Soap Operas Before

When we were juniors in college, my friend J who likes to do fancy and far-out things (she's real adventurous) told me about the colonic she had. How wonderful it had been. How it wasn't even shit that they pumped out of her, it was just black stuff. Things that had been lodged deep inside of her from years ago. Ancient toxins. She rhapsodized about how sweet the woman who administered the colonic had been. How she'd smiled knowingly and made J feel so comfortable, massaging her stomach with her left hand while holding the hose in J's asshole with her right hand. J told me that after the colonic she'd felt so different. Lighter, but weak. She said she was sweating profusely. She was shaking. She immediately had to shit, right after the colonic. I thought that was kind of funny. She said it was just the best experience ever, and I was so jealous.

At one point, I felt like I knew what you were doing, but we didn't have to talk about it. It was just, I knew what you were doing, to whatever extent. And you knew that I knew. There was this unspoken agreement that you'd let watch you. Actually, not even watch. There was nothing of observation. Just sensing. You let yourself be noticed, intuited by me. You measured yourself out to me. I thought that my enthusiasm was (like, duh) thanks enough, but now I can see that I should have praised you much more. I should have let you know that I thought you were generous. That those fistfuls, counted-twice and grudgingly given, meant so much. More than enough. I could not have asked for more. I just wish my timing had been better. Now I do not know what you are doing. Knowing you to the extent that I do, I can only guess what you are up to. I can infer, assume, deduce but not sense and still not notice. And I'm no longer so sure of my ability to do these things. Now you do not want me to know. You want me to not know. I'm sure it's not even anything particularly secret. It's not me, particularly. It could be. Maybe I didn't listen enough, or for long enough, or in the right way. Maybe I didn't sit you down and say: "Hey, I'm listening, too." That would never have worked.

I think so often of the idea of transference, projection. I don't really know what these words mean, clinically, but I feel like I "get" them as concepts, in my own life. I'm deeply committed to my Analyst and I absolutely refuse to draw any conclusions about it, for fear of judging it. It's like: I never got into soap operas before, but. So that we are what we are afraid of. That something we find abhorrent in someone else could be something we fear to be part of ourselves. This seems fundamentally true. Of course. It follows that the thing you love is something you wish you had in yourself. You're jealous of someone else, you wish you were them, you love them. It's totally a kind of loving. I thought for a time that the thing to do was to become the thing you love, right? Be someone you would want to fuck and then fuck yourself. But I guess I was being kind of silly. Now I know that it's a matter of looking. Of paying attention, getting involved with the plot, like you would on a soap opera. It's a matter of engagement. Of viewership. You need to be caught up. You need to pay attention. You need to tune in.

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