Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't Think About a Pink Elephant

Art by Salvador Dali

You're restless. Uptight. Bored out of your wits and out of your senses. So, why do you keep pretending? Why do you keep trying to show interest when you're not interested? The only thing you want from Vera is her body. You know it. She knows it. And she's already giving you what you want. Why the games?


She's asleep on the sofa in her small apartment. And you want her to wake up and take you in her arms. Right now. Right this very minute. Don't count on it. She's tired. You keep switching on that light and switching it off and plumping up the cushions and messing with her blanket, and you think any of this will do the trick? She's even snoring a little, that's how dead tired she is. You're touching the back of her knee with your fingers and you're teasing yourself and getting a hard-on and getting pissed off and getting resentful because she's not responding. But you don't have that right. She gave herself to you twice before she fell asleep. And, she's the one who has to wake up early in the morning and rush over to a full day of smiling at ungrateful customers who never smile back, and trying to communicate with them in her broken English with the Russian accent that makes them cringe. Whereas you, you just have to sit at your computer for a few hours a day, in the comfort of her apartment, and read what someone else wrote and check it for typos. How about that for easy living!


But none of this is really taking the edge off. You want her and you want her now. You want to feel her warm body against yours, her mouth moving all over you, her brightly painted fake fingernails digging into the small of your back. So, here's a suggestion - think of something else. I know it sounds easy, but it really isn't. And, knowing you, you'll be just like those fools in that psychology experiment who were told to not think about a pink elephant. Fat chance of that happening! You'll know you're deliberately trying to distract yourself, and that'll take you right back to thinking about her. And her laying right there beside you on that freakin' sofa isn't helping, either. So you'll have yourself a real pink elephant on your hands. But then, maybe you'll get so tired of trying to focus, you'll fall asleep. And then maybe, in the morning, when you're both awake, all you'll have to do is roll her over and look into her eyes, and she'll read your mind and do whatever you want her to do. Not that you'd pressure her or anything. Or would you?


Take a drink of water. Your throat is dry from all that nervous breathing. Just make sure you don't knock over the glass when you're setting it back down like you did last week. You did that on purpose, too, didn't you? Just to wake her up. She's breathing deeply. She just moved. And you can smell that sleeping smell of hers that drives you insane. That freshly-baking-cookies smell of hers. And you're waiting. But she's back to snoring. You hear the clock ticking. And your breath is ticking with it. And you're trying to distract yourself. Again. You're thinking about those damn classics that Vera loves to read and that you despise. Again. Oedipus Rex and War and Peace and The Idiot. But you can't even get into thinking about those books. And what's anyone gonna do about it if you never read those classics anyway, sue you? Vera doesn't care if you read the classics or not. She likes them. But that doesn't mean you have to. She grew up reading the stuff. You didn't. But you should've been honest about it instead of  pretending like you were all over it. And maybe she was partly to blame for making you feel so challenged that you hadn't read those damn books. But had she really even mentioned it? Or were you the one who'd gotten yourself worked up over that shit? Actually, you did allow Vera to think you're interested, and she believed you. And you liked it when she fell like that, didn't you? You liked that she was innocent and naïve because it gave you that false security. It made you feel like you were somehow older, or more mature, than her. But nothing can change the fact that she's older than you. And nothing can change the fact that, after six months of being with her (way longer than you had banked on), and even moving in with her, you're feeling kind of stuck.


Remember the first time you saw her? You were so charmed. You heard her talk with that Russian accent to the lady in front of you in line and you just about dropped to your knees in worship. And when you walked up to the counter to order your coffee and threw around a couple of Russian phrases that you'd picked up in Russian 101, she just about creamed her panties. It was the first Russian she'd heard outside of home in months. You manipulated her, you dickhead. And you're still doing it. You know she isn't your type. She's a little too white, a little too blonde, her eyes are a little too blue, and her face is a little too round. And that Russian accent that once sent you into orgasmic explosions? Now it gets on your nerves. You feel like someone is sliding your ears against a cheese grater whenever she says, "How was your day today, Robert?" And add to that the fact that she never calls you "Rob". You're always "Robert", like you're being introduced as the key speaker at a freakin' convention. Besides, you hadn't seen yourself getting so entrenched. You were out to get a few lays before moving on to a new conquest. But a couple of weeks into meeting her, she started to get all warm on you, started to get all serious. And then she expected you to tell her you love her. And you knew it. She really wanted it. A confession. A declaration of love that she could use to tie you down. All women want that. You know how they get with their relationship shit - all dreamy and sappy. And they start planning long-term, like you're gonna be with them forever.


