“You might be 100% compatible, but if you’re not in the right mindset at the same time, then it’s not going to work. That’s unfortunate because you might love somebody but they don’t fit into your life.”
“Jumping into Waters”
Fiction. Based on a True Adventure in Cetina Canyon.
by Mingjie Zhai
All journal entries are inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
In the Voice of Angelie
The tour guide tells you that Croats are known for just lounging around, spending two or three hours sitting at a coffee table having a fiesta, except the difference between the Spanish and the Croats is that the Spaniards celebrate after a nap, and the Croats just mope around feeling sorry for themselves.
You are afraid to write about this, so write you must. Today, the man who picked you up from the pick up spot has the same name as Sonny, except his name is spelled with an “i” at the end, as in “Sonni.”
The first thing you noticed was his eyes. Deep brown eyes.
He had a tough Irish energy—a Colin Farrell seriousness to it, except he is Croatian, and illegally parked somewhere because traffic was crazy today and you and the tour consultant who explained fiesta to you earlier were anxiously waiting for you. Mainly because the two of you are still uncomfortable with awkward silences. During the wait, he did tell you that traditional, right-wing religious groups still outlaw gay marriages and frown upon anyone openly gay. He is gay himself, he states, and you make the awww sound in front him, partly because of the close mindedness of fundamentalist religious groups but more so because he’s good looking and a tragedy for the single woman out there who find him attractive.
You had signed up for the canyoning adventure tour. You weren’t quite sure what canyoning was except for what you’ve imagined you have already done at Malibu Canyon, when you climbed rocks and hiked everywhere.
Sonni carried your bag that contained bread, pate, and a 40 liter bottle of water. There, you are met with the van that seats 8 and it’s just you he is picking up. During the 40 minute drive to Cetina Canyon, you ask him basic questions: how long he’s been a tour guide, how long he’s lived here, and what other occupations he does when it’s off season. He obliges and withholds from asking you any questions. You suspect he finds this quite annoying considering he gets asked the same questions all the time (and when the French couple joined later, the man asked the same exact questions you asked, confirming your suspicion).
You eat in his car. While waiting for two more tourists a few minutes away from the rendezvous, you ask him about the Bosnian War. He was a little boy when it happened so he says he does not remember much, but his entire family was deeply impacted. His father fought in the war and the rest of his family hid in a shelter. Sonni says he goes out to sea every 6 to 7 months of the year, helping manage the engine while the ship goes between countries carrying imported and exported goods. He says he went to Bangladesh for 2 weeks and did everything there.
“Not everything,” you say as correction.
“Well, no, not everything,” he says, corrected.
You don’t know if he’s saying it to appease your hope that he’s a good man or if he actually is correcting himself so as to assure you that he’s not some kind of guy who would have sex with little boys.
He said he would go to Mars if Elon Musk did an open call. “It’s a one way ticket,” you warn him.
“Yes, but you get to be the first,” he replies.
He watched the Jordan Peterson and Slavoj Zizek debate between capitalism and communism. You watched it too and you find him even more attractive after he says he watched it. You tell him that you believe humans are all capable of evil, but it is the knowing that we are capable of evil that we are better at containing it. You do not bring up Shadow Integration but you listen to his response. He tells you he believes evil is just easier and most people are lazy.
“If someone needs help and you are passing them by on your way to somewhere, would you stop? It takes effort to stop. Most people find it hard to stop.”
He then pulls out a cigarette and asks if you want a smoke. You said you stopped smoking when you stopped drinking. He takes you to the spot where his grandfather almost died falling down the canyon, and it was the third tree he clung onto that gave him enough time for the village people to send a rope to lift him up. Since then, his grandfather earned the nickname “Nine Lives,” and now Sonni’s name is “Nine Lives Jr.”
You look down and it is a deep chasm about 40 meters high, waterfalls on the horizon. You can see the river flowing.
The French couple arrives and you all drive to the storage room where the four of you suit up in wetsuits, life jackets, booties, and a plastic adult diaper that’s designed to protect your butt when you slide down the rocky slopes of the mini waterfall.
