MAKURA NO SOSHI: A WOMAN WHO LOVES INSECTS
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Sunday, March 14, 2004
EMOTIONAL VENEREAL DISEASE

A little over two years ago, I hooked up with this woman -- I'll just call her the E-Stalker -- on two separate occasions. That's twice. Two times. Preceeded by several months of e-mailing, instant-messaging, and phone calls. But in terms of actual meatspace? Two times.

After the second time we got together, I came away with some serious doubts about whether this thing was going to work for me or not. I needed some time to think. I was also coming back to work after being out of town for readings all through spring break and I was seriously behind and majorly swamped. I'd told her that I was going to be extremely under the gun at work for at least a week, and that I was really going to need some breathing space from phone calls and instant messaging in order to get into a better place, work-wise.

I'd called her after I got back in town to let her know I'd arrived back home, reiterated that I wasn't going to be available for a few days, and then proceeded to dive into a veritable ocean of work. Less than 48 hours later, I came home late at night from teaching my graduate seminar to find a disturbing cluster of voice-mail messages on my voice-mail. In one of them she claimed to be checking the South Dakota obituaries and that I was causing her all of this frantic panic and worry. In the last one she said it was apparent to her that I was clearly off fucking some other woman and that I was a terrible person, yadda yadda yadda.

Well, both my Dyke Drama and also my Wingnut Alert alarms reliably went off at that point, and in combination with the other concerns that had already been surfacing, I broke up with her. Nipped it in the bud, so to speak. I was as polite as I could possibly be under the circumstances, but also extremely clear that I didn't want anything further to do with her.

And so began the torrential influx of voice-mail messages and e-mails. Scads, and scads, and scads of them. They vacillated wildly in tone from hateful, to smarmily-cliched romantic (as if in complete denial of the fact that I'd broken things off with her), to mildly threatening, to grossly manipulative -- turning on an emotional dime in less than an hour, sometimes. She threatened to drive to Vermillion and "make me" deal with her. She would tell me all the ways in which I was a horrible, abusive person. She would tell me all of these terrible things that were happening to her, and that I needed to respond to her because of this. Then she would become angry because I hadn't responded when she told me that terrible things were happening to her, and we'd return to the mantra of how I was a horrible, abusive person. At one time she seemed to be threatening/implying that she might do harm to herself. Shortly thereafter she left a chirpy voice-mail message telling me how she was still in love with me, and that we should just forget these little glitches we'd been having, or how she'd been making arrangements to move to Vermillion so we could "be together." She sent ostentatious flower arrangements to my place of employment.

Two times, people. I got together with this woman a mere two times.

It was my opinion that the best/only course of action was to simply not respond . . . otherwise, she'd just take it as affirmation that I was still engaging with her on some level, and still participating in some sort of relationship with her. I'd shown a few of my friends some of the e-mails, and they'd found them equally fucked up and creepy, and they agreed that any sort of response would just fuel the (psycho)fire.

Plus, it was apparent that she was a nutter, and I didn't want anything to do with her.

She sent two e-mails to the literary magazine I edit stating that she was having recurring yeast infections and this meant I'd obviously given her herpes. These e-mails went directly to my magazine staff, one of whom was an undergraduate student.

Two times.

This lasted at this rate of intensity for about four straight months, with only marginal tapering off. Eight months later there was an occasional splurt here or there. It was a total fucking nightmare, though. I felt as if I'd gone out on two dates with this woman and was now suffering the consequences for having done so up to a year later. Basically, it was like an Emotional Venereal Disease.

She sent me an e-mail in August saying how much she wanted for us to get back together again. And just last week, almost exactly two years later, another e-mail detailing the ways in which I have numerous "issues" and am "unkind" -- and oh, how she can't believe I'd let this be IT for "us."

What about a firmly stated break-up, and two years of absolute silence and non-response is even vaguely unclear here???

I'm not entirely sure why I feel compelled to write about this tonight. Maybe it's because the Canadian Dyke, in a letter I received a few weeks ago from her that seems to have been composed for the primary purpose of making me feel like shit (I'd asked her to please not phone or e-mail me . . . but apparently snail mail hadn't been covered so was therefore fair game), said that any "stalking" behaviors from above weren't really "stalking" but legitimate actions which I basically deserved for the way I "discard" people like "yesterday's newspaper."

Geez.

It's a break-up. You act like an asshole enough times, and it's quite entirely possible that someone may decide that they no longer want to be in a relationship with you. That's their perogative. It's one of the nice things about living in a democracy . . . you don't have to force yourself to be with someone that you choose not to be with. You act like an asshole in a way that's offensive enough to that particular person, or makes that person unhappy enough, and they may decide that in addition to no longer wanting to be in a relationship with you, they no longer really want to have much of anything to do with you. That's life. Sometimes it sucks. Get the fuck over it.

Dyke Drama. Emotional Venereal Disease. I'm tired of it. And I'm tired of being made to feel bad about about being tired of it.

If that makes me a bitch, then so fucking be it.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 2:22 AM |
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