And so to bed. This is where the power shifts. If he’s good for you in bed, you’re now in trouble. If you’re good for him, he’s now in trouble. Bed is the fulcrum of the power shift. (Erica Jong)
It is the truth – and like most truths, is only a half of the whole Truth – that the only time Jonas can shut Alice up is when he kisses her.
Alice has been musing about this hard-to-digest fact while reading up on the very dry, very boring topic of myths about gender as proposed by the American intellectual Anne Fausto-Sterling.
Fact: Jonas was the first male to have ever kissed her, and the first person she has ever had sex with. True, she is probably limiting her education by not exploring other amorous options. However, it is entirely possible to prove a point using one subject instead of a sample of 100. Alice just can’t figure out exactly what that point is.
Fact: Sex with another person can rattle someone in a way that masturbation can’t. Maybe it is because of the foreign-ness of having another person’s body-part insinuating itself into yours. She has long dispensed with the requisite Catholic guilt and neurosis that accompanies masturbation. But still, a week, a month, 6 months after you-know-what happened, she is still not sure if the experience had given her something, or if she’s simply been had.
Fact: She considers it an act of kindness to have told him that she loves him long before she was certain what it meant to say “I love you”. Until now, she is suspicious of this entity, this label, this concept that flows so easily from his mouth; and yet so difficult for her to acknowledge.
Over-analysis has probably been the downfall of many women (and men) who cannot trust the truth that what they feel is what they feel; and, anyway, to hell with psychology!
Last night, they were working in this apartment; he in his laptop, she in hers.
Kim was out (saving the dregs of broken humanity in the government hospital where she was on surgical duty) so Alice and Jonas had the place all to themselves. Before she went, Kim reminded Alice of the electric and water bills to be paid; and told Jonas that the pipes in the kitchen are busted again and can he “sweetie please” kindly see if he can do something about it. As usual, Jonas was his usual cheerful self acquiescing with Kim’s request.
Alice felt it imperative to point out: “It really is not your job to fix our pipes; I can easily call a handyman; there are a lot of them around Malate who needs the work.”
“It’s okay, I want to do it.”
“Have you fixed a broken pipe before?”
“No. But it’s pretty straightforward. I can figure it out.”
“Or you will just google it.”
What Alice hates is the self-assured way he said “correct”; the self-assured way he barges into her life. Appearing and disappearing at regularly irregular intervals with no explanations in between. Telling her that he loves her and expecting her to believe it. She hates it that he appears to feel hurt when she put that so-called “love” into rational scrutiny.
She hates it that she can stay put when he can’t.
(Teaching oneself to get used to having another person around is as difficult as teaching oneself to get used to not having him around)
Fact: what Alice hates is that Jonas can so effortlessly make her feel like a “girl”.