But it's wrong of you to mislead her. You're taking advantage, and that's not cool. You should do the right thing and break it off. That's exactly what you want to do and exactly what you should do. Her apartment is too far out from your favorite hangouts. Her accent is about to drive you insane. And, truth be told, you're really not that into her. So cut it off. But, you won't. You don't have the balls. Because you know you have something a little more for her than just wanting her body, don't you? When you talk to other women, you see her face and hear her voice. When you see a woman that looks remotely like her on the street, you want to reach out and grab her. And when you have to sleep at your own place because you've had one drink too many with the boys at the Making Whoopee, you're just down in the dumps. But let me tell you something - if you don't break it off with her, she's gonna break it off. And you know, you just know, that your healthy little ego is not gonna like that! This woman has a grip on her shit. She knows what she wants to do with her life and she knows how she's gonna do it. And even though she sells lattes and muffins for a living and doesn't have a college degree, she's self-reliant and independent. She is a woman. And you are not a man.


I know that hurts. Badly. But it's the truth. Sure, you look like one. Like a man, that is. You even look like a pretty cool man. You're tall. You're handsome. You're stylish. You walk with a swagger that says you know what you're doing. And women like that. They fall for the looks and the swagger. Sometimes, anyway. But you... you don't like the way you feel... inside... about yourself. You don't feel half the man that you look. And she's a smart one, that Vera. So you won't have her fooled for much longer. And it's not about age, either. Sure, she's older than you, but what's three years in a life? Her life is a lot bigger than yours. Her cup is a lot fuller. Her ambition is a lot more far-reaching. You're not as passionate about living. You're not as loving and trusting of people. You're a freakin' chronic complainer, is what you are. And though you like Vera, and you sometimes think you can't live without her, when you're out together you look at other women. Don't! Don't even try to deny it. You look at other women. You even fantasize about them when you're having sex with her. And that's just the kind of scum you are.


It won't be long, now, before she sees right through your act. And you're waiting to see those expressions of disrespect and impatience and intolerance and superiority on her face when she finds you out. They're all coming. Soon. She even gave you a little preview, just last night. You were both sitting at her kitchen table, drinking the split pea soup she had made when she came home from work. And you reached out to take a napkin from the napkin holder. And just because you knew she's OC and she'd be pissed and itching to fix your mess, you grabbed the napkin with a jolt, like you were pulling some Houdini trick, and sent all the napkins in the holder hanging over its edge. And then you'd just sat there, all smug, with the napkins looking like they were preparing to springboard dive off of that holder, and you'd continued to drink your soup while waiting for her reaction. But she was on to you. And so she just sat there, too, smug in her own right, and waited until you straightened up the napkins that you'd disturbed and returned them to their place before she gave you one of her "You idiot!" looks. She's ten rungs up the ladder, and you're still contemplating getting off your lazy ass. Go do some growing up. Take some blows and some headaches and some tears. And take some shots, too, while you're at it. Tell her the truth and stop being a jerk. And maybe, maybe, with time, you'll be able to look out at the world and not feel like a little kid hiding in a grown-up costume.

47 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Brilliantly written! And props for Dali, too. ;)

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  3. so so well written... it felt to me like i was watching her sleep with him standing over her... superb!

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  4. This is another brilliant and thoughtful post Nevine. The issues of control, commitment and self esteem, skillfully wrapped in a neat narrative.

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  5. Stunning, Nevine. Measured, beautifully thought out, incisive and, most of all, perfectly written, structured and punctuated. How often do I say that when reading a blog entry? Uh, not very often at all!

