The Bourgeoisie will always be with Us.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
The chaotic adventures of an unbalanced poet in search of an impossible love.

Submitted: October 20, 2013

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Submitted: October 20, 2013



The Bourgeoisie will Always be with Us

“She was no good for your future, Craig,” he said.

“I have no future,” I responded, quoting the Sex Pistols.

Biz just gave a dismissive sigh. I knew he was right to drag me away from a chaotic house of drug fiends and associated parasites, as I wouldn’t have left on my own volition; the woman I love lives there, and love is blind.

I’d just cooked a fabulous veggie curry and rice for the house hold, which was simmering gently on the stove. I’d cooked Aussie bolognaise the night before, and the kitchen had taken me days to clean. Biz arrived and I showed him all my good work.

“Would you like some?” I asked, but he declined, insisting that I accompany him to his place for dinner. It’s a spectacular house with an ocean view stretching north along the coast. More rooms than you could poke a stick at, in marked contrast to Katie's. Three of us shared the lounge-room some nights; Joey and Zoe the co-ees, and me. Sometimes I’d awaken to find Joey searching out drugs at five in the morning. He’s only sixteen.

He’d just been telling me, early one morning, that Zoe, who was asleep on the couch, wanted to fuck him. “She must be desperate.” I joked. “I’m not desperate,” came the groggy reply. That stirred her up, I thought.

* * * *

Biz, who now runs a successful architectural business, had been cross-examining me the night before, about the motivation for my return to the land of the long white cloud. Specifically the South Island, after an absence of twenty three years.

“It’s Katie, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” I conceded. “I’ve always loved her and when she contacted me on Facebook I had to see her. She’s the greatest woman I’ve ever met.” I added with a touch of hyperbole; he was probably thinking that I obviously hadn’t met too many women.

He began to list the reasons that I shouldn’t get involved with her and her posse of homies.

“Her fourteen year old is shacked up there with an eighteen year old loser. If she was my daughter I’d have him locked up.”

“So would I,” I replied. “I have a couple of daughters myself, I don’t ever see.”

He has four sons, so we don’t entirely see eye to eye as fathers; boys are the enemy as far as I am concerned. Someday, somebody’s son is going to hurt my babies. I wish I could wipe all the teenage boys off the face of the Earth; I’d even consider a return to teaching if that was possible.

After a nutritious vegetarian meal and a glass of excellent red wine, we watched some telly. He was about to watch a recorded football match, soccer, but I caught a four letter word on the list.

“Take it back,” I ejaculated. And sure enough he had a recording of the Monkee’s movie, 'Head' on his hard drive. I’d seen it years ago when I lived in Christchurch, and it is still fantastic and utterly subversive. Rarely do I get to watch anything as remotely interesting and poignant as this film.

I slept in a real bed, in a separate room, but was awake before daybreak. I was going to book a ticket on a bus back to Christchurch a week early; the logic was that if I stayed any longer I would never leave. I’d be throwing my life away. Like I cared. It was too cold to sleep in the small room and Biz’s nearby office space was remarkably warm. He’d designed it that way, as he was an architectural genius now. So I took refuge in an architectural office and drank black tea, staring out at Dunedin in the darkness. Biz was up and in the office by six and he opened a computer for me to check my email, although that proved fruitless. Against my better judgement I opened Facebook and composed a goodbye letter to Katie, telling her that I loved her and adored her passionately, but that a middle class intervention had occurred the previous night, and that I would be leaving that day.

It was pretty difficult composing it with Biz in the room; I couldn’t shed too many tears, as that would appear unmanly. The sun came up and he gave me four dollars for the bus fare to town, where I would book a ticket back to Christchurch. I was too scared to see Katie, as I am a natural born coward, and assumed she would be at work by nine. So I had some time to kill before heading back to her place to collect my possessions. Of course she was there. She can read me like a book; the very dull variety one reads at bed time to make one feel drowsy.

“I knew you’d be back for your stuff. You left your harps here.” She was pretty fucking angry. “Did you read my reply on Facebook?”

“No, I haven’t.” I suspected it would be quite cruel. It was.

“Why did you listen to them? I thought we could do something this weekend.”

“I assumed you’d be hitching back down to Kai to see your young man.” I venomed back at her.

“I only went down to stay with him last Sunday because he was being sentenced the next day.”

“And he got remanded anyway.” The ugly side of me was emerging swiftly. But we cried, we hugged, and I kissed her for the first time. She told me that she loved me too. It was a fucking mess. We spent the remaining hours we could together. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, but I still had a lot of work to do for that to be possible. I’d have to wind up my house, sell all of my possessions and get rid of my cat. It seemed a long and complicated list at the time.

