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The Emotional Doppler Effect

My Friendly Credit Card Company sent me an alert that my email address mit password had been found on the Dark Web.

This shaved 20 points off my credit score.

What my email address was doing on the Dark Web, I have no idea. I haven’t ordered any fentanyl or child porn recently.

Anyway, I spent an hour and a half or so last night changing passwords on dozens of websites.

Every day I become less convinced that the Internet is really a good thing.


Also last night went down to bid farewell to the Snowdrops who are likely to be gone by the time I come back from NYC. Benito is graduating from CIA today; his parents and two of his brothers red-eyed from Salt Lake City last night so that they could attend the graduation ceremony and also so that they could help drive the two Snowdrop motor vehicles back to Utah.

The senior Snowdrops didn’t immediately fast-track to Hyde Park, thus invoking Caro’s ire.

“You’d think they’d want to see their son!” she fumed.

“Well, I mean, come on. It’s New York! They wanted to explore,” I said.

Mrs. Snowdrop called while I was visiting. They were passing the most wonderful-looking mansion called Bosobel! What, they wanted to know, was Bosobel?

“Like I should know!” Caro sniffed disdainfully.

Well, you should know, I thought. It’s not as though you haven’t spent two and a half years here. Bosobel is a really pleasant place to spend an afternoon.

But Caro hasn’t once gone out of the house to adventure in the surrounding area. She left the house to go to work. On Sundays, she left the house to go to church. She rarely even left Snowdrop Central, the basement apartment, except to take showers and cook. She had no interest whatsoever in establishing any sort of connections with the environment she’d found herself in. The whole two-and-a-half-years was an ordeal—to be endured, to be gotten through, and then to be forgotten as quickly as possible.

Benito is much more of an explorer and an adventurer. But, of course, there’s a reason why he married Caro.

I personally think it’s because he’s gay but for various reasons, doesn’t want his life to veer in that direction. (“Oh, yes, yes, yes,” said Little Megan when the question of Benito’s gender preferences arose one day in conversation. “Hell, yes.”)

I believe people marry or do other forms of deep partner-bonding with the other individuals who can say No to the things those people find impossible to say No to themselves.

Benito is not particularly driven by his sensual needs.

His strongest emotional bond is clearly with his mother whom he both worships and hates. His descriptions of their relationship remind me a bit of T.H. White’s great line in The Once and Future King when White alludes to Mordred as Morgause’s “living larder.”

The reason Benito cooks is because his mother cooks.

The reason Benito draws is because his mother draws.

Caro rightly perceives that the senior Mrs. Snowdrop is a deadly rival for Benito’s affections and loathes her mother-in-law with a hatred that’s somewhat shocking in someone of Caro’s phlegmatic, undemonstrative disposition.

I won’t miss Caro.

I will miss Benito. He’s very smart. Very cerebral. Has an invigoratingly astringent presence. We tend to process information in the same way. Of course, friendships between 20-somethings and ancient old hags like me are not really possible; there can be situational affinities—Jeremy and I were very close throughout the AmeriCorps Vista stint—but when the circumstances change, there’s no longer any real reason to reach out; the realities a 20-something and a 60-something navigate and inhabit are just too, too different. (Mind you, I’m not talking about family relationships here or faux-family relationships like the very close pals of family members.)

Still. There is something between Benito and me.

“It’s kind of as if we knew each other in a previous life,” I said once, choosing my words carefully.

“Yes. Yes, that’s it, exactly,” he said. “And in that previous life, we were tight—“

“Right. And we’re not tight in this life, but we recognize each other.”

“We wave in passing!” he laughed.

I can only describe what’s going on as an emotional Doppler effect. He’s at a point in his life where everything is busy, busy, busy; I’m at a point in my life where everything is s-l-o-w. I’m a station in the Snowdrops’ life that’s rapidly receding into a blur. In a year or two, it’s likely they won’t remember the name of the station.

But I’m standing on the station platform. Taking in every detail of the train.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 26th, 2018 08:50 pm (UTC)
It's funny how you find that you have a connection with someone that comes into your life even if it's for a short while. I have felt that several times in my life. I like the way you described it.
Jul. 29th, 2018 04:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :-)
Jul. 31st, 2018 03:29 pm (UTC)
The only older person I have befriended in the true sense of the word is an elderly artist I did a talk with, named Mimi. She's in her mid-seventies but for some reason it doesn't matter at all, I'm not sure what it is. We adore each other and get coffee and just hang out all the time! I wish I had known her when she was younger but also feel very lucky I get to benefit from her "old hag" wisdom ;)
Aug. 5th, 2018 12:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, creative people are able to buck that rigid chronological hierarchy—to some extent. :-)

I'd love to hear more about your relationship with Mimi should you ever feel like writing about it. :-)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )