Saturday, August 19, 2006

Who Do We Fall in Love With--Freudian's way and My Own Way

My parents used to have lots of fights. They were young parents, beautiful, but poor intellectuals living in a medium-sized city in the north of China, which could be conservative and depressing.

They fought and got into cold war of non-speaking regularly, primarily becuase of self-inflicted poverty due to my father's generosity to friends and relatives. I used to take his side, now I undertand my mother more--holding a family together and having three daughters to raise.

One morning, seeing my father in deep stress and silence, I was maybe 12, I said: "Don't worry. It will all pass." I felt like an adult for the first time in my life.

We Chinese mostly reserve our feelings for each other within a family. We don't hug or kiss or say I love you ever. We wells up what we feel. We are opaque in experssing love and care as a race. Communist condemnation of feelings toward anyone besides Chairman Mao did not help the matter either.

So if I was a bad lover, not as sweet as you think I am, blame the government.

My father was stunned that I can say something like that, at that age. He felt moved. He held my face with both of his hands and smiled at me, for 10 seconds feeling like forever, a little sad smile. He did not say anything.

And that was and is our moment.

He was and is a handsome man with dark and large eyes which are always warm-which I inherited, maybe his wit as well. He laughs loud and smiles heartily. He is a very outspoken and warm person, he loves to tell stories and he is funny, especially before he had a stroke on 2002. Now he is more quiet.

Maybe all my life I am looking to have that moment again with the man I love, he who laughs with warm eyes, and tells funny stories, and write, with passion.

When do I know that I love you? It is when I stared into your large and brown eyes, when you smiled, I felt that I found you, when you laughed and told me a joke that is funny or funny to youself. When I leaned my face on your shoulder, the eyes that I can look into and feel that deep and deep within, it is a warm heart, maybe burdened and tired, but it is warm and is seeking for warmth--I did not give you enough. And you are a man with touching words and drawing hand.

My father is a journalist and he writes beautifully. He reads all kind of books and he collects. He tells stories in gatherings. People listen to him tentatively. He made them laugh. But he is lonely as well, not so many people really care about his stories or truly appreciate them. They are way too calculated and dull to match his zeal of non materialistic things or to understand his contempt of worldly success. So he is lonely at heart. He is poor most of his life because he did not focus on getting ahead and he is too generous--you don't have to be rich to be generous.

Like you have been lonely in the world full of shrewed advertisng exectuives most of whom do not really care for your storeis or drawing. They worry about pitch, sales of business and scope for work. You write good stories, you are killingly charming and you are a kind person to people. You are a good comdian, alone in the spotlight, making the audience laugh.

I miss you. I miss seeing you.

So being funny is important a quality to me in man, being able to make others laugh.

J is a stand-up comidian guy. He is less handsome than you are, although taller, which is only marginally valuable to me. You are my goldern height remember, best for the kiss with me only need to slightly raise myself. He has qualities that I like a lot--smart, confident and extremely funny, playing chess in Washington square park from time to time.

We were both bored in a birthday party by people around us. I was anti-social as always. His emails during our brief contact reminded me of yours, witty and funny. I told him the only night we went out for a drink and dinner: I think you are very funny, but I am not available. I am still in love with a man, although I don't know what he is doing right now.

So that is that. Last I heard of him, he is climbing a mountain and continues to have performances around the city.

Weeks ago, I was entertaining a friend who came to visit me from Memphis. She took her co-worker. A Chinese man whom we found out having graduated in the same year as me from college in Beijing. His school is not far from mine. We know some common people. A small world. And then we really really had a lot to talk about.

He told tales of Chinese antique, he talkd about how he felt like a pilgrilm in the Palace Museum of Taiwan where the best collections of Chinesae calligraphy and paining were on display. He is funny. He wrote a 8-pager letter to a famous composer and described his feeling of music and they became friends. He has been passionate.

I told him at the end of the night, "You remind me of my father." That in a weird a way to me almost sounds a flirt but I could not help it.

He is the same type of Chinese intellectuals as my father, widely read in Chinese classics, enjoying the appreication of calligraphy, collection, pottery and poetry, not necessarily succesful according to commen standards. He tells stories vividly and is funny. He is ecastic because of the all kind of books he got from the Chinese bookstore in New York and he loves my book collection.

"My spiritual food" he said. He will read them at the quite night of Memphis.

He is tall and handsome as well, that helps too. But he is also married with two kids. He promises to read my blog and he promises to write his own and share with me.

Soon after he went back to Memphis, he sent me an email: I am glad to have known you. I wished I was a single and live in New York for sometime in my life." He does not know the lonely and dull days I had to endure in Memphis years ago, a caged soul and a caged heart. And I do not leave a glamorous single woman's life in New York either, but better--I am in love here.
He does remind me of my father, happy and warm. But he is lacking the sadness and darkness that will make me feel lastingly alluring. So we are safe on that ground. It is a purely surprising delight of meeting someone interesting and familiar, funny.

So although I love funny, what kills me is the dark and sadness inside, some vulnerabilty and cruelty that forever belongs to a boy.

