6 March 1995

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Teresa just called.  She’s at Michele and Croft’s staying with the dogs while they’re in Las Vegas, and while she was standing in the bathroom looking at her new pimple and trying to decide what approach she should take with it, Truman, one of the terriers, walked in and calmly took a pee on her leg. She was so surprised that she just stood and stared down at him while he finished peeing and walked away. “I had pee leg!” she said, “I’m getting a divorce.”  (Truman is registered in Teresa’s name because Croft and Michele have an illegal number of dogs. But they’re only married on paper.)

I think I’m a little on edge because of moving in with Teresa, which pretty much scares the shit out of me, even though I’m looking forward to it with so much joy. Because, my god, I was talking to Beth on the phone, gaily soliciting her advice and talking about Teresa’s perfections, and I don’t remember how it came up, but she and Josh really might break up. She started to cry, and I kept saying, “Poor Beth, oh, honey, poor little Bethsheba! And here I can’t stop talking about my girlfriend.”

She kept discretely blowing her nose and saying how much she likes it when I talk about Teresa. I think Beth is a little in love with Teresa herself. She said, “It’s not that I’m liking other people, it’s nothing like that. I only fall in love with people who have just gotten married, like Bob and Ross and Teresa.” Well, it made me feel so happy, and poor Beth was so miserable.

She told me that Josh doesn’t want to do anything, doesn’t want to talk or write or laugh or do anything. “He oppresses me,” she said.  And she said that when she went to Albuquerque to take that grueling three-day exam for her Master’s, she felt relief.

I’m a little mad at Josh. Why can’t he get his butt on drugs? He and Beth are going to counseling, but he’s the one who needs it. He’s been depressed for two years. It’s crazy not to do anything about it.

And then I remember how I was depressed a few days ago before I started my period and how odd and nothing it felt and how I simply couldn’t conceive of any other state of mind. And my depression lasted about twenty minutes.  So, try two years–try seeing your way out of that hole. And I also thought about what Josh was like at that writer’s conference that we almost got kicked out of. I knew that he was almost wild with misery, but he was so funny and fun and smart even while he was saying sad, bitter things. And that’s heroic, it really is, but it’s social heroism. You can’t be a hero in your home life.

And these are good people, well-matched.  So I feel a little like praying for grace and luck and anything else that might be handy with my darling Teresa.

Beth said that Josh doesn’t really know he’s depressed, and it’s surprising, because Josh is so conscious. I mean, one thing he is, is awake. But he has blind spots. I guess everyone does.

What are my blind spots?  Tell me!  Actually, don’t!

But I must add one thing:  I think my Teresa is worth a thousand Joshes. So there! I remember another friend once saying that you can tell you’re in love when you know that someone is superior to you. And someone, some idiot, said, “Oh, you should never think that anyone is superior to you,” you know this self-esteem crapolina. My friend didn’t say anything, but she was Scorn personified.

Anyway, I know perfectly well that Teresa is superior to me. And I think I can see enough outside my own situation to know that really, truly and completely aside from her being my darling property, she is superior. With other people, she’s reserved and shy and proud.  She never looks for respect, but people do respect her. I think they’re a little afraid of her. And then with the people she really likes she has that warm, open-hearted loving way.

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