"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves." Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp

Sometimes, Richard felt, Lola was just way too hard on him, too demanding. What did she want from him, what did she expect? Didn’t he love her more than the moon and the stars, and didn’t he spend every last dime he had (and a few he didn’t have) taking her places he couldn’t possibly afford?

Occasionally, when she wasn’t aware that he was looking in her direction—when they walked by a storefront window and Lola was busy looking at her reflection in the glass, or when he took her shopping, and she would gaze in the mirror at her image, dressed in a stunning new outfit ----Richard would catch a glimpse of Lola, and on those occasions, he felt as if he were seeing the true Lola, Lola as she really was: not just a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful woman who had immense sensitivities to the world and a substantial talent for acting, but a hardened, invulnerable character who had learned to protect herself from everything and everyone, even the man she said she loved, by growing an impenetrable ‘exoskeleton’ of emotional defenses and aggressive complaints.

Sometimes, especially after one her infamous “episodes” ---belittling remarks about his undeniable short-comings,---Lola’s criticism made Richard feel as if her were little more than peel-and-eat shrimp, and Lola was happily dining at one of her favorite, all-you-can-eat Restaurants---and the “bill was on him.”

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