Death in the Afternoon


No, I’m not a big fan of Hemingway. He’s always been a bit too “masculine” for my tastes, but I have always admired the succinctness of his writing (and his fondness for cats). I don’t think I’m a pretentious writer (at least, I damn well hope not!) but I’m aware that I add in far too much – probably very unnecessary – detail. You could never accuse Hemingway of that. Oh no! There’s not a redundant word or phrase anywhere in his work. I hear he was a ruthless self-editor.

Why am I thinking about Hemingway’s writing style?, you may ask. Well, I’ve been away for this blog for a while now and every time I come back, I read over the posts I wrote months, or even years, ago, and my first thought is always: “God damn, get to the fucking point, woman!”. I bore myself. I just don’t have the attention span to read all of my posts, from start to finish. I think I need to write shorter blog posts.

Of course, the irony here is that I just spent two whole paragraphs lamenting the fact that I’m verbose and wishing things could be different!

OK, it’s 7:28 p.m. In the next seventeen minutes, I am going to write a brief Hemingway-esque synopsis of how I’ve been doing since the last time I wrote a post. Here goes…

Life is not bad but it is not good. This is probably my own fault. I think I should be more grateful for what I have instead of focusing always on the negative. I am now a “senior advisor” at work (instead of the lowly, underpaid contractor grunt I was up until December) and I’ve got to say my new $42,500 salary will come in handy. Recently, I’ve been working a lot of overtime, too (time and and a half!) and I’m going to have a fucking humungous pay cheque on Thursday. Every last penny is going to go towards the deposit for the new house (two doors up) we’re moving in to at the end of the month….but, still…it’s nice to have the money. We might even buy a second car soon, as it’s been a nightmare driving each other back and forth to work. I have my eye on a second-hand Mini Cooper, but I don’t know if we can afford it.

MM and I have a pretty disastrous relationship still. He is now physically violent and an extremely negative person to be around. He focuses always on problems – never solutions. I have mixed feelings about this because I know that I am violent and verbally abusive myself, and I think I have pushed him to the edge. No, this is not the deluded opinion of an “abused woman” who has been led to feel that everything is all her fault. I really do think I have driven him to this extreme behavior, at least, in a way; however, I also find it  rather pathetic that he blames me for what he does. He has a choice, you know. He could leave. He didn’t have to stick around and become a total arsehole.

Nine minutes left…Life is not gut-wrenchingly awful. I am thankful, for example,  that I am not some poor Afghan child, lying in a hospital with my leg blown off from a land-mine. I don’t know what real suffering is. And yet….I don’t really feel anymore. When I had my old blog, I was so lonely and depressed, and I felt cut off from everything and everybody. Now I work so much that I don’t really know what I think or feel anymore. But this is probably the way it is for most people, right? This is probably why there are so many fucking retarded, bigoted people out there. They probably don’t have the luxury to come home from work and actually think about life and their place in it.

I miss feeling excited about life. I miss passion. I miss really good fucking sex with somebody you’re deeply attracted to (even if it is for all the wrong reason) I miss looking forward to stuff. I miss thinking that it doesn’t matter if life is crap now because I will soon be a successful writer or singer. I’m thirty-four now. I ain’t getting any younger.

But I’m not sure if it’s right to feel this way. I don’t know what’s a valid emotion and what’s just me having a “grass is greener” complex.

Well, one minute to go, so might as well stop now. It sure wasn’t Hemingway. But, hey, you can’t say I didn’t try.


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9 thoughts on “Death in the Afternoon

  1. williamx June 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm Reply

    If MM is violent, dump him. Doubly so if he brings out violence in you.
    Easy for me to say, yes. Hard for you to do? Yes. Shit.
    Recall if you can you are yet young, attractive I imagine, and yearning. You’ve not given up since, it seems to me, you still feel, else you’d not miss things like passion, hot sex.
    All emotions are valid. It’s what you do with them that matters. You’re responsible for your actions, emotions however really can’t be controlled.
    I’ve the impulse control of a spoiled puppy, the urges of a demented viking . . . yet I’m not in jail nor have I been involved in violence or even treachery and deception, since wartimes, some 23 years ago.
    lala, Write more. Because I am selfish, and really enjoy reading about your world. And I have this weird, possibly baseless, premonition that you’ll be happy one day.

    • petrichoric June 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm Reply

      MM tells me he’s violent because he’s “provoked”. Apparently my verbal abuse drives him to it. I can see how I’ve worn him down, but I don’t think it’s right to say that you’re violent because you’re “provoked”. This seems like a lot of cowardly BS to me.

