Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.
What the Postman Knew
As this week in 1990 began, I was a little bit better, but I hadn’t figured out what to do with my soggy paper towel named Frankie.
Sometimes I think, Well maybe I’ll marry Frankie. But then I think, Oh yeah, Frankie’s married to Laura and . . . hey, I’m married, too! But Jean Louis is in France now. I won’t see him for at least another month. When my husband is with me, his face, his voice, his hands, his rapid movement all this is a flapping curtain between my eyes and the halfway real thoughts coming out of the walls. When he’s gone, I’m thinking and thinking all alone in my apartment with no furniture until these things I almost know become three-dimensional. It’s as if my thoughts are going to follow their own paths, start making decisions without me, and maybe turn on me. But then sometimes it gets unnaturally good, and knowingness swells inside me. I feel power.
Frankie sees degeneracy everywhere. He said I’m degrading myself with my naked opera tours (which, by the way, is how he met me). I want to be bare like a shiny bone. If peeing in front of fifty people is one way of doing this, what business is it of his? He sees my abhorrence of commitment as a defect, something he can cure. But I don’t like commitment. People get in the way.
She wanted me to promise that I would not have sex with Frankie. If only she knew how undesirable to me the approaching coitus is. I told Laura that I feel like a dream, that all I want to be to people is a dream. She’s totally right, about values and all that. Why is it that I don’t seem to have any? Laura is by far the most exciting thing about Frankie.
A letter from Frankie: “You are one of those very unfortunate people who cannot experience any bit of life/sensation/moment without attempting to understand it completely, and in your thoroughness you make it complicated to the point where it becomes unfathomable.”
He makes me complicated until he can’t fathom anything. The answer is right there in his face: I don’t like him! I like tonight instead. He gets everything wrong. He writes that I dream of violations. Well, you can’t dream of violations, silly. To dream of something is to welcome it. You have to not want to be violated. Then you get broken into, broken open, get turned inside out so you see the world from the eyes that were trapped inside your body. I’m not saying I dream of violations or don’t. I wasn’t saying anything. I was just watching all day; he was the one doing all this convoluting.
“Your whole life is a flight,” Frankie snapped. Duh, I told him that a long time ago. “You can’t bear the thought of having to be real,” he went on. “You think you’re living a life of metaphors.” Even my postman knows that. “You don’t accept defeat, you welcome it. You chose art as a means of coping with your affliction, but you rationalize the cherishing of your neuroses by convincing yourself you can only be an artist if you are miserable.” And you, I was thinking, have hair like a clown. Frankie describes himself as patient and more giving than receiving, but he is the most demanding man I have ever been involved with. He keeps on crashing through the fences I put around my privacy, and I have to build new ones with increasing haste and decreasing dexterity. I run away, and one of these days when I spin around and he’s right there, fangs and claws are going to shoot out of my gums and fingertips and I’m going to rip that man to shreds.