The canyon is 180 meters deep, and its largest waterfall, 55 meters down, with teal blue water, mixed with green algae, and circular shaped rocks, is molded by ages of water streams and rapids passing through. Sonni has been canyoning since he was 7. He knows this place in and out. He says there are three rules. One, follow exactly the same path as him, since he knows this place like the back of his hand. Next, when floating, always feet in front of you, and last, when you feel like you’re sinking or stuck under the waterfall, push up with your hands under you like you’re doing backward push ups.
The first time you slid down the stream of the current, the small rapids took you down, you sunk in, the water went into your nose, and you were completely blind. Discombobulated, unsure of when you’ll surface, or whether you’ll even surface or not; fear, panic, and shock stun you like a jellyfish. For a split second, the terror overcomes you at the thought of Roxy at home waiting for you so you must survive to come back to her.
The French couple are adept, but you are having trouble breathing. Your lungs have been through 15 years of smoking and 9 months of meth. Now at 35, you are beginning to finally sober up, clean your body, and treat yourself kindly. Multiple times, Sonni would hold his arms out and you would take them every time, even when you did not need them. You enjoyed his chivalry.
Canyoning is essentially treating the Cetina River like a slip and slide water park. You were just focusing on surviving, and most of the time, you felt like a little girl learning how to canyon for the first time. Still, you would catch glimpses of Sonni looking at you. You have an intuition that he is attracted to you as you are attracted to him, and on occasion you would feel his glances. Still, you would look away as soon as the two of you locked eyes.
The second time sliding down the mini waterfalls, you already began getting used to it after observing how the French couple would pinch their nose and just relaxing a bit more.
Then there were moments when there were no rapids, but a steady river downstream, and the four of you floated, using your own bodies like rafts on the river bend. You saw the clear blue sky with feathered white clouds above. To your left and to your right, lavender flowers in bloom peppered throughout the bold brown rocks, lined by the blue green algae at the water line. You saw tadpoles that looked like fat black sperm, you saw black and blue dragonflies dancing on bush flowers floating above the river bank, you saw white butterflies hovering over you. You caught a glimpse of heaven. Just you and Sonni floating through this private river canyon. You wanted to cue in Moby’s “Porcelain” because you’ve found your secret garden of paradise in those few minutes floating downstream with him.
You jumped off small rocks, you traversed one rock after another, and you glided down the mini waterfall from one river bed to the next: you went through a secret cave to avoid the next set of mini waterfalls that would lead to the big waterfall drop, and on the other side of the cave, it was time to cliff dive.
There were moments when Sonni would wink at you, usually right before he’d encourage you to jump when it seemed too scary. He wouldn’t let you shirk jumping off the rocks. You had bungee jumped before, but this was different. This was an untethered balancing of the mind, body, and heart, so you can tell your body that you’ll be fine when you step off the ledge of the rock and plummet into the deep river.
Then you all continued sliding through the mini waterfalls. When the waters were too fast he would grab firmly onto you, and he would at times carry you. He would make the hug gesture, and at one point, you had fallen and his arms and he was carrying you like a groom for his bride. It felt like a date.
The way he looked at you.
Your party finally ran into a group of guys after the first hour of nature reserved just for the four of you. These men also looked handsome, looked the same, and looked like Rylie passing you by. In that moment, you felt a sense of longing for Rylie.
The other day you dreamt that you found him and he was already in love with another girl…a New Yorker, except he didn’t really love her. He was under some pretension of loving her, but he did not have the depth of love for her that he would have had with you. You professed your love to him anyway and he just acted like you didn’t say anything and he kept looking at his girlfriend as if to convince himself that he had made the right choice all along.
Denial is a Nile in Africa
In the meantime, enjoy Cetina River
Slip and Slide
You looked at Sonni, leading you and the French couple opposite the direction of where the men were heading. When the French couple inquired, Sonni said that the men were celebrating a bachelor party and this was their way of doing it. “Sex, drugs, rock and roll,” he says. You smile.