My father is not sad or dark at all. Freudian's theory does not help here. So I must have picked that liking along my own way, some where. Maybe that is something I got by my own. Something I could not leave. Prince of darkenss, my bat man. I was looking at your drawings.

Whether sadness indicates a deep soul is debatable, but it definitley indicates distance from shallow and crude taste of life or lack of self reflections. "Don't think too much". That is one way to avoid feeling sad. But that is the way of living like animals, assuming they don't think and operate fully on instincts.

When I was 20, I fell in love with a man who was dark, twisted and problematic. He wrote poem, smoked non-stop, pale, and pursued every girl that he found attractive, did not have a job of any sort. But he sang and he told me improvised ghost stories, which usually ended up funny than creepy. Then he changed or I changed. He became arrogant, and thought that the only way to measure his value and success is through a successful Wallstreet career. He was no longer that lost boy, but a grown man who thought that he finally found his direction. And I stopped loving him sometime ago. Maybe it is not him, maybe it is me.

I maybe looking for my own reflections, for I also have that dark and sad side, from a childhood of fights and poverty, from a society where crulety was aboudant. I felt hurt and alone when I grew up. I closed off to the world and tried to inmagine that I live somewhere else. I was escaping something for my whole life until I came to the US, and then I was seeking something until I got close to you.

You said you were glad to be that escape for me. It was not an escaping place, it was where I want to be, where I feel alive, what I am looking for.

I have ruined it--have I. I have been too pushy maybe because I was unsure of something really good an happy is happening. Do I deserve it? Can I be loved here by you when I was a fresh out of boat outsider, with my limited vacabulary in your language?

It was not the cowardness to love that ruins it, it was the cowardness to be loved. Stupid and flawed me.

Or maybe darkenss is a permission that we give ourselves to behave badly, or a mask that we use to hide our true weakness and the desire to be better; and sadness is the easier way out, the admission of failure and inablility to change or act. I promise myself that I hereby cease to be dark and sad.

Yet, I roll over on my red sheet at night and reachs out, touching the side where you slept when you spent the night. It is only void now. I wish I was holding you longer and tighter when I had you.I wish I said " I love you" more. But I cautioned and doubted something real and true. I was more opaque than you were, in bed or out.

When real love was here, I should have embraced it with smile rather than tears of darkness or doubt. Yet I said: I don't recognize it. Prove it for me. Why don't you call? Why are you NOT eager to see me?

You had it, after so long.

So at 4 in the morning, I am typing this up, looking back, thinking of what I love and why I have loved, does it even matter, it is the heart that you have to give "without reservation" that defines love. Love means no way out and no way back, in the only way it can exist.

Only now I know. Is it too late for us?

To offset the effect if any of my melodrama and monologue writing and salute to all funny man that we women find irresistible, please go to Citizen of the Month Site (sidebar link) for some immedate and intense dosage of "Funny Treatment".

6 Comments:

Blogger Rrramone said...

Great post. And another way of holding the past is to know that it is only part of teaching you what you need to know for the future. Keep loving yourself!

8:27 AM  
Blogger New York Red said...

Or the past will tell you how to better yourself in the future. I am not loving the past self that much, I am talking about love like I really know how to love someone. No, I did poorly. I will love myself when the better me come into being.. thanks for the comment and your art, Rrramone.

12:08 AM  
Blogger chris miller said...

Self criticism -- OK -- next time you'll do some things different -- self love -- OK --
a person who's been hurt in an emotional accident needs to pamper herself.

Wise advice is almost always comical and useless (like from Polonius to Hamlet) -but did you ever read Gawain's post on erotic love?

My favorite extracts are:

"there is no such thing as one love- There are as many loves as there are people on this earth." and "love is neither the best, nor the greatest, nor the only thing there is....The wise Chinese have concluded that the most important thing in life is harmony..And sensitive Indians have obsessed about personal liberation–above all liberation from need and pain." --- and my favorite (though not relevant to you) "a middle-aged man is made of memories–and nothing else"

8:04 PM  
Blogger New York Red said...

Chris,

Thanks for the comment. I do need more self love, because I did not love myself that much before and did not believe that I derserve true happiness and can give true happienss, I did not love D that well--his name. I was doubting it, I was depressed from the doubt and angry from the doubt. And I should have done so many other things better. I was not a victim of emotional hurt--I am hurting for having lost him and lost the connection with him. There are more confident ways to love and the key is to know that while I will be happier with him or someone I love, I can be happy just with myself too (easier to say). So the self criticism is for myself not being a good woman or good and positive human being in the past.

And Gawain's "Erotic Love" posting is the first one ever of his writing that I read and has loved, back in March, probably still one of my most favoriate posting by him.

I was on the other spectrum of the wise Chinese, I was destruction of harmony. ;-)

Now I value it more, or the variation of it. Yet I still believe passion operates on different set of rules if any rules at all, and it has its side of madenss and burning quality which will destroy harmony and order but beautiful in its own way.

Thanks for always encouraging me and read my long monologue with patience and care. That means a lot.

10:35 PM  
Blogger pseudonym said...

Nothing to do with this post. Just that I saw a birthday card that made me think of you.
Be well

12:22 AM  
Blogger New York Red said...

pseudonym

Thanks.

12:57 AM  

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