Ever wanted to just punch a bitch in the face because her very existence vexes you? Sure you have. Semtex elaborates below in this edition of Gendercidal.
You’ve managed to go at least one day without thinking about the person who rejected you, who once thought you were the moon and the stars, but now, to borrow a phrase from Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), seems to think you’re little better than the fungus that feeds on pond scum, if he thinks of you at all. So, in any event, this is progress. Your mind is maybe, just maybe, semi-repairing itself (a.k.a. self-lobotomizing). The problem is, the past—riddled with all those painful memories as it is, keeps regurgitating itself with the persistent cropping up of the female best friend that constantly caused your jealous rages to flare up (speaking of My Best Friend’s Wedding) whenever you would see her interact with him during the now well-buried and munged corpse of the relationship. What’s worse, is that she, a “writer” (you know, in that sense where you talk about sex and trauma in personal essays and pass it off as being a writer), always seems to seep back into your life through the lens of the “literary.” It’s really enough to make a person want to give up “the craft” altogether and instead turn to a more viable craft in the vein of Nancy Downs (you should probably keep count of how many pop culture references I make in this personal essay about trauma).
For example, you, averse to going to literary events because they are always, without fail, one giant circle jerk, even manage to concede to going to one because you were entreated by someone to do so. And lo and behold, there she is. That chunky salt shaker ready to spray herself into your never fully closed up wound. The two of you ignore one another because, after all, this is New York and there is still, every so often, a final vestige of Edith Wharton’s polite society here and there—and nothing is more polite than pretending that the person you can’t stand doesn’t exist. Like a gnat she flits about in your orbit, but you can never swat her away. In fact, she seems to lay eggs and propagate via her “writings,” flung around like turds in your face. The primary reason for her web presence (for isn’t that how all writing is disseminated when you can’t get one of “The Big Five” to come knocking?) is that she’s very sociable. Good at networking.
More to the point, she does what you despise most about all the arts: taints it with commerce. Which is to say, it doesn’t matter if her writing is mediocre or lesser than—and certainly not from a place of any form of ardor—because she still wins. Her ability to be “on the scene” and therefore stave you off with her vexatious presence is just part of the multi-pronged triumph. In addition to the fact that she’s still in your ex’s life and apparently visits him in Europe even though, before you stopped talking to him, he said he would be too busy to “receive” you if you ever wanted to do the same. She will probably end up marrying him or having an affair with him when he marries an Asian and they will co-write a shitty book together about how difficult it is to grow up wealthy and have some weird middle class girl constantly write about them obsessively because she has no life of her own.
But before this, you leave New York, maybe in part because if you go to one more literary “happening” you will vomit. So yes, you even fucking switch continents and suddenly find that you’re being atted in the same tweets, her disgusting user name intermixed with yours. There is no escaping the past. Particularly, it seems, when all you want is to expunge it. I’ve tried the only two approaches known to (wo)man for forgetting: cleansing by reflecting on what went wrong ad infinitum and pretending it never happened. Some would say there is the in between method of simply accepting the relationship for what it was and moving on, but I’m not built that way. My chemical composition is all tragedy and fatalism. Maybe that’s why I still can’t control the umbrages jealousy and the convulsions of revulsion when I see her in any incarnation (digital or tangible).
I can’t stand that she’s going around with that smug look on her face as though to say, “See, I knew I’d always be in his life longer than your psycho ass. Forever, in fact.” What’s worse, people think you’re acting like a petulant child for not recognizing that men and women can be friends—this isn’t the 50s for fuck’s sake when a man’s mere association with a woman who wasn’t at least longtime friends with his wife would be considered scandalous, to say the least. So what, do I belong in the 50s, or in fact in the ground? Because it seems that’s the only way to eradicate this inflammation of the proverbial green-eyed monster perched atop my shoulder when any encounter with this bia comes about. Which, it would seem, is doomed to occur as the gift that keeps on giving as a result of my ill-advised association with a man-boy who saw me more as a casual experiment of his twenties flirtation with domesticity. And thanks to nothing but the same incestuous circle that designs itself within the bottom-feeding literary world, my Mr. DeMartino eye twitch upon seeing her name or her person will likely prompt me to need a glass eye at some point. Maybe then I can crack it open and use the shard to kill myself Avicii-style (if you’ve been counting I think that only makes pop culture reference number four).