Ahh…the remnants of wedding, the tease, or perhaps the positive valence as a reminder for you to hang in there.
Three hours in, after you’ve jumped the 6m cliff into the river, after climbing way up and then way down, Sonni offers you his foot while he swims, so you don’t have to doggy paddle across, though you don’t mind doggy paddling across. You take his foot anyway because you enjoy the chivalry. It makes you feel like a little girl again, and he, perhaps both the daddy, the brother, and the lover.
It’s a mixed kind of emotion—for a split second, you catch a glimpse of Mary Magdalene’s feelings towards Jesus—the embodiment of the divine feminine allowing the divine masculine to enter her sphere, shining a light on the inner girl in her coming of awareness to her own beauty and love.
By the time you all are back at the van, you are fully tired, but in a productive, satisfied, and peaceful way. The four of you are quietly changing in front of one another. He helps you out of your wetsuit and sees your back tatted up. You look at his tattoo on his right ankle and you see a ram. You ask him if it’s a goat and he says that it’s a ram that stands for the Aries sign. You change your bottom inside the van. After you finish changing a bee buzzes inside while you are eating. You point it out to Sonni, and he gets in and tries his best to coax it out of the van without killing it.
“You don’t have to kill it,” you tell him.
“I won’t,” he says.
Then he looks you straight in the eyes and says, “Perhaps, it wants to get you pregnant.”
You feel that warm sensation stir from your private space.
You want to have sex with him.
You see this as ominous…something that says to you…stay away from him. Wait for Rylie. When the group arrives at the storage house to drop off the equipment and gear, you see an orange cat, perhaps as confirmation. He pets the cat and you ask if it’s the company’s house cat, and he tells you that it’s the blonde girl’s cat. The blonde girl is beautiful, the one who works closely with him at this company. She reminds you of Apple’s visage—high cheekbones, natural blush, model-esque eyes, yet signs of wearing down, perhaps by the harshness of life’s hustle.
You imagine that she is perhaps a farmer’s daughter and has that masculine energy of toughness that gives off the Athenic, lesbianic fierceness that you are familiar with. You remember being approached by the Croatian man in Dubrovnik who first asks you if you were a lesbian. You do give off that masculine energy…perhaps all your life.
Your mother used to always comment,
“Nan bu xiang nan ren, nu bu xiang nu ren,” which translates to, “men who don’t act like men; women who don’t act like women.”
You’re mother always found you to be quite weird.
Aggressive is the word.
Like you really needed to, but you found it fun.
You always felt more comfortable being around boys.
Your sponsor suggested that it’s perhaps because you liked the attention. Yes, you do, but it’s something else too. When you were young, you liked their coolness. The young boys did not gossip. When you got older, you hung around the gangsters because you liked being seen around bad boys. That way the silly girls would leave you alone. As you got to college, you rode on the high of wanting to know the soul of someone, and connect with them on a physical, emotional, and psychological level. Or, perhaps, you just didn’t like women because women were wily and unpredictable.
You’re beginning to become aware of that shadow that’s always been with you.
And when you discovered the ecstasy of organisms—and not just one organism, but multiple organisms in one session. Later when you discovered how to orgasm both through the clitoris and the g-spot at the same time while riding a man, you experienced a kind of high equivalent to a conquistador finding paradise. In that suspended space of physical and psychological connection, you are made aware of your own erotic love for man—a place where you provide tenderness, acceptance, and nurturing of the boy’s soul inside the man. You love seeing it all.
And perhaps, that’s why you love being around men. Because you genuinely love men.
Except when they are decrepit, cowardly, sick, and cynical. Then you want to look away and run away. Sometimes you don’t, but most of the time you do. And you wander off to the next healthy young man to suck the living energy out of. You have no idea that this has been going on until these past few years, when you’ve gotten lots of feedback, and you noticed a pattern.
“Enough is never enough.”
That’s the verdict.
Later that evening, you look up Aries and Capricorn. The two of you won’t get along. Bummer.
