I have to be honest with everybody who has taken the time to stick it out with me and read this blog, if only even small portions of it. I’ve been working on this since about November, so about 4 to 5 months, taking my time, searching for the right words to describe what all has happened. Now that it’s all almost over, in a way, I almost don’t want it to be. If you can try to understand, this is my story, and of course it carries on, but there are some things you have to let go of that no one necessarily wants to. And that’s what I made this blog for, so I can let it go, let go of all the hell I put myself through over the situation, let go of the tears that fell because of this situation, and over all, let go of Ruben. They say that when someone dies, the loved ones left behind never really let go until the person who died does. I believe that’s somewhat how situations like this happen. In a way, there’s still that short thread of a connection left between me and Ruben. I don’t believe he will let go until I finally do.
What makes this hard isn’t the fact that I don’t want to let go of him, it’s the fact that I don’t want to let go of those moments, those short little wisps of time that I was in his arms believing that it would never end the way it did. Those are the things that one would obviously try to continue grasping to. I want to keep holding onto what was good about me and Ruben, but letting go means everything, good and bad. The only thing I’ve held completely onto throughout this time is the image of Ruben I wish I still had.
I go through these old videos remembering how I used to look up to Ruben as a poet as well as a person. Doing so, I realize that there were other poets that I should’ve looked up to that I truly didn’t. I listen to some of Jess’s poetry now and wonder how I was able to not be so attentive when she read, and other poets, I listen to the words, watch how they present. I realize now that Ruben’s poetry, while it was amazing, was always simply shouted at the audience. And maybe it’s my lack of intrigue with him now, but I now find myself appreciating his poetry much less than I once did. Of course, he could definitely say the same because I was a lousy poet compared to him and the rest of them, but I think that at the very least, I can say that I’ve come far since then.
It was this past fall that I was in a used book store when I stumbled across the title, movie and book sitting side by side on a crowded shelf. I took the movie home with me; I had never seen it and wanted to know just how much I had in common with Lolita the girl. The entire time I sat in front of the movie screen, I wondered when I was going to run into an instance where she and I were the same person. And when I finally did, I couldn’t handle it.
Now, the picture I’ve placed next to the one of Lolita is a cropped picture of me wearing my skirt. It’s a very old picture, and a little blurry, but it’s me nonetheless. It was the only picture left that I have of this skirt because I gave it away shortly after watching the movie, finding my skirt, holding it up to the screen, then quite literally crying myself to sleep. Because the picture is blurry, you can’t clearly see the similarities as well as I once could. The bows on mine are smaller and more plentiful, my skirt is shorter, and mine has a small crown at the top of it. But when I was watching this movie, the skirts (at least to me) were completely identical. What made me cry when realizing this wasn’t the fact that I shared a characteristic with a girl in a movie. It was the fact that I had never seen the movie before, nor had Nabokov mentioned this skirt at any point in his book (and even if he had, I had bought the skirt before the book anyway). It was the fact that Ruben, at least at one point in time, had had me spot on and that disturbed me very deeply.
What frightened me the most about this movie was the thought that I had once been almost completely absolved in becoming what I believed Ruben wanted me to be. I had once obsessed overlooking perfect for him, buying the right skirts and stockings and panties to show off to him. Sometimes I’d even buy ribbon to put in my hair while I took my pictures, and once or twice I dyed it completely. Around Halloween I dyed it a full bright red, putting hair mouse in it to make it look almost what I would’ve called California like. Just as the man from “Fight Club” finds himself becoming more and more like his imaginary friend Tyler Durden, I had once allowed myself to become more and more like his Lolita. But it never really bothered me until I realized exactly what I was doing.
I cannot tell you that I never felt guilty because guilt always set in somewhat after the pictures had finished being sent away for Ruben to do whatever he pleased with them. I felt it all the time. But it was almost like an addiction while I was doing it. When you’re someone like me, you almost feed off of the sweet compliments you get from people, blushing anytime anyone says anything nice about you, and never pushing a compliment to the side. It was something I almost couldn’t help but love. I guess I just wanted to be loved and cherished like I suppose any woman would want. But sometimes I guess that’s wrong.
Now that the spring has set in, I’ve begun reading “Lolita” again. After all, it was around this time last spring that I read it for the first time. I remember giving it away in the summer last year to a transvestite named Danni who had a lot in common with me, a former love of a significant age difference who went by the same name. Sometimes it’s pretty appalling the similarities you’ll find yourself sharing with people you don’t even know.
We’re almost to the end, and you should know that doing what I did wasn’t easy. I remember not being able to keep food down for over a week, I was always sick to my stomach, and hardly spoke to anyone. Losing Ruben wasn’t easy. But I still had a life to continue living.