    Keep on raising that bar, Nevine.

    Steph Fey x

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  6. Nevine, you express the man's as well as the woman's mind so well. Are you a psychologist? Well, you can be one easily with the kind of mind-reading you do.

    Everytime you write something, it unfolds the way we behave in our everyday life. We have been in relationships with jerks as these. We have seen women like Vera who are strong, resilient but yet go out with jerks. We fantasise, we lie, we perform well . . . Its just amazing how the human frailities and strongholds come out in your writing.

    Splendid!

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  7. He is a bad man for her. You said it so eloquently. You've entered his mind on her behalf, as she's slow to admit the inevitable, but to protect her from unnecessary torment you've told him to get the hell out of her life.

    We have seen this in life so many times, a mismatched couple, who we have wanted to counsel, but couldn't.

    Nevine, you make us things over. Waaht a fine peice of writing, you're so talented!

    Thanks You for this.

    Secretia

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  8. ah, i've been looking forward to reading some of your writing. this was amazing. i like your use of prose so simple and truthful. Sort of like the mean mommy telling it as it is.

    have you read Jeannette Winterson's THE PASSION...have I asked you this? I think you would love it.

    much love

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  9. so well done...I love how the emotions of both the man and woman are expressed so truthfully....you are an amazing writer my friend, truly!

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  10. This is perfect in every way. You really get into the entire evolution of a relationship and all the thoughts and psychology around it. I know your type, you're a shapeshifter aren't you Nevine? ;-) Love it. Every word.

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  11. I like your blog!! its very beatiful!!
    my name is Oscar, i m argentine.
    I m waiting in my link!!
    Bye
    Osk

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  12. hey passional girl ! yes , you Nevine !
    you have no idea , i knew her , some of then as a matter of fact when i lived in London . you describe so well .this is so realistic !!
    and to show the other side , the side i couldn't see is a real ( sad ) gift .
    thank you .

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  13. captivating! absolutely! i couldn't stop reading and you wrote with such presence, that it really did take the reader there with you. you've got some great talent! thank you!

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  14. A striking image but more than that was the weight of your words. It was more than love, arc and brilliant end. It was a thoughtful and talented mind examining a complex subject with tremendous grace.
    It makes me wish you were close so we could go for coffee and allow me time to dig around your lovely brain.
    Warest regards,
    Simone

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  15. Hmmm.. I've been that Vera, ya know? and I don't think she's going to fuck him out that easily.

    These jerks have some power... maybe 'tween their legs that make most women depend on them... just because we are afraid of being alone... and then Vera's best friend (you) comes and gives her advice...and she does not need advice for she knows the problem so well; but it's so good to hear what your life is like and is seen from outside by another beloved person... that he's a jerk and does not deserve you, that you are a strong unique, woman who can get what and whoever you want in life, you are independent, you don't need a man to make you happy, etc...

    Yet you stay with the bloody jerk until the end--- thank God for some Veras there's an end for others the end is death...

    WoW ME! That's a comment!!!
    I am sorry... it's your post's fault which made this therapy in this Sweeter Dulce...
    ;)

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  16. great journey into the inner workings of many vera's and jerks! great piece!!!

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  17. Bard – Any time you say anything that I wrote is brilliant, I’m just bubbling with joy inside.

    Shadow – And did you see her from his perspective, then? I'm wondering... ;-)

    Martin – Thank you immensely for seeing this as I intended it. It was a bit of a study in self-esteem issues, yes.

    Steph – I had to catch my breath as I read your comments. There are so many lovely words. Thank you a bunch!

    Susan – I am not a psychologist, but I did major in psychology, and maybe that’s why I’m so interested in writing about messed up issues. Either that or it was my interest in the messed up issues that got me into psychology. Ah, they’re all the same. And I appreciate your comment a lot!

    Secretia – You’ve got me beaming, girl!