After the French couple leaves, you invite him for dinner. He obliges to drop you off at a destination half an hour past the original destination in Split’s city center to your place, a small town, right by the sea.
En route he asks you what your dating history is. You say you are single and this is your choice. You were married nine years ago. Now you are traveling long term. He tells you he is single too.
When he arrives, he finds the best parking spot next to your stony home, above a fireworks factory with a logo of a witch on a broom in the shape of a firecracker, and next to this place, a butcher shop where every morning you hear the sound of knife cutting into dead pigs and cows.
You invite him inside and ask him to wait on the second floor of the three story complex, in the living room, while you properly dress yourself up in a nice outfit and makeup so you can be more of a lady for him. You get excited because he suggested that this is a date en route and you haven’t been on a date since Berlin, so you play out the first date scene. He waits in the living room and you run around looking for your makeup kit, your outfit, and your shoes. He waits and while passing him, he pulls you close for a kiss but you resist.
“I’m not ready,” you tell him, “Plus, I know what would happen if I came to you.”
“What?” he asks.
“You’d want to kiss me.”
You go inside the bathroom and begin gurgling your mouth with Listerine. He comes from behind, turns you around, and kisses you there. You lock lips and the sudden warm rush of blood goes down under. He grabs your butt and pulls you up towards his face. You feel his hard erection and he brings your hands down so you can touch his thick, warm, and hard piece of equipment.
“Omg, it’s big,” you tell him.
It is solid. Hard wood. Petrified.
You are sure he could give you a good time.
Construction, hard hat, grind of a good time.
This makes you blush even more. It’s been half a year.
You push him and you tell him you two should get… coffee…outside. He obliges, but asks if you can give him some time to cool down.
The two of you arrive at a café with the coffee tables decorated in the images of sexy Spanish women in Grateful Dead makeup. You think of chicks of biker men. You order a latte, but the waitress gives you a mean confused look. Sonni speaks to her in fluent Croatian. “You can’t say just ‘latte,’ which means ‘milk’. You must specify cold or hot, with or without foam, do you want the milk warm or hot.” You feel both grateful and a bit naïve.
You are definitely an outsider here.
Something tells you that even if you settled in a life with this man as his wife and rear his children exactly the way he fantasized it would be, the community would never accept you in as one of their own. You are forever the Chinese-American foreigner.
You two talk about politics, about leaving Croatia because smart Croatians emigrate so they can really apply one’s intellect. It is a tragedy. He notes, “Here, if you are smart and you invent something, people will just say, ‘eh, so what,’ and ignore you.”
You ask him where he sees himself in 3 years and 5 years, and it feels as though you are the father to your own inner child when you ask him questions like these. He says he’ll be here in Split. He has a tight family here and his Grandpa has a big house where he can see himself raising a family there.
You picture what life would be like having his children and raising them in that beautiful home in the Cetina Canyon where Sonni guided you, hugged you, helped you, smiled and winked at you, and carried you when you were too tired to carry yourself. For a minute, you imagined the off-the-grid life raising your children homeschooled, just like in the movie, Captain Fantastic, but with his tight knit Croatian family.
Rugged farmers, hunters, beasts of nature with sharpened intellects. Your children would be sharp as a scythe. His brother has a PhD and he has a masters and you have a masters, and your father and cousin has a PhD. You picture just you, him, and the children you will raise while he’s gone 6 months out of the year sailing away, like your grandfather and great grandfathers, while you stay with his family who all speak native Croatian. You think sooner than later, then you would want your kids to go to the States. Then his whole family would hate you as you travel the world without the father. He would hate you for taking the kids away from the family where he wants the kids to know everyone.
You are like the seal woman, in the story of Women Who Run with Wolves. Women who want to run wild while the man would want to live a simple life.
“I want to travel the entire world and see everything before I die,” you tell him.
“So you don’t plan on staying in any one place,” he inquires.
“Well, ideally, I would travel the world with my entire family.”
Ambitious Red Woman
You want to live in prosperity, continue world traveling, and raise your social status. You want power, position, and prestige. Your appetite is insatiable. Unchecked, you would live a completely lonely life.
