It's quite difficult, as we all know, to cope with the fading of someone we love. I must say, seeing my father in pain, etc., knowing these might be our final days together, etc., puts me in a horrid state. My depression is exacerbated, my thoughts, exacerbated. I can hardly write these blogs. All I can do is provide you (with) fiction. From me. So, I've decided, to give you a continuation of Part 2 1/2. I certainly hope you don't abhor it; if you adore it (which I doubt) do relay as much. I'd be quite happy and honored to hear your responses. And, mark me, I don't utilize writing as a catharsis. Some may speculate it is that in many respects, cathartic. But, I'm of the mind, the concept(s) at hand, when I write, are less venting and more relenting. More about this later. In my second novel Deirdre goes on about how art isn't meant to be cathartic, etc., But I won't bore you with that now. I might bore you, instead, with the continuation, and here it is:
“Well,” she said, “He was just listening to all my grievances, against you of course. Don’t’ look so dour! You know I’m kidding. Really, we were talking about personas. How people take on guises to complement their own… lack, of persona.”
“I’d disagree,” Dedrick said.
“Yes, yes, of course you would,” she said, and left the two of them in a corner, against a mirror and coat rack.
Dedrick turned to the mirror. It spat back his Romanesque nose. And the way it twitched. The mirror told him he was nervous.
Sylvia balanced her way to another room. The kitchen perhaps. May it be she was going for more wine? Or was she hiding something, from him. Dedrick never took much care of those who were meant to be close, to him. He found it far more resourceful to ignore them, so when you did pay attention there was so much more interest to be had. And Sylvia was no exception. Something was happening to her. That she should even venture outside in the getup she was in was surprising indeed.
“Mr. Forrester, haven’t you heard a word I just said?”
“No, no, and forgive me, doctor, I was just thinking, to myself, of course.”
“Within yourself, you mean.”
Dedrick excused himself, and went to the kitchen. She was there. Sitting at a table, looking at a bee circling the fake flowers. Her eyes were a blue made bluer by the darkness around them. They were large, and not so inquisitive. More dream like. As if, when she looked at you, she was really thinking of something else, so very far away.
“So, you’ve found me,” she said, with a giggle.
He didn’t respond. He only walked over to her side, and brushed his hand upon her soft shoulder. She wasn’t wearing her usual powder; the fragrance was more distinct. Like flowers in bloom. Exotic, too.
“Whatever are you thinking?” She said.
“Nothing important,” he said. And sat beside her. And brushed his finger through her long dark locks.
“Will you stop that?” She said.
He stopped. He turned in for a kiss. But she turned away.
“What’s wrong, Sylvia?”
“Nothing except the obvious.”
“You think you know everything about me, and I so little, about you. Which, in some ways, is true. But, in many ways, isn’t.”
“You’ll always be enigma…”
“Will you stop that? I’ve had enough of your lies, Mr. Forrester. Funny thing is, you think you’re pulling the ultimate trick. The way to cheat death into thinking it could ever lose to life. You put on a false identity, which makes people want to know the real you, and you keep it ever so secreted away. Without even knowing, when you put up a false affront, people find you’re really anticlimactic. When you set up the truth, people are always expecting more.”
“I still don’t understand…”
“You wouldn’t, Rick, now would you?”
“Now that’s just not fair…”
“You know, I’d understand if you had some wild reality to secret away. I always knew you weren’t who you said you were. But, to think, Mr. Forrester is keeping the secret, that he’s really dull? I can’t accept it.”
“It’s a bit too late for that.”
“So,” he said, “What do you want?”
“I want,” she gasped. “I want some time to myself. That’s all.”
“Away from me?”
“That is what having time to oneself means. Away from you. Away from everyone.”
“Except yourself, of course.”
She didn’t appreciate how he could complete her thoughts. How he so readily completed her life. Taking all the details he knew, and fashioning them into some fictional altruism.
“What kind of wine is that?” He said.
“Your favorite,” he said.
She took a final sip, and rose. And left a kiss on his cheek. And said, “You don’t know, do you? How you’ve managed to break my heart, so it seems there was never any heart broken to begin with.”
He didn’t have the urge to cry. He couldn’t laugh. He could only affirm it; he had destroyed her. Like so many, she had been, for him, the perfect marionette. When he fashioned his characters, in all his works, they were always based on the people closest, to him. This latest novella was no exception. He used her; he took every bit of her dignity, and fashioned it into trite wordplay.
It was as if, he was holding her, and controlling what she said. Her movements. Her intuitions. Were all fashioned by him.
And what didn’t trouble him was his lack of guilt. She let this happen. They all did. He, so enamored they’d sacrifice themselves to be close, to him, enamored everyone. There was something about Dedrick’s ego that drove people bonkers. And yet, none of them knew who he really was. Some, with Sylvia’s perception, would say he were really dull. But her perception wasn’t too keen. Neither were the people who thought this novella was all about him, and his life. Truth be told, he was scared to confront the real Mr. Forrester.