    Stacey – Welcome back! And I’ll be stopping by to visit you shortly. And thanks, really, for that very nice comment. Yes, you did mention THE PASSION before…

    Steven - ☺

    Cat – Oh, how I was I was a shapeshifter… the things I’d do… the places I’d be… some of the thoughts make me blush… some of them make me glow… You’re just wicked, Cat! Just wicked! And “perfect” coming from you is just glorious, my dear!

    Oscar – Thank you for visiting, commenting, and joining me!

    Caio – How I wish I was a fly on your wall, sometimes. To see what you’ve seen, what you’ve done, naughty boy. And I’m happy to have shown you the other side. ;-)

    Kay – I’m floored by your comment, which comes from such a fine weaver of words. Thank you so much!

    Simone – There is no distance that can separate us from a coffee, though I’m more of a tea drinker. And in fact, I just had tea with you yesterday. ;-) Thank you for your very constructive comments, Simone. They’re much appreciated.

    Dulce – Oh, Sweet One, how I feel your pain. And you’re likely right that she won’t let go that easily. Women are usually so gentle and forgiving with their men, though they know those men are not worth their time. But I do like to dream that there is the occasional woman who has the guts to say “Enough!” But she hasn’t said it yet, now, has she? ;-)

    Gypsywoman - Thank you so much!

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  18. In my blood, i have 25% british!!!!
    i love writers englishs, Hardy,Stevenson,Byron,Ann Radcliffe,Shaw, and i m very very fanatic of polifonic and progresive music of Unite Kingdom.
    Oscar

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  19. I M SORRY!!, AND YOUR NAME "NEVINE" ITS ORIGINAL AND BEATIFUL!!!
    OSK

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  20. Dulce - One more thing I forgot to mention to you, Sweetest. This is actually Robert's voice speaking to himself. It's like his inner self is having a conversation with him. So, it's his insecurity that's making him feel like Vera is strong enough to let him go, and not necessarily what she's thinking. You know what I mean? He's just feeling like a shit about himself, I guess... Oh, how I love having these discussions... Don't you??? :-)

    Oscar - I'm happy to hear you're part English and so we'll be able to communicate in English. I was having a bit of a pause about that. And thank you for complimenting my name. I like that!! He he he... :-)

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  21. well, this one sure hit close to home. A friend of mine is in such a shitty relationship right now, but she still can't see the fact that it's unhealthy. However, I believe she's strong like Vera, and will soon find her way out of it.

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  22. Yes, I do love having these discussions my dear queen Nevine- ...he he
    I must say At first I thought Robert was her son! For all the ab-use sometimes only children make of their mothers... When I realized it was a partner relationship somehow I got the idea that she seemed brave and had guts, but only apparently.

    It was just a vision, I wanted to give it a different perspective, which means you are a GREAT writer, for each reader can make their own interprettion of your brilliant work. Anyway, the other, main interpretation was clear to me too, but I needed both discussion and woman-to-woman blog therapy! :)

    BTW, Fortunately You don't have to feel any pain for me -thank god- all that was a long almost-forgotten time ago, and now am happily OUT of it.
    ;)
    Thanks &
    Lots of love my sweet friend.

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  23. Khulud - I hope your friend is truly strong enough to pull herself out!

    Dulce - Woman, you are so right!!! You know what? I'll tell you that because I create characters and write about them in a certain way in my head, they get locked in like that. My intention gets locked inside me. But then you come along and you see things from a different perspective, and then you tell me what it is, and I see it too! And that's why I like to get involved with the comments. I read so many amazing comments, Dulce, and they get me worked up, because we all see and interpret things in different ways. One more reminder to me, My Dear! Love that we had this back-and-forth!!! Hugs.

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  24. Who hasn't met a man like this?

    Brilliantly captured, Nevine.

    Jai

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  25. Nevine ,i was running around and now i finally find the time to visit your blog!
    Your writing has been an inspiration, you got me hooked as usual!
    So descriptive and so beautifully written and expressed the man's and woman's feelings.
    love and hugsXXX

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  26. I just read all the comments here, some are like conversations--Always I thought that is what comments could be, a discourse.

