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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

The case to be tried by the jury inside.

Recently, I got invited to an Aimee Mann concert. Hmm, that's interesting. I like music. At the risk of having my license as a lyrics expert on namethattune pulled, I am going to say that I wasn't entirely familiar with Aimee Mann, although the name seemed really familiar, and I couldn't place it, so I looked her up. I found her website first, and it had some samples from her latest album "The Forgotten Arm." Well, that looks a lot like country. I was leery, as country is one of my least favorite genres, but as an eclectic, I'll try nearly anything, and will listen to certain things out of any genre. I have subsequently discovered that she is part of 'Till Tuesday (D'Oh!), I knew I recognized that name from somewhere! Fortunately, her art is not quite the "hard" country I had feared.

So, I was playing samples from "The Forgotten Arm." There were three. These aren't really upbeat tunes. The songs are melancholy and they fit Ms. Mann's voice, which is in the lower female range, has a bit of a twang, and a soft burr underlying it. It's very expressive, and burrows into you. I really have a thing about women's voices. It's voices and eyes for me. Of course, only a fool, a gay guy, the blind, or the insane could ignore a well turned female figure and an exquisitely formed face, but eyes and voices are what "get to me." Heh, I could listen to a woman babble for hours, especially if she likes "playing" with her voice and has a talent for using it. You know, I can be impressed with a woman's anatomy. Some women are works of art..."in form and moving, how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension, how like a god..." Nevertheless, to reveal my Secret Weakness™, if a woman wanted to seduce me she can keep her shirt buttoned. Someone should have told the ex-wife that, a long time ago, just after we met, when she tried to get to me with cleavage. No, the way for a woman to get under my skin is to look me in the eyes and use her voice. One of the hottest scenes in movies is from Fight Club, when Marla is attempting to seduce the narrator with provocative voice and language. Helena Bonham Carter did a gooood job with the role. Whew. That few minutes of dialogue beats half an hour of T&A footage. Heh heh, don't bother to disagree, nsingman; Delilah is as unique as the man. Dang, now I'm thinking of Heddy Lamar, and she's an entry all to herself...

For certain people, it's movies connect strongly with their emotions. It was for the ex, and a couple of other women with whom I've been in cinema houses. For others, it's a play or sights of things which move them. Sometimes those things can evoke a strong reaction out of me, but music works on my emotions a lot more reliably than any other art. The third sample of the album was a cut called "Goodbye, Caroline." Uh oh, it's one of those songs. I started feeling like I'd swallowed a billiard ball soon after it started. Damn. From where did that come? Of course, the only thing to do at that point was to play the darned thing "20348503 times," as another friend of mine would probably put it, and try to figure out what it was about that song that moved me. It has a haunting melody, and Ms. Mann's voice is very expressive. The lyrics speak of loss, and disappointment,... and self-recrimination.

Put on your shoes, Girl -- I'm going to the coast,
Where every loser gives up what hurts the most,
And all those haunted, unlucky guys get told,
Who's really wanted and who just can't stay sold.

Goodbye, Caroline -- you're my favorite faith healer,
Goodbye, everything -- say I gave to the house dealer,
Who could only really let you down.

Put on your coat, Babe -- my luck is winding down,
I'll get your suitcase and pull the car around,

Goodbye, Caroline. You're my favorite faith healer.
Goodbye everything -- say I gave to the house dealer,
(Who could only really let you down)

Where it's lit day for night,
And the clocks wear their faces bowed,
Where the hands and cuffs gleam white,
As they hang on a nicotine cloud...
Goodbye, Caroline.

Goodbye, everything!

Goodbye, Caroline,
You're my favorite faith healer.
Goodbye, everything.
Say I gave to the house dealer --
Who could only really let you down.
Who could only really let you down.
Who could only... let you down.

