither simply reading, viewing a picture or painting or watching a movie could evoke.

    As for you needing to believe in Midwestern Man, I don’t think you need to. I think you can love him without believing that he will ever succeed in his desired line of work. You maybe are focusing too much on what he is or isn’t doing with himself. In a lot of ways, it’s not any of your business. Just my opinion, though.

    • petrichoric September 17, 2009 at 2:42 am Reply

      Hi, Judith. Yes, I know there are good graphic novels out there but, unfortunately, Midwestern Man is mainly into the overt fantasy type because he says they have the best art work. I do like some graphic novels but, to be honest, I will always prefer to read a book. I don’t like other people to have already created an image of what’s happening for me. I want to make it all up in my head.

      • petrichoric September 17, 2009 at 2:48 am Reply

        PS/ Yes, you are definitely right that I am focusing far too much on what my husband is doing. I agree and disagree that it’s none of my business. I guess I just want to know that both of us are going to be financially secure at some point in the not too distant future, and I don’t know how that will happen if Midwestern Man doesn’t change. Thanks for the honesty, though! I appreciate it!

      • Judith September 17, 2009 at 10:59 am Reply

        Ok, I have to disagree with Midwestern about the art work in the fantasy books. He’s not looking with his artist’s eye. *rolling eyes*

        Have you ever seen the movie Chasing Amy? This is not really the same, but I am kind of thinking that I’m not entirely sure of what I think of a grown man who wants to make a living drawing exaggerated Barbie dolls.

        Eh, who am I to talk? I want to get paid for making shit up.

        • petrichoric September 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm Reply

          Well, thankfully, I don’t think that Midwestern Man actually draws any woman with pneumatic breasts in his graphic novels. I could be wrong, as he doesn’t show me what he draws very often, but there have been no women like that in the stuff I’ve seen. Thank God! The kind of art I like in graphic novels is generally very minimalistic and simple, as I don’t like my eye to be drawn away from the text. For example, I loved the way Marjane Sartrapi drew “Persepolis”. Midwestern Man thinks she’s not sophisticated enough, though. I suppose that’s true, but who the fuck cares!?

          No, I haven’t seen “Chasing Amy”. Is there something about a graphic novelist in that? (Must dash off to google the plot…)

  3. yogurtry September 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm Reply

    It happens all the time … it’s happened with me, I see it happen with so many of of the couples I see. The very thing we rag about, the thing that bugs the shit out of us, is rooted in the thing that attracted us to them to begin with. It’s some weird, interpersonal homeostasis, or something. quite often you can find me rallying myself out of a husband directed funk by forcing myself to focus on that which I DO like, instead of that which I don’t.

    • petrichoric September 17, 2009 at 2:44 am Reply

      That’s good that you’re able to focus on your husband’s good points. I find it VERY hard to do that when I’m pissed off with my husband, and when I’m happy, I find it hard to concentrate on his bad points! I do actually believe that I probably have a mild form of Borderline Personality Disorder for this very reason.

  4. pandabox33 September 15, 2009 at 6:42 am Reply

    Arg I feel this way with friends ! I love that they are different from me and I do appreciate the complementarity but it bugs me so much I just want to shake them like trees. Wake UP !! Wake UUUUUPPP !! Smell the coffee you daydreaming, unrealistic, excuse-finder, dimwit !!

    • petrichoric September 17, 2009 at 2:45 am Reply

      I actually don’t really mind too much how my friends behave or conduct their lives. I just get pissed off with my husband because his behaviour and way of being could have huge repercussions for both our lives if he’s always going to be broke.

  5. Andrew October 18, 2009 at 5:57 am Reply

    I second “Watchmen” and “Sandman,” although I passed on “Lucifer.” If you liked the minimalism of Persepolis, I recommend “The Tale of One Bad Rat,” a mostly-forgotten and little-known graphic novel that’s going on 15 years old.

    I still like Marvel, DC and Image, but my tastes have grown. I think of it as “I used to like Coca-Cola and still do but now I like wine, too.”

    As for loving and hating someone: I think we can do both at the same time, paradoxically. I think opposites do attract, and we’re initially drawn to something in our partners that we wish we saw in ourselves (but don’t). I think over time, that admiration turns to envy and envy turns to dislike.

    Or maybe I’m just full of shit. 🙂

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