“So you’re not staying anywhere?” He asks.
You are a bird, you want to say, but don’t say it because it’s impolite and comes off arrogant. “I’m staying wherever the wind blows. I live by the moment. I live for today.”
You don’t remember what conversation brought up this comment from him, but it came up. “You don’t expose a man’s weakness,” he tells you, “because if you do, then he is no longer a man.”
“If you told me this a few years ago, I would have argued with you. But now I agree with you. I’ve learned the hard way.”
And there was your clue.
The alchemized shadow of your intentions—perhaps even an extension of how you are directing The Love Story publication. If this is a media platform used for gossip or to mainly call out people’s weaknesses, then all your toil would have been in vain. Then, you are no different than the war criminals you see displayed at the Museum of Genocide, who just a decade ago, had power and had an ambitious purpose. They thought they were bringing in utopia. Instead, they discovered to their horror that they were just another tool for the beast system, another cog in the wheel of the same ole same ole.
So are you creating this platform to expose people you hate? Or to actually find your authentic voice and to transform that voice into love? Can you expose as a darkly mirror for them by first exposing yourself?
By becoming aware of this shadow, are you able to integrate with it to produce something that is truly transformative, revealing, and something that progresses the conscious state of humankind? Can this publication become a tool to grow the self by first calling out our own shadows?
You realize that perhaps you’ve taken it too far exposing both Rylie and Aaron’s weakness, two men who wanted to get to know you on a personal level, but instead ran away in fear and loathing—because you’ve objectified them in story. Perhaps, they were attracted to your charm, your adventurous spirit, your depth, but also knowing your critical judgement of them, they hid in fear. To know them transparently is to always see the gap where the alchemized shadow lies.
Even your comment to Sonni while on the canyoning adventure, “If I still smoked, there would be no way I could canyon like this.” You meant to be honest in your insecurity, but it just exposed Sonni’s own weakness, and showed your false humility.
You realize that one of the biggest contentions between you and Sonny, your ex-husband, was over the smoking factor. Sonny had smoked like a chimney, and you wonder if his new old wife, who has produced a son for him, somehow managed to inspire him to quit by now. You know your own grandfather, your mother’s dad, did not quit until you were born. He was already in his late sixties when he stopped. Your dad still has not quit drinking, though he quit smoking from a comment a teacher he respected made when he was in college, so it’s really something outside of your control. To bring it up is useless or perhaps only useful when it’s time for their timeline.
Where is the fine line between turning a blind eye and giving grace to people’s personal challenges?
You still are working through this.
All you know is that once you said it out loud, the energy shifted. Sonni became embarrassed, you start getting on your own case about how critical, harsh tongued, and judgmental you are, and how the functional Martha spirit keeps you weighted down, worried, and feeling older than you actually are.
He had taken two smoke breaks during the excursion. None of the tourists smoked and thought it quite ironic he would smoke being the most fit and adept in guiding the group through the crazy beautiful untouched waters of Croatia. Almost in the same moment you made the comment of how you could never do this had you continued smoking, you immediately regretted it. Then, you got a flashback of the cowboy who made the comment that your husband, Sonny, was cuckold, during one of your horseback riding adventures with Sonny in your married life. This flashback showed up while jumping from rock to rock and you cringed at the thought. For the next 10 minutes, you went on a spiral of blaming yourself for why you are single and missing the beautiful moment of nature climbing.
You’re too critical of yourself, which made it worse.
He pays for the coffee that you were supposed to take him out for. He asks to be invited back to your place. You take him back to your couch and there he pulls you in again and you both are passionately kissing. He takes your bra off, he sucks your nipples and you start saying, “Oh my God,” because you are reminded once again the lull of sex and lust. It’s so powerful. Intoxicating. No wonder it’s so hard to wean off Aaron. Now a young strong Croatian man in his late twenties is sucking you off.
“Have you ever made out with an Asian girl?”
“No,” he says.