  2. xul June 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm Reply

    No offence, but Hemmingway blows. (I liked his cats, though. I had one of those six-toed ones when I was a little girl.) I prefer your detail-filled meander rather than a plow to the point. I enjoy and admire your writing style; don’t try to be someone else .Please don’t start doing bullet point posts! 😉

    I really don’t know what to say regarding your relationship with MM. Wow. Why the fuck are you still together? And what in the bloody hell are you doing buying a house together?

    • petrichoric June 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm Reply

      Don’t worry. We’re not buying a house together! That was just an idea that never came to fruition. I don’t know why we’re still together. I guess because we’re both cowards, and we’re too scared to be out there alone. Also, even though I know this relationship is dysfunctional, I’ve honestly never been in a healthy relationship. It’s hard to leave something bad when you’ve never experienced something better. Money is a big concern as well. I’ve been so broke for so long, and it would have been extremely hard to leave and find a new place to live all by myself with ten pets. And then to have to buy a car on top of that. I’m only now just starting to get to a position where maybe, just maybe, I can start saving.

      • xul June 5, 2012 at 9:56 am Reply

        Okay, that’s a little reassuring that you’re not buying the house together. At least that proves that you are not completely mental! I figured that there must be a certain amount of codependency there. I’ve seen it before with my own parents. They were miserable together and provoked the hell out of each other even to physical violence but yet each was too dependent on the other and too comfortable in their misery to leave. Eventually you’ll reach a tipping point. I’m sorry you’ve never had a healthy relationship. That sucks. I wish I could say that things will get better but I don’t have a crystal ball and I’m not into that Pollyanna bullshit. All you can do is work on yourself and try not to play into his negativity. Yeah, much easier said than done!

  3. lifeismisery June 5, 2012 at 9:09 am Reply

    Nice blog post Petri, I personally love Hemingway, and this post wasn’t exactly Hemingway but it was a nice try.

    You need to divorce your husband. And you need to do it sooner rather than later. It’s not that either of you is a bad person, but it’s that you’re simply not meant for each other. You’re both making each other terribly miserable, it’s toxic.

    A good relationship means despite whatever bad shit is going on in your life, you know you have that other person with you to see you through. But your marriage just sounds like two people taking out their broken dreams on each other.

    You need to find the courage to leave your husband. I know it sounds scary going into the world alone, but you’ve always been alone. And really stepping into the unknown is as exciting as life gets.

    You have no control over how he lives his life, so don’t even try. All you have control over is yourself. So do what you can to make yourself happy or die full of regret and miserable.

    Or don’t listen to me. Do whatever you think is right, it’s important in life that we believe the choices we make are truly are own, and whatever happens we learn from it. No regrets.

  4. arekino June 6, 2012 at 9:54 am Reply

    Congratulations on the promotion to “Senior Advisor”.
    It may still not be your dream job but it must nice to see your
    efforts are appreciated. Keep holding on to that particular tiger’s tail.

    Regarding your’s and MM’s abusive behaviors, I’m not sure what to say. It doesn’t sound like you’re mistaking this behavior for passion. It may be a way for you both to release tension but it’s also corrosive to your relationship.

    I guess you both know it’s wrong. If you can’t avoid the situations that trigger the abusive behavior then the only other option I see is to try and recognize the moments you have a strong desire to “lash out” and slowly count to ten.

    Do you still run? If it’s tension you need to get rid of, running can do
    you a lot of good.


  5. vicariousrising June 19, 2012 at 6:12 am Reply

    Damn you, woman! You’re back! I miss you. I put you on my new blogroll, but you don’t fit neatly into any of my buckets 😉 I hope you don’t mind I stuck you in with the children of narcissist blogs.

    It’s good to see you writing again.

  6. shrink on the couch June 30, 2012 at 1:22 am Reply

    I don’t think getting bored reading one’s former writings is in any way an objective judgement of one’s writing style. I like your style of writing. I like your perspective and I like your honesty. I like how you share the good, the bad and the ugly. So don’t try to take on the cut and dried, overly simplified writing style of another… and especially not Hemingway (the only book of his I managed to get through was Old Man and the Sea and that was because it was an English assignment. Hated it.)

    Of course you have the right to your feelings. The fact that you lay aside your disappointments and negative views and try to focus on the good things in your life is what counts. It keeps us in the game. Gives us the energy and perspective to make some changes if we need to make. Missing sex? Damn straight you have the right to that. Don’t give up on yourself or your longings. Its hard though, after 20 yrs marriage, exciting sex doesn’t seem plausible, but good sex most definitely is.

    By the way, very happy you have made it to a more advanced position (and higher salary) in your company. You’re building toward ever more potential career fulfillment (if not here then the next job down the road).

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