Goodbye, Caroline
Aimee Mann

Recently, I read some column which comments and offers advice on issues of interest to divorced guys. The Aimee Mann song brought the column to mind. The article was basically talking about guys having trouble letting go of their previous relationship. His theory is that guys who can't let go, can't forgive themselves. There's an interesting concept. I think the guy has it wrong. I think that letting go of the previous relationship and forgiving oneself are not necessarily linked. I guess the most profound concept raised in the piece was the idea that I could be in a position of not forgiving myself. That doesn't have to be connected to the old relationship in any particular at all, necessarily.

I don't really want the ex back, and other than the fact that it is annoying and wearying to deal with her, I really don't care about the small interaction I have to have with her. I realized about the time I moved from Lodi that the marriage was a fool's errand. For whatever reasons, hers, mine, or both of ours, she was rarely ever there for me, and to be fair, I wasn't for her, in a way that meant enough to her. Stupidity. All I really want is to just ignore her, and go back to regarding her as a stranger I don't have to know or with whom I do not have to associate any longer.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I've forgiven myself yet. How in the hell does one do that, anyway? No. I don't recriminate myself for screwing things up. I had ample help doing that. Nevertheless, the fact remains that we were wrong for one another. There were so many warning signs and counter-indications that I should not have married the ex it just isn't funny. In fact, mine was such a profound hubris as to be shameful. It's not hindsight that speaks. It is not that I ignored the signs and flaws in our relationship. No, I saw them plain enough. I discounted them. I decided that I was going to beat the odds and that if I loved her enough, and I did love her, then I would beat any odds and overcome any obstacles. Does "love" excuse that kind of blindness or hubris? Perhaps there never was enough "us" in our marriage. Two single people cannot uphold a relationship which requires something more than the sum of both of them. Sometimes, when I allow myself such indulgences, the waste in those years disgusts me.

How does one forgive oneself for "sin" one fully intended to commit? How does one forgive oneself for a "sin" one really cannot regret? I've been angry. I've been very angry, but that has pretty much passed. Oh, there are still frustrations in dealing with this stupid set of twisted up relationships, such as they are, but the blazing ire which once consumed me has burnt out. My friend prolixfootle, who is my age, once said that someone told him that he needed to get angry about his situation, which excepting children, is similar to mine. How about it, Old Hoss, have you managed to work up a nice pique yet? Mine was the end of last year and the winter. It's gone now, but that doesn't mean that I have figured out how to trust myself again -- assuming that I can or should. Tell me, Footle, do you blame yourself for what you allowed to happen to you?

Of course, I know where the catch is. Guilt is power. Is forgiving oneself tantamount to indulging a propensity to make the same mistake again? If I don't hold myself responsible for what I allowed...am I encouraging a repeat of the rationalization and hubris? Does it sanction what happened? It is easy to suppose what the "right" answers to these questions are. It is quite another thing to internalize these answers and understand them in the personal context. I still don't know how to get from here to there.

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Nevertheless, to reveal my Secret Weakness™, if a woman wanted to seduce me she can keep her shirt buttoned.

I will keep that in mind. *rushes off to delete all her boobie icons and replace them with sacred vestaments*

Of course, the only thing to do at that point was to play the darned thing "20348503 times,"

I've listened to this track a billion times as well but it did not resonate with me in a similar way. It struck me that she was actually addressing her drug addiction...but maybe I took it too much at the first degree.

There were so many warning signs and counter-indications that I should not have married the ex it just isn't funny.

I feel this too. I also felt that the combined love we had for each other during the pre-nuptial stage would override these signs and counter-indications. I suppose many people rationalize entering into less-than-perfect partnerships this way. But I'd never do it again. And I'm grateful that I integrated this lesson so well; it has spared me many a misstep post-divorce. The scales have fallen from my eyes, mercifully.

Guilt is power
I don't agree with you on this point. Guilt can be something one hangs onto to prevent them from moving forward; it can be an (unhealthy) refuge. You could shift your paradigm from "guilt" to "responsible". There is a huge difference between these two states. You are not guilty for anything regarding your marriage; but you are responsible. Examine that one and get back to me.

There will be a quiz on Friday.

