There was a knock on our door this morning. We had been expecting her, but our timing was off – we had already finished our sex noises. Darn. Already dressed, I opened the door to our little room to Noni-girls friend Widi.
Noni rested her body lazily against my lazily resting body, breathed in our love-funk, and melted with me in our ease. Widi was a contrast.
I’m always waiting for Widi to settle down, to get over her newest ranting complaint, and relax. She never does. She flits from discomfort to discomfort like a bee over flowers. It was getting too much – I was enjoying feeling my content heart in resonance with my lover’s, and Widi kept trying to interject dis-satisfaction. She kept trying harder and harder to pry us loose from feeling a shared sense of joy. Complaining about this, that, anything at all. My patience was wearing thin, and I enjoy my enjoyment, and figured I could keep it if I got away from Widi. Let the girls natter to each other – leave me out. So I excused myself to go to the net cafe to “work”. In grabbing my gear I grab some tea bags mixed in with stuff in my dresser droor. Widi tells me to stop. Leave those dirty tea bags. They aren’t clean. I’m smiling and going about my business, ignoring her. She gets shriller and shriller – she can not abide me picking up those tea bags! On the way out I grab Noni and kiss her passionately 4 times.
Widi is all about being wronged and teaching lessons to people so she won’t be wronged again, and Noni and I are all about being kind and passionate. We hang out and kiss.
It got me to thinking. If there are tricks to use to feel contentment and joy, are there also tricks people use to feel miserable? Can I describe some miserable characters I’ve met?
The first to come to mind would be my ex-wife. Can any good come out of remembering her? I’m giving off a Homer Simpson u-u-u-u-u-ghhh shudder. It takes a hero’s brave effort to call forth from the sulpherous underworld those horrid memories.
While nearing divorce, a friend of mine remarked how different J* and I are from each other, and how it was the same between him and his ex. J* is usually unhappy, and I’m usually happy.
I’ve heard tell of people who aren’t happy being around people who are much happier than they. They want to make themselves feel more in control, more socially on top of the game, by making those around them equally or more uncomfortable. These are the control freaks. Life is not good, and you are a fool if you think it is good, and you’d better stop thinking it’s good, unless I’m the one making you feel good.
J* would rage. She would storm into my private space while I was meditating in retreat from her rages. And she was clueless that she was raging. She considered herself emphatic, and that this was a hallmark of her family and Jewish heritage. No moment by moment self-reflexive insight at all. Like a senile person, she could have lucid moments, but they never changed her ongoing character. After years of far-too-first-hand experience, I had to conclude that she was incapable of change. She remains essentially glued to the rule-role level of organization of perceptions: there is a right way and a wrong way, and She can tell you which is the right way, end of discussion and get with the program. No sense of boundaries, of internal and external, she steamrolls over anything with her bossy my-way or my-way attitude. She is incable of seeing the difference between someone who understands what she is saying and disagrees with it, and someone who disagrees with her because they don’t understand the right way. She would repeat herself a lot.
She even once had the balls to try to “win” an argument by claiming that women and men think differently; I was trying to be rational, while she was… was… I don’t know, thinking in some feminine way I was incapable of ever understanding but that I should respect anyway, rational or not. Try to talk to someone who won’t even acknowledge the utility of rationality. That’s like trying to win an argument by saying in an acusatary tone “you are always right!” Oh, gee, you’re right – what I’m saying must be an inacurate reflection of things because now it’s your turn to be right.
J* was way too busy being right. Avoiding being wrong. I used to tell her that as a mental exercise she should try to make one mistake, deliberately, each day. She could not abide mistakes made by herself. Or anyone.
J* was a feminist. She made me chop vegetables when I’d rather buy them frozen because she doesn’t think frozen vegetables are as good, and she didn’t want to be the one doing all the work chopping vegetables. She oppressed me with her demand for equal rights. She had a right to fresh vegetables, and I didn’t have any right not to chop vegetables.
I’m not sure what can be learned by looking at J*s behaviours. She has some borderline-personality disorder traits, obviously, notably the inability for introspection and the lack of respect for other individual’s reasons and choices, when in conflict with hers. But other than brain stroke scale blind spots, did she have habits she kept to keep herself from letting go into happiness?
I think people who like to feel in control are wary of happiness. You can lose yourself in happiness. Lose the feeling of being in the center of things and pulling the strings. Happiness can lead to immersion and self-less joy and being vulnerable to other identities being powerful. Better to keep yourself a distinct entity who has a tidy understanding of the real workings of the world, and can manipulate it. Ya, J* fought hard not to lose herself to happiness or the things that made her happy. She wanted to be free from addiction to any person – and so if they threatened her with being important to her wellbeing, she would feel obliged to get the upper hand over that dependence, and make the other person miserable rather than be vulnerably happy through enjoying them. Specifically she hung onto being angry, and put a lot of effort into it. As if being angry mattered, would accomplish something really useful in her life. More useful than being happy would.
She was busy righting the world’s injustices. A Widi. Too busy to settle down and be happy and share some happiness – give some good from the wellspring of her goodness. I think that’s just it – she feared she didn’t have such a wellspring, and didn’t want to settle down long enough to look in there and see the emptiness.
U-u-u-u-u-ghhhh. My bravery is all used up. Time to let the maloderous fogs of her memory seep back down to the underworld.