August 20, 2009 @ 1:57 am by sean
Perhaps it was the Montessori I attended that allowed “play” time, or perhaps what I’m remembering as play time was really the Practical Life section. I was only 3 and 4. Those two years blurred together, but for at least one of those years, my favorite time was playing family. There were these twin sisters, peers of mine, and they were gorgeous. I, naturally, preferred to play the baby. This offered the greatest and most frequent access to these lovely ladies, as one of which was usually the mother. It became my frequent role, but sharing was necessary so I times I relinquished my position to be father, or, hopefully not, brother. One time, after confusion of roles, I defaulted to baby. This was not correct, I was informed by one of my muses. You’re supposed to be a father.
That is one of only a few memories I have from Montessori. Pooping my pants and not coming out of the bathroom until my mom came was another. Another time I cried because my sister went to the older kids room and I wanted to be with her. I got a bloody nose another time. The baby role was obviously natural. The only other memory was dancing in a circle.
However, that first memory seems to have set the mold, defined, and shaped what my future interaction to my muse would be. My entire history, perhaps save one instance, is marred with similar situations, though most don’t get that far. Even if they don’t get that far in external interaction, they have internally, as I feel myself timidly, pitifully, crawling up, hoping for a compassionate, loving response. And getting instead, with a contemptuous look, You’re supposed to be a man.
I’ve played chess enough times to be familiar with it. I am no strategist. I cannot grasp the strategy of checkmate. Stalemate and defeat are typical. This isn’t metaphorical to just the opposite sex, but really all of my life. I can just about get there. Get to where victory appears imminent. But I can’t close the deal. And after a prolonged period of frustration and confusion on my part and boredom on that of my opponent, either we give up, I muster my best and arrive at a stalemate, or, their boredom gives way to me making myself vulnerable and end up with my king on his side.
John Marcher, you frustrate me. I had the realization above, the first one, while reading Henry James’ “The Beast in the Jungle.” John Marcher’s existence was so frustrating, I couldn’t even stand his existence as a fictional character. I’m afraid to be you, John Marcher, but does that only mean that that fear will drive me to be just like you? I had noticed my fear of loneliness was making me lonely. My fear of mediocrity was securing a mediocre life. But you and I, John Marcher, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate. Although James kept me guessing, what I predicted upon being informed of the predicament came to pass as if Hollywood wrote it (though that’s the only similarity). Your claim, John Marcher, made clear what your fate would be. Will stalemate always be my best? I’m an Algebra 1 student in AP Calculus, there is no reference, nothing in my mind that can put the pieces together to form a plausible strategy, even with advantages in strength and number, to slay my foe.
How to stop again what seems to have always been, I have no clue.