You know what I don't even believe?
I don't even believe it when people are not drunk and they are talking about a person they dated and they make a little face and say "I kind of broke her heart," like, "Oops!" Can you believe that? Does that happen? I ask because I just remembered, for some reason, through some long obscure chain of memory, somebody saying that to me this fall. About a mutual girl-pal. On a football field, maybe? Is this possible? Anyway, what was that guy thinking?
I mean, I would very much say that with enough liquor in me about ANYONE. You could take the most delicate, brittle, don't-break-the-ice-or-wake-daddy kind of fractal elaborate crystal kind of wafer-thin multichambered nautilus kind of spiderweb-suspended-momentarily-among-the-dewdrops kind of relationship situation, where everything was fraught and tender and trembling and itchy and nauseous and sweet and entirely left unsaid, and I'll throw back a couple of whiskey sours or something and lean against the bar and just start yawping to anyone who will listen about how I broke that person's heart: "Oh yeah, oh, God, it was pretty fucked up, you know," I'll say, "I mean, I really shouldn't talk about it, you know, but I totally broke his heart. I mean, is that okay? I mean, I heard that Magnetic Fields song about needing a new heart and I was like, shit, I suck, I totally broke his heart, and do you think I'm a bad person? But what could I have done, you know? Anyway, don't tell anyone I said that, okay?" Then I would probably make out with that person I was talking to. Then I would probably wake up the next morning with rings of mascara everywhere and the imaginary kittens climbing all over me and licking the beer out of my sweat and it would be, you know, karma. Wait, darlings, wait: I just felt a lot of digressions coming on!
Digression #1 (which is not a digression, really): The scene I painted above did not really happen. I just know that if it occurred to me to talk about breaking someone's heart under those circumstances, I would talk. This is called Knowing Yourself. (Digression 1A: I have been accused, chickens, of knowing myself abnormally well. I won't tell you how I know that, because I know it from espionage. But I didn't do the espionage! And I didn't commission it. But I know, from having read or listened to some print matter, that I either know myself abnormally well, or have abnormal self-consciousness, or something. I also know other things that are more unabashedly compliments and still more that are unabashedly ego-crushing. See! I look at my own ego being crushed with the precision of a doctoress in a laboratory.) Anyway, I would talk about it in the bar, because I always talk about things I shouldn't. For example, I have yawped loudly about Arnaud, when people who might have known Lillian were around. And I have yawped terrible wrong things about my Stephen.
Digression #2: The scene in the bar isn't real, but I'm sorry to tell you the comment about the Magnetic Fields song is. Now this journal entry is becoming like the scene in the bar! I told you I like to replicate trauma, or create it, or envision it; perhaps I'm test-driving it. Anyway, I had the Magnetic Fields revelation on a train that was hurtling somewhere in Europe, and my lap was full of Theophile Gautier (who was not my French boyfriend at the time, but rather a man who wrote nouvelles before we were any of us born, although in some respects is he not very similar to you, Stephen? my sweetheart, you have read that story about Pompeii, and I know a terrible lascivious mist rose in your eyes when you read it, I can just see it, in that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude!) and it hit me like a great, smarmy, semi-earnest thunderbolt that I was a cruel mistress indeed. Further reflection revealed that it was a stupid revelation, because of course I have no heart--how could I, with my richly television-movie past--but at the time, I felt bad. Who was I thinking of, dear reader? Not Lucid Billy, although really I did break Lucid Billy's heart in a manner of speaking; not poor wrong wronged Irwin. Do you want three guesses? One two three: it was Bobby Reynolds, to whom I surrendered the white, glowing, Electric-Youth-and-bubblegum-and-whiskey-scented temple of my body in the back of his Chrysler. The poor, poor bastard. But you know what? I ain't telling you I broke his heart.
Digression #3: About karma: I spent five hours on a bus recently with an Indian man who is in finance now but used to study literature. He liked Orwell's essays and he liked Ayn Rand and he liked Somerset Maughn. I don't know how to spell that. And also he told me about karma, and that you can accumulate it by eating chicken, and I tried to answer him with my Catholic impulses and urges, but I don't think it translated well. Anyway, we'll be having Thai food in midtown soon.
And now that the digressions are over, back to my main point, which was that I might say I broke somebody's heart when I was drunk, even if I felt it was wrong and that there was something sacred between us. And I might say it kind of caustically sober, if I were feeling caustic and like filing my nails and throwing out hard snappy brilliant comments like little obsidian arrowheads, or like orders in the 1930s newsroom, but I would only say that about somebody who only thought I broke their heart, and who deserved derision as a result. Or about someone whose story was just too gorgeously terrible even in its poignancy--like Lucid Billy, I mean, really. But about someone I had loved, at all, or had kissed with some tenderness, or had whispered some delicate word to*, could I ever tell a near-stranger on a football field casually but earnestly that I had broken their heart? How self-important would I have to be? How abnormally self-aware?
And of course, it's possible that no one ever did say that. I might be making that up. But, you know, the mind is its own place.
*(that's why I haven't historically uttered so many delicate words, except to my own sweet hands and feet.)
In other news, I heard by chance this recording of the MB's voice, and let me tell you what, that nearly broke my heart. Not that I don't talk regularly on the phone to the MB, because I do. But oh, Thornton Wilder! Do we ever love anyone enough when we have them around? I have been known to call the lady "vaguely peevish," and for that I should be flogged and flogged again. Because you know, some people are just rare and just rare.
Okay, enough of this saccharine shit. I wish I had some good news for you, like that a rat lives in my apartment or that someone was nibbling on my earlobe because they thought it was someone else's, but you know what? That did happen! Phew.