You smile because you love popping white boy’s cherries with Asian Fever.
You know that if you two did the deed, it would be a fly by night kind of thing. You sit on top of him and grind and he ejaculates from inside his pants, but no intercourse. When he leaves, you feel your energy drained.
You’re sick again.
You think of Rylie accusing you of being sick and for you to stay away from him.
You think of how you lost him the first time because you gave into lust and intrigue that same weekend prior to going on a date with him.
You went through intensive SLAA meetings the first month in Berlin and now four months sober and dry, you are here wanting to have a one night thing with a man you just met that same morning.
You think that you are fundamentally broken. You can’t control your lust. You can’t control your alcoholism. You can’t control your rage. You can’t control anything. Ask God for everything.
That evening you cry.
You are angry.
More at yourself than anyone else.
You are the common denominator.
“I accept that I have no control over any of this. I accept that this is what it is. I accept my aloneness. I accept that I don’t have my own family to show for. I accept that right now my family is Roxy and myself and my parents and my sis from across the ocean. I accept that I come off as a temporary girl for many men. I accept when the time comes it will come. I accept my sorrow. I accept my tears. I accept the state of this world. I accept everything! I accept everything!”
Burning tears melt your face.
Sorrowful tears. Hurtful tears. Joyful tears.
All of it.
The next day, you wake up with a sore throat. You think it’s because you kissed a man that smokes every ten minutes. You kissed carcinogen and you are reminded again of what it was like hooking up with Aaron after the lustaffair. You felt sick and drained. This is how you know God is answering your prayers. Here are the consequences. Remember it. Burn it into your psyche so the next time a man you met that same day invites himself in your private space, know to say, “Thank you for coffee. I really should be getting back to work now,” instead of obliging, because you have trouble saying no.
Keep your energy protected and your vision clear. Save whatever you have left to save for the man whom you will marry, bear children, and grow a family with.
You have left your Gospel of John book at the previous place by Old City Center Split and today is the day you want to pick it up. You Uber there, and en route, you are hit with a blindness—you’ve had this headache before when you were back in college…the flashes come just before the oncoming migraine.
You felt the anxiety come in and the thought that you could die today and nobody will be able to do anything with your body makes the anxiety worse. You’re spiraling.
What about Roxy?
She’ll be all alone…she’ll be in a new home but she’s in her late doggy years already and the two of you are locked in.
You can’t die.
You still yourself.
Let it pass.
Now your left eye is becoming blind and you text Sonni
“Come over tonight,”
You regret it instantly, because you know you have invited him to have sex with you because you are afraid of dying alone and you need a protector. It occurs to you that you don’t know anybody in Croatia. You don’t speak the language and there is not a single familiar face.
It’s just you and Roxy alone in the world.
You cry when you get back to your place.
You want to go to your room and masturbate, but instead you cry for being so alone, for perhaps running away from all responsibilities. You reach out to your sleeping pants and grasp it, imagining that you are the woman with the sick blood grabbing onto Jesus’ garments in desperation.
“Please heal me,” you beg, “I need help, Jesus. I can’t do this. Please, I can’t control my addictions. Please help me. I surrender.”
That evening, Sonni texted back that he can not come over. You sigh in relief. You wanted to text him, “Just kidding,” but you don’t want to offend him or sound crazy, even though you technically are crazy.
You let him know that you are relieved since you had a “weak moment,” and he replies that he is grateful for your “weak moment.”
The next day, he tells you that he is struck with the flu, and will be in bed all week, and you wonder if in some sick way (pun intended), Jesus struck him with the flu to protect you from the temptation of having sex with this man. One week is exactly the time you have left here in Split.
You wonder if you could ever date a Croatian man like Sonni, who looks at you as perhaps entitled, privileged, and worldly. Perhaps, he will always be resentful and project on you. You can’t afford to date a man who wants to limit you because he refuses to break his own self-limiting beliefs. You need to set healthy boundaries through politeness, civility and manners.
Self-control and prudence.