There was something to amnesia. Sylvia complemented him in the sense her thoughts were so overbearing, her madness so inclined, she could eradicate her past. And wonder; was any of it even true? Did she lose her brother? Did she deal with this illness for a time? Or was it all artificial? The bee swarmed around the fake flowers, it had to know the scent wasn’t there. But it was attracted to their luminance; the luminance the key, to everything, in life. Even if it was false, we were always so attracted to it. Sylvia was stretching at something she could no longer handle, when she tried to off herself, it wasn’t like she even considered the life she had, with him. She saw everything as a contrivance, and the artificiality became too overbearing, she had to leave. And lose her soul to the hollow host.
He could have been wrong, about all of this. He may have been imposing himself on her. He often did that, in real life. In fiction, it was always the lives of others being imposed on his psyche and into words. In real life, it was his life imposed onto others and into their actions.
When he met Sylvia, she was 24. A friend, whose name he couldn’t even recall anymore, who said she was the real deal, introduced her to him. Really avant-garde, he said. The real deal. So when she floated up to him, treading rough on the air, he was asphyxiated by those dreaming eyes. When she looked at him, he knew she looked beyond him. Into what sort of world? He knew she’d be the perfect wife, because she could invent what was beyond him. She could care less for his real identity. She was really avant-garde.
He knew about the Lupus. She was diagnosed at nineteen. She had to leave school to study close at home. She’d deal with oppressive bouts of fatigue and arthritis. None of which he could feel, because he had never experienced it. And when she was diagnosed with this nephritis, he wanted to scream. He really did care about her, on some level; the real Sylvia. Knowing her kidneys were scarred, seeing what the Prednisone did to her, and the chemo, and now the CellCept. She was 25 when the nephritis happened. It had been four years since. At 29 she was wearing the body of something that must have been monstrous, to her. And he didn’t know, how despairing it was. To lose your looks so young, it seemed so superficial. But it really hurt. Especially considering her mental afflictions.
He found her beautiful. Certainly, she wasn’t as striking as she had been at 24. But even with the added weight, the added conflicts, her eyes were dreamier. She walked through a room and made flowers envious, with her delicacy. And fragrance. And the beauty of a sleepwalker. She had it. La Somnambule. Her gift was the ability to take everything in, accept it, repel it, fight it, and in the end, even after trying to sacrifice her life, seek it.
She was always a seeker. Seeing beyond everything. As if there were something on the horizon far prettier than she.
Why had she said that? It was true, certainly. But why did she come out and verbalize it? It made accepting it all the more difficult. Sometimes, when people keep to themselves, you’re able to venture into their minds, and look upon yourself, in relief, and see what sort of source you really are. But when people verbalize what you are, what you’ve done to them, you deny it. Because the verbalizing kills its intrigue, your attraction to it.
The bee buzzed and flew out of an open window. He knew he should go back to the party. Keep an eye. But he’d much rather sit and ignore everyone. The last year had been so stressful. Having people nitpick over his words. Some saying they were too ornate, others saying the ornate was what made it real. Because what was fiction without some bombastic disguise?
All along, though, it was really Sylvia, who drove him to his “madness.” The taking her, the making her a source of contemplation. The re-creating every event in her life, into some monster. And having people fuss, over every detail, hegemony, subservience, even sycophancy, were all terms thrown about. What none of them knew, though, was the import of his being in that state. Where someone you know becomes a concept, to be clothed and nurtured, and presented to the world in adolescence with too much lipstick.
It was all overbearing. He despaired knowing what she must have been through. And what his character was experiencing, so… fruitless.
“So here you are,” Edward sat across from him.
Disturbed. Someone always disturbed his thoughts. Or something.
“How goes it?” Edward said.
“Not so well, bro.”
Edward laughed. “No need to call me bro. I may be much younger, but I hate the machismo vernacular. Kind of reminds me of chimps taking their ground, but not really taking it at all.”
“Sylvia wants nothing to do with me.”
“Yup,” Rick said, “She knows everything. About my real name, my faking all those characters. Making it seem autobiographical when it’s really biographical.”
“Some women would be flattered at being a muse.”
“But don’t you see? Why would you? You’re so damn young. Sylvia knows she was more than a muse. She was what becomes a muse when it’s overworked. A victim.”
“And really,” Edward said, “There’s nothing more insulting than that.”
“So, when did you find out about her nephritis?”
“She told you?” Edward nodded. “She must be off the rocker then, telling complete strangers about her health issues.”
“Do you love her?”
“What? Why are you asking me that? You’re so young, what do you care? Love to you is a sex romp.”
Edward laughed. “You didn’t answer my question. And by not answering, I think you’ve said all that needs to be said.”
Edward rose, but Rick grabbed his arm.
“Do you think I should leave her?”
“No,” Edward said, “But I think she should leave you.”
Preposterous. The audacity of the young. He smiled at Edward as he left the room, with a glass of Pinot. What did Edward know to make him so boundless? But maybe it would be best if Sylvia left him. Five years of marriage was a bit too much, especially to one so young, but with the grace of a sage.
Such grasp. She had such grasp of fantasy. Knowing, more importantly, that fantasy was really where all reality was to be had. Because it was in the fantastical that you put real motivations; in trying to be real, motivations were always imagined.
If Sylvia left him, he would be the victor. Because she wouldn’t be able to handle him. Wasn’t able, was what people would say. Couldn’t put up with the stress of being married to one so powerful...