Persistence of Mammary
rushes off to delete all her boobie icons and replace them with sacred vestments

I would point out that I said "can keep her shirt buttoned," and that there is an enormous difference between "can" and "should". By the way, I would point out that I went to school twelve years among nuns. Outside of certain perversely kinky, hypothetical scenarios, I am immune to their naughty, racy, habits and they do not turn me on. ; )

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.
As usual, yours is an interesting take on the circumstances at hand. I would say though, that in the first place, I did not know of Ms. Mann's drug addiction. I do notice that she looks less "heroin chic" on her website photos than she does on the 'Til Tuesday album cover. In the second place, even stretching a metaphor, I still can't reconcile the first verse with drug addiction, although I can see how you can loosely construct the lyrics as a whole that way. It's still a stretch. In the third place, the song was obviously triggering associations which were particular to my own psyche only, as I hadn't really tried to make an analysis of the lyrics outside of that context, not all of which was elaborated upon in this entry.
Guilt, Responsibility, and Power.
Ah, leave it to the French woman to find le mot juste. You are right, the better concept is responsibility, as I am not in a position to regret completely what happened, as some good did come from it. The problem is feeling like a chump, after having been cheated. Sometimes I resent the way the mess went down after I tried to hold it together. Hell, if she is allowed to wreck everything I had and take it away, and then get substantially financially rewarded after serial infidelities, why couldn't I have gotten out first, and to hell with her? Yes. Responsibility. When you claim responsibility for something you assert control over the circumstances governing it. To be responsible for what happened is to say that it was not "destiny" or "fate," in which I do not believe, but that, even though I failed, I did know what I was doing, and it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Letting that go and saying, "I'm only human," looks like a cop-out. Of course, if one is responsible when things go wrong...then one is guilty of failure, at the minimum. It's not exactly regret, because I don't believe in regret, in the larger sense of things, but sometimes I just get disgusted by what I let happen and with what I tolerated. Eh, I'm still working it out and thinking about it.
Quiz Kids
We are all human. There is always a quiz, of one sort or another, no matter which sex one is.

Hell, if she is allowed to wreck everything I had and take it away, and then get substantially financially rewarded after serial infidelities, why couldn't I have gotten out first, and to hell with her

You did not get out earlier because you have a more-elevated moral code than your ex. The security and happiness of your daughters was more important---and rightly so--than your own emotional and physical happiness. Your ex put her needs first, above and beyond family's. You weren't made this way, so you couldn't.

Your situation highlights one of EmmaBovary's laws, which states:
[Some] Women cheat on men they should be cherishing, and others stay with men who don't cherish them.

I wanted it to work with her too. Things just disintegrated between us, at an accelerating pace. It was just too weird, but I still wanted her. When we were still together, I couldn't really look at my children and coldly decide that I didn't want their mother. She was too integral to the family that I thought was mine. Ah well. I suppose she gave the effort what she had as well. She claims that she did. I don't excuse the fooling around, but...I have no real idea of how it could have been saved. I wonder how much I have learned from the experience -- if it is enough. I still don't know that, but I certainly know a great deal more than the guy I was before the turn of the century.

I wouldn't disagree at all. I've had serious crushes on Anita Baker and Brenda Russell for decades that predated the first time I saw what they looked like (as an aside, they're both hot). I'm very sensitive to voices, and a sexy voice is a powerful attractor.

Heh heh, I was only pulling your chain.

I realize, Noah, that you are deeper than your fondness for breasts. Heh. As I pointed out to emmabovary, I'm deeper than my fondness for eyes and voices as well.

By the way, Anita Baker's voice is HOT HOT HOT! I hear stuff like "365 Days" sung by that woman, and I certainly get hot under the collar. I'm not sure if I've had any experience of Brenda Russell. Hmmm, perhaps I shall have to educate myself on this matter.

Re: Heh heh, I was only pulling your chain.