Katie and I had coffee and a snack together at a little nearby cafe, the closest we’d ever had to a date, I suppose. She asked me why I'd listened to them? I couldn't answer, my heart was so filled with love and regret. We finally walked to the Nakedbus depot, kissed and hugged so tightly I didn’t ever want to let her go. But I did. I wanted her so much right then. I told her that I loved her again, and she told me the same. I waved goodbye to her from my bus window and watched her wave back with a hurt little smile. I felt like a complete prick for trying to sneak away without a word of goodbye. I shouldn’t have told her that I loved her so much, but she knew anyway.

“I knew you’d come rushing over on your charger to try and save me,” she'd told me. I resented being so predictable, as that was precisely what I had intended. Why did I leave? Was it because I love her so much that I feared falling into an emotional abyss; or was it motivated purely by perceived self-preservation? There didn't seem anything worth preserving, as far as I could ascertain.

I hate myself for running away, and just want to be with her every waking moment until my demise. Why didn’t I tell her all those years ago how I felt? Probably self-loathing and fear of rejection. She is all I want right now. I want to yell out to the driver, “Turn the bus around. Fuck the other passengers.”

But it is entirely my fault that I am reigned by fear. I miss her like Hell already, and feel more like sobbing each northward kilometre we travel, however unmanly that may seem. I didn’t have to go, or even want to. Or really need to. But if I’d stayed another day, I would never have left. Why would I have wanted too? She is all.

Why not? I thought. Fuck the cat. Fuck the house. Fuck the rates; fuck the shitty town of Coolamon. I’ll cancel my return ticket to Sydney and head back to Dunedin. I know she loves me, and she knows I love her. Why not? I thought. I just want to be happy and make her happy, if I can. I know she’s a mess, but so am I or I wouldn’t be here. Fuck the cat. Fuck the future. Fuck all of my concerned friends. I love her. Why not? I thought. Why not?

I don’t pretend to understand anything about love, and reading Freud’s Psychology of Love on the bus isn’t helping one iota, confusing it with sex as he does. But he wasn’t a romantic like me. Nor a poet; just another bogus scientist seeking reputation. I’m not claiming to be pure or moral or even remotely decent. I’m just old enough to know that sex changes everything and isn’t worth sacrificing a friendship that has lasted some thirty odd years. You can do that more effectively by declaring your undying passion to them. That will ensure that you are shown the door, to quote a song I wrote recently.

Having said that, it still would have been nice.

Q: What’s the difference between an egg and a beetroot?

A: You can beat an egg.

But we have the rest of our lives to avoid physical intimacy with each other. Besides, I never ask. It should just happen unspokenly; besides, predatory men have no class. Loveless sex is quite acceptable for animals and adolescents, whoremongers and the psycholgically unbalanced. And if I have to accept sexless love, well at least someone loves me, and we might as well get married. But I know I’ll never see her again.

Back in Christchurch at Jim’s place. Biz flew up from Dunedin today and is also staying at Jim’s. I should get the Hell out of here and fly back to Australia earlier than planned. I feel really awkward and know I am intruding upon the domestic equilibrium. I’m sure Biz’s partner in Dunedin can’t stand the sight of me, and Jim’s partner up here should pretty much despise me for crashing here. I have no business here. I’m not a business man. They are, however, and good caring fathers. I seem to represent some sort of threat, as my reputation as a maniac usually precedes me, like the character Alain in Loius Malle's 1963 film, Le Feu Follet. And, foolishly, I thought I was a good man. Obviously not.

But we go back a long way, Jim and Biz and I; more than thirty years, and it’s only for a few more days. Not even I am capable of destroying the domestic equilibrium in such a short time. Perhaps alter the calm irrevocably, but I don’t see any imminent separations. I have to go back to my life of loneliness and despair, knowing I will never find anyone to love me again. It’s all relative or comparative. Get over it. It won’t be forever. It’ll just seem like it.

Now I just have to hang here in suburbia for a few more days. It’s not like I am bludging. I cook when I can. I buy some necessary staples, like bread and milk, tea and coffee, biscuits and wine. I bought a Tiramisu for dessert yesterday, which was very sweet. It’s not my fault that all the women are radical vegans and health fanatics who fear being deserted if their arses grow too big; that’s their insecurity. Mine are quite different.

I suppose I have encroached upon their sacred ground, but not out of malice or choice. I should go and stay at a backpackers for a few days, where it is freezing and young people shun me because I am old and ugly and boring. I wish I hadn’t told her that I love her so much; but I had to. I could have just lied and left on a false pretext, but she would have known. Besides, I wouldn’t have heard her tell me she loves me and I would have been spared all this self-inflicted pain.

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