You watched the entire movie, Captain Fantastic, and think how much the wife who killed herself from her bipolar dis-ease left a beautiful legacy of wonderful children and a wise, intelligent, off-the-grid man. A bear-hunting, well run, man. They respected her last will by digging up her rotting body from the grave that their traditional on-the-grid family plotted, and to incinerate the body and flush it down a toilet, exactly as she asked for it. It’s her will.
And perhaps that is why you must let Rylie go. Rylie’s last will regarding you, is to stay away from him. Aaron’s last will is to never contact him again. You have achieved your goal of pushing them away.
You are riled up from the last sexual encounter with Sonni.
You cry in the couch and ask Jesus to help you withdraw your offer. You know you’re addicted to sex and love. You know that you are now in the latent phase of your dis-ease. You’ve had about fifty men in your notch belt and you realize what a fool you’ve been all along and maybe that’s why you’re so lonely and sad. You’re sad because you realize that woman in the movie—the one who fell in love with her man, gave him children, and lived out the dreams in the books they’ve read when they were dating.
You feel so low because you are ignorant, naïve, and getting old.
You feel so low because Sonny, Green Eyes, Drum and Bass, now Rylie and Aaron all hate you and avoid you.
Then, you heard a section of the girl who read the book, Lolita, and called the book interesting. When probed further by her father, she explains that it’s about a pedophile’s point of view of falling in love with a 12 year old girl, finding her awe inspiring and beautiful, and then rapes her. It is about his point of view. The girl is in disgust, in sympathy, and realizes how wrong it all is.
You wonder if you have been abusing yourself all this time. And perhaps that’s why you have prostituted yourself for no money. And perhaps this is where you can identify with the reader’s reaction: The feeling of sickness, sympathy, horror and pity.
You can’t be with a man like Sonni.
He’s narrow minded, unfaithful, and absent.
On the surface he’s a gentleman who holds your bags, but you know there is trouble brewing beneath.
Why would you even consider any other man when you’re heart is fixated one one?
This is not a game, you hear Rylie’s warning.
You’re a psychopath, you hear Aaron’s accusation of you.
Playing with hearts.
You feel the energy of charm that rises out of you. Seduction. Red light. Sexy. Jezabel. Dirty Whore. Fly by night girl. When did all these accusations start?
How long have you been in this stronghold bondage?
Perhaps all your life.
You wouldn’t be surprised if most of your matrilineal bloodline comes from prostitutes.
There were so many back in China.
The people are so corrupt.
The people are so ugly.
The people killing people.
Sonni knows how insane people actually are. He’s heard stories from first person accounts—survivors of the Bosnian Genocide when the Serbs attacked Croatians in what seems like an “out of the blue” surprise attack.
“Neighbors who have known each other for thirty years would come out with guns and shoot their own neighbor.”
Like something you would see out of a horror movie.
What the fuck is wrong with all of us?
You are sick.
We are sick.
You are reminded of all the ugliness of everything.
You wonder how God can put up with any of this, knowing everything. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is grace. It’s mercy. To know so much is to feel the weight of sin destroy the soul. This means we all know what should be but we’re all under this ugly spell. This wicked curse that influences us to act like daemons. Wicked monsters.
All throughout the car ride back, images of you getting reamed by his big thick cock and your crying out in pain and pleasure excites you. All that suffering inflicted upon you and you have this sick sense of joy over it. Is this cloud nine just a sick daemonic stronghold?
You cry to Jesus in the couch, and you grab onto your sleeping pants like the leper woman grabs onto Jesus’ garments. You plead because you can’t take it anymore….all this suffering.
Sonni tells you the north and south Croats hate each other and so when he went up north, he was beaten up and hospitalized for 8 months.
Just so fucking stupid you all are.
You want to have sex with him, maybe as payment to play house with you for a day, so you can stay in this fantasy land like when he first guided you through Ceyna Canyon where he gets paid to take you for three hours in paradise. You want him to make love to you there, in some other world, where the children you both produce are happy, playful, and intelligent like the kids you see in Captain Fantastic who lives off the grid, but he’ll charge you for it. He needs the money for his real family.