It's okay; I knew you weren't being serious. :-)

Ah, Anita Baker. The first time I heard "Rapture," I literally stopped in my tracks so I could listen without even moving. Her voice really is incredibly rich.

Brenda Russell has a lovely voice, too, though she's probably better known in the business for her songwriting. My favorite of hers is a song called "Piano in the Dark." The first time I heard it, I missed hearing who did it, so I kept listening to the same station for hours until they played it again. I had to know!

This would be the point where I mention that she also provided the female voiceover in Time Stand Still, wouldn't it?

Obviously, I did not know that. Interesting.

I'm here to help.

Nope. Just a lingering sadness for what could've been but won't.

And of course I blame myself. I knew my limitations. Hell, I even pointed them out before we got married. Just not eloquently enough, I guess. And I allowed my judgment to be swayed. I believed her when she said it would work.

And Lord Tennyson should've been shot.

Yes. You weren't really burned, in the way a lot of guys are burened by these things. In a way, it's something of an advantage. You have less of certain kinds of baggage than that with which I had to deal. On the other hand, your "limitations" seem to me to be something you over-inflate, and a continued focus on absences and lacks could be what helped to undo you in the first place. Pardon my speculation. I'm not wanting to offend. Certainly neither of us has all the answers in this kind of mess. Neverhtheless, I think you've more to offer a woman than you think you have. You ought to keep that in mind and consider it periodically.

By the way, what's Alfred Lord Tennyson done to you, in specific to merit such a harsh sentence from you?

An interesting start to our new friendship

I read this and felt like I had things to say but no place to say them since I left my husband, though without any children or extra-marital affairs. I still had my reasons and he was still devastated and in turn made the entire thing far more difficult and angry than it should have been. We don't speak anymore and I'm fine with that. At least you got a couple of great kids out the relationship, which is always a weird thing for me to say to someone, being a non-parent myself. I honestly can't fathom having to deal with someone I share a child with but not a life, but on the other hand I also have no concept of the bond of love one has for their offspring once they've spawned.

So what's the point, you ask? I don't always have one. I think I'm trying to say "I feel your pain" in my most Clinton-esque voice possible. Sure, I can do weird things with my voice and I'll even post the picture of my eyes. I'm not really trying to pick you up though, I'm just a perpetual flirt.

Anyway, glad we met. Interesting choice of words, serendipity, for one who doesn't believe in fate or chance. Hmmmmm.

Re: An interesting start to our new friendship

Everyone has reasons for what they do. Other than you and he, very few other people are in a position to know whether they were good ones or bad. Yeah, you are right about sharing children but not a life. It is weird as hell. It's hard to describe, but there are places in here where I have tried.

Heh. I believe that people always have a point, even if their point is to make gibberish just for entertainment value -- which is in no way to say that that is what you were doing in this instance! Sometimes, though, people have things to say, but they don't necessarily understand consciously, why they want to say them, or what the gist is when they do.

I like your eyes, but they look better in your whole face. Knowing that you like radio so much, I am sorry to say that you do not have the face for radio -- you need to be much more homely to justify secreting yourself away as just a voice in a sea of electromagnetic waves. Heh. See? I can flirt too, even though I won't lie when I do so. I've been around LJ for awhile now. It's full of flirting; I know this. It's entertaining. I promise not to start stalking you anytime soon -- certainly not without explicit permission -- that would just be too gauche.

I don't believe in fate. That is true. Nevertheless, chance and serendipity happen, and I am a fan of happy accidents. The only way that chance could cease to exist would be for people to be omniscient and clairvoyant. All we can do, is attempt to influence cause and effect to our benefit and make what we can of the opportunities and setbacks which arise. Louis Pasteur said, "Chance favors the prepared mind."

Re: An interesting start to our new friendship

Thanks for the compliments, not the least of which was the gibberish comment. It's ok. The "entertainment" disclaimer made it so. :D

Stalk me, with my full and free permission. I love it, and moreover I thoroughly enjoy stimulating posts and stalkable friends.

Pasteur was right, but I favor preparing my mind for chance. ;)

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