    Just completely inadequate is how I feel among all these GREAT commenting Peeps, so erudite in their perceptions of your work.

    Nevine, I saw myself standing over Vera on the couch...but I AM NOT ROBERT! Ask anyone who knows me--grin!

    I believe that men AND/OR women who entertain low self-esteem miss SO much enjoyment of being, of being happy, being in love. Such unfulfilled existences sans enthusiasm, and that lust for living should not be allowed!!!
    Against the LAW!

    About loving...how can I really REALLY give love to another, until I first love who ME is?

    Nevine, again I wrote too much, but I blame YOU for that--you are SO GooooD, that I can not just say, "How nice!"

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  27. 'oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive...'

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  28. Jai - I feel for all women who have encountered such a man, though yes, we have all encountered him in one form or another. And thank you for your comment, Jai. :-)

    Betty - Oh, thank you dear. I hope you will always enjoy... always... Hugs, dear friend.

    Steve - Yes, I do like to talk with my readers, if there is a chance for conversation. Why not? And I know, Steve, that you are no Robert. And your comment about loving another without loving yourself first... oh, how true. I agree with you entirely. We must love who we are more than anything or anyone else, before we can give out love that is sincere and true. As for the length of your comment, you can write as much as you want, Steveroni. And I do always appreciate the details, especially when they are filled with such high praise, so write away. Thank you, Steve. You're just the sweetest! :-)

    Laughingwolf - You quote from the greatest of bards, my friend. The one whose existence so many say was deceit. Not so not so. The great Shakespeare lived, and still lives today. ;-)

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  29. Hi,
    I love your blog and writing. Can I put your site on my creative site list?
    I'm glad I found you here. I will visit you again soon.:)
    Best wishes. Jo May.

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  30. Jo - Oh, my! I'm so flattered. Of course you may do that. Thank you and I would be honored. I'll be swinging by to visit you! Thanks again.

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  31. Hi Nevine,
    Thank you for your wonderful messages. I have now put you on the creative blog list. It is really good to meet you. I saw you on Caio's blog. He is a lovely mad artist!;)
    Please go ahead and put my site on your blog list. That is very kind of you!:)
    I can now visit you regularly and see your new posts!
    Jo.x

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  32. Sophisticated as with all your musings. Every word is deliberate and pondered with grace. A captivating read. I haven't read any of the other comments so I apologize if mine is repetitive. Who said transcendentalism was dead? Nevine is proof that it still lives vibrantly.

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  33. Sharla - Nothing you ever say is repetitive. Ever. Transcendentalism? Perfect. You've made me smile after a challenging day at work. So hugs and hugs to you!

    Laughingwolf - Something tells me this sounds familiar to you...? ;-) Just kidding! You wouldn't, LW!

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  34. Such a rich dive into this man's mind. I agree with all the commenters who praised the writing. For me, it was the fullness of it. The depth.

    Do other men think like this? Many probably do. No wonder I feel odd.

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  35. Now that's weird. My word verification for my comment above was "unneful." Is Blogger arguing with me?

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  36. Jason - I asked my husband to read this before I posted it, and then I held back and asked him to read it after posting. He read it and said, "What kind of sick person is he, anyway?" And I was like, "Wait. So not all men think like this?" Just to see what he'd say. And he said, "Really, Nevine? Do you think I think like this?" Realistically, no. I was just diving into the mind of a very insecure person, truly. I'm glad he came across that way. And you're not odd at all, Jason. You're just a normal and unsick kind of guy. And as for Blogger, it argues with all of us... all the time! BTW, I've been closely reading the entries for your contest, and have commented on a few. I'll be back later tonight to see what's new in the past few hours... lots of fascinating stuff out there!

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  37. oooooohhhh- wheeeeee....

    Plumbing the depths of obsessions and fixations and sadly shallow insecurities...

    And is it just your imagination that takes you to these rather somber places, gritty, touching on the dirty underbelly of humanity, or have you been there... I'm thinking a bit of both, for who then has lived a pure life in this day and age...

    Gripping reading Nevine, had me sort of squirming with discomfort, I admit...