Captain Fantastic, the movie that the Muslim scholar recommended to you.
You want this Croat man with the deep brown eyes to give you a good fucking. Fuck your pain, worry, and troubles away. Just fuck. Sweaty, pleasure, irresponsible, rebellious fucking.
And you know this is a joke by now.
You know the way the alcoholic knows that the alcohol is only going to charm you long enough until you find yourself inside a jail cell, a mental institution, or waking up to your own vomit in some stranger’s house or in a gutter somewhere.
You know everybody has as threshold—a point of no return—like what Dave Chapelle mentioned in his final act of The Bird Revelation about the prostitute that has that one fuck that takes her over the edge—and that’s it. She’s gone completely ape-shit crazy, like Patty Jenkins in Monster, about the prostitute that had one too many fucks, abuses, and mistreatment from men that she just one day started killing them.
One-nighters are never satisfying. When the both of you wake up, he’s off to being a tour guide and you are off to being a tourist—poor, in debt with no responsibilities, alone with Roxy in a foreign country that you speak no language of and this gives you a great excuse to isolate and not sow any roots.
You miss Aaron as you were thinking of having someone close to you. You miss making love to him even though he was still in a relationship. What if he was completely single? Would that have changed the dynamics between the two of you? Yes. But he wasn’t.
And had you stayed in LA, he would have gotten you pregnant and then he would act like a child all his life and blame you for all his troubles, like he secretly blames all the women who have ever loved him?
It takes a victim to know a victim.
This is why it didn’t work out between you and Aaron, you and Drum and Bass, you and Sonny, you and Green Eyes, you and Rylie…. All the men had mother issues and all women have daddy issues, cause we are all super flawed and down right evil at times.
We expect perfection in a highly imperfect world.
This is why you must cry and sleep over it.
That’s what you do when you get back with your Gospel of John book.
Sonni texts you later to say he can not come tonight and you are relieved. You text back half an hour later and tell him that you are relieved he can’t come over tonight.
He’ll have crossed a line by having sex with a client.
And you’ll have to completely cross out Rylie.
You are saving yourself for this mythical ferryman called Rylie who is now almost a fictional character, like B, like Sonny, and all the other men.
It’s like being with B all over again…the fictional character. Living in your own fantasy, your own head, with no real man but many men.
This is a sick tragedy.
You are not qualified to build a company called The Love Story.
Captain Fantastic is a love story.
You are just a woman who is traveling alone with Roxy staring at the screen thinking she’s building something for the good, when she’s just a sad, lonely, single woman who is losing her youth by the minute.
Sonni guessed your age. He said 35 when you misheard him say 25. No…you look your age now and any man in his late twenties in his right mind would avoid you now that you’re single in your mid-thirties.
You hate the other woman so much. And you’re working on just being single and traveling…exactly what you said you would be doing and why you pushed Sonny away. You wanted the freedom and you wanted him to just leave you alone.
Don’t bother with you cause you’re crazy and unstable and it’s your fate to die alone.
Except in Captain Fantastic…when the bipolar woman dies, she left a legacy of 7 beautiful children, fathered by a fantastic man, who…yes you guessed it…looks like Rylie.
That’s the love story you desire.
That’s the tragedy.
The Love Story, the business, can’t substitute for a real family. If it does, that’s the real tragedy.
When you build a truly intimate, wise, and loving family, that is the real love story. To die and be survived by a family like the one revealed in Captain Fantastic—leaving behind a wise, brave, and loving father and dedicated husband with seven beautiful children for him to lead. That’s a Love Story.
The tragedy is just the fantasy. The love story is the fantasy made flesh.
Today, you’re a lonely woman in her mid-thirties who wants to see everything before she dies. Your goal is to see everything and then die a lonely death so nobody has to grieve and mourn over you.
You can see the absurdity in this goal. It’s a walled up, protective goal—the kind that pushes people away more than invites them in. The witchy old crone in you wants to destroy you from the inside out.
Not without a fight, not without God, not without hope.