Trish: A Romance, Pt. 7 (final section) (Adam Fieled)
All through intervening years, Trish
never fully left my mind. Many
encounters I lived through were
pointless— one-night stands, flings,
all half-felt or not felt at all.
When Trish reentered my life, she
did so directly. Simply, we wanted
each other again. Trish now lived in
an apartment building, with roommates,
on 49th off of Baltimore. The apartment
had a fire escape large enough on which
to sit, and smoke. I was in the process
of beginning to publish seriously, and would
often devise new strategies as I stared
off over the clotheslines and windows.
We were older, less demonstrative— but
we still made love almost every night.
The problem was, this was interspersed with
consumption of cannabis. I am soon to
learn that mutual intoxication cuts off
intimacy. What used to be sparks between
us were now ashes. There were even times
when the “little death” was a bore. So that
for six months we’re in a holding pattern.
This time, it’s Trish’s turn to do a sudden
break. Moreover, she has an older man
waiting in the background. I see them
together in Rittenhouse Square. I’m numb;
I believe (as is the case) that Trish
is mostly frigid. She uses her sex to
ensnare and bind. But making love to
a frigid woman does eventually wear
thin. Still, my attitude is that Trish
and I could still work something out.
This time, Trish never gives me a reason.
The next summer there’s a fresh confrontation—
Trish is very wary, and I’m more
perfunctory than I seem to be. We’re
buried in each other as something to
express. This time, I eventually realize,
Trish is gone for good. But I make
a conscious decision to still love her.
When I look back on the time
I spent with Trish, it occurs to me
that we never knew each other that
well. We were “mad for it,” the passion,
the romance, without being mad for
each other. What’s worth exploring is
what I know about her now. Like
this— that her aims were more strategic,
less organic, than mine. She wanted
to take me and mold me, and I
wouldn’t let her. But this was
buried beneath other imperatives. She
wasn’t strong enough to enforce her
strategies and I was too wild to tame.
The pressing question that follows is—
was it worth it? I’d say it was,
though it could’ve ended in two
corpses. We participated in these scenes
at a time during which there was little
romance left in America. Bohemian
America has never been a particularly
well-populated locale, but we set up
camp there and in the process confounded
structures that we could’ve let crush us.
Our dreams weren’t especially original,
but our improvisations created a new
context for them. Neither of us came out
of Bohemia— it was a new realm for us.
Is it only because I can still sit
here, writing these lines, that our
escapades still seem like good ideas?
If we did end up corpses, who would
be the wiser? On this account, I
have no solid answers. I can only
say that for some reason, some humans
need the charm, the sparkle, the electricity
of romance, and will put their lives
on the line to attain it. So it was for
us. Those that are kith and kin to us
will understand. Those that aren’t may
choose to laugh at our foolishness. But
it must be dry, accursed laughter to us.