    If you haven't been there already, I'd highly recommend you take a look at Jimmy Bastard's blog in Scotland, I think you are both writing on a very high plane about gritty subject matter, and succeeding brilliantly, seamlessly, evoking emotions for your audience that surprise them by their depth... the stuff of good theatre...

    Oh hell, but how I do run on, I hope you're not thinking under your breath, my god what a case of verbal diarrhea he must have that owen !

    Take care Nevine, the unseen egyptian queen...

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  38. Owen - I haven't really been to the "underbelly of humanity". Have I ever met a guy like this? Certainly! Was I in a relationship with him? Luckily not! But I've seen and known so many other women who have. And then my imagination just adds to the fun, if you know what I mean. But still, that doesn't make me 100% pure... ;-) And BTW, I stopped in at Jimmy Bastard's, and decided to get on that bandwagon! Thanks for the good word, Owen! I can always count on you...

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  39. a powerful unveiling of a real situation. it seems so obvious when presented this way - yet i wonder how many of us really see the clarity of these situations when we are in them? do any of us really chose to be so trapped? so selfish?

    powerful stuff. beautifully described.

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  40. You have so much wisdom to understand both men and women in this story. This powerful. You really are going deep here far beyond the typical lust stuff and you are doing it in a modern way.

    Keep it up you are brilliant.

    Tom

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  41. Spelt out well indeed. However, part of me thinks its too open to be conditional and the other part says its too conditional to be deemed cosmic. Despite my disgust at verbose overplays, I couldnt help reading between this multitude of lines. Thanks for sharing.

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  42. I loved that. I'd be a hypocrite if I chastised the lead because I've been in that position before (not just the insomniac with a libido part either, all the bad stuff too). I don't, however, understand why he wouldn't want to stick with her she sounds hot. Pretty girl with an accent that reads Dostoevsky for pleasure? That's a keeper in my book.

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  43. Kim - Rarely do we see situations clearly when we are stuck inside them. It's only hindsight that's 20/20, to use an old and weathered, though most appropriate, cliche! Thanks for your kind words!

    Tom - "Brilliant" is just wonderful, Tom. :-)

    Fareed - "... too open to be conditional and too conditional to be deemed cosmic." What do you mean? The relationship, or the exposing of the main character's psyche? All relationships are conditional, though we like to delude ourselves and say they are not. And if it's too conditional, then that's just perfectly cosmic, don't you think? Thank you for reading, especially between the lines, though this man's character leaves nothing to be guessed, I think.

    Christopher - And I do not chastise him either. That's why I've allowed him to chastise himself through his conversation with himself. Hmmm... about the sticking around with her... he doesn't seem to have his head about him... or rather he has A head about him, but not the one upstairs. He wants her but doesn't want her, and his reasons are all jumbled. That's the danger... of wanting something for all the wrong reasons... when it's probably good for you if you want it for the right reasons... and then allowing it to slip away. Yes, she's quite a lady, don't you think? Thank you for joining me, Christopher. I look forward to interacting with you. :-)

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  44. So realistic!
    Once you've started reading you're trapped! You're so impatient to know what comes next that you rush until the end!
    I wonder how many times you have been reincarnated!
    Everything you write seems so real that you must have experienced every situation you write about:)

    Thank you so much for sharing;-)

    ***
    l'étoile de la santé
    celle de l'amour
    et celle de l'amitié
    l'étoile de l'harmonie
    et l'étoile de la paix
    celle de l'inspiration
    et enfin celle...
    qui console les petits bobos de la vie:)
    Sept étoiles amies
    que je laisse pour toi ici:)

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  45. Crémilde - Tu es infiniment gentille. And I do wonder, as well, how many lives I've lived... it would seem I've lived so many. It is a pleasure to share with you, who enjoy so much. And those sept étoiles amies que tu m'as laissées, I will entertain with particular joy. Thank you so much for your kindness. I appreciate it a great deal.

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  46. Oh but you do, don't you Nevine? I mean really, don't you?

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Your thoughts are deeply appreciated.