CHAPTER TWENTY SIX.
She’d spent the better part of the night before just stunned and hurt. It was that email.
Then, last night, deciding to push away all that to think about other things, other people. There were the other concerns, after all. ( Like imminent loss of a nearly thirty year stint playing cello, celesta, and harp cues for the ballet.) (Good luck finding her replacement, she’d thought bitterly.)
So, tonight, to tell the story.
Her conclusion had finally come. Any pain, embarrassment, or other unpleasant emotion felt was the fault of her own projection.
Not projection of Self. Projection of notions. About him, onto him.
First, the flattery had caught her. You know, “salient writer”, and all that. Gushing praise. Still gullible, after lo, too many years. Still a sucker for the old Verbal Veneration.
Then, the long, earnest messages about how wonderful life was now, how rewarding living could be, and all the photos of him, smiling into the camera. She’d hardly known what to think.
What she’d actually thought was that, finally, here was somebody who could maybe care for her.
So, of course, she’d begun to ascribe to him all the Glowing Attributes.
Lightness of Being.
(Dang. Did those whining stage moms know what they’d done to a musical collective that had been meeting every Christmastide to present Tschaikovsky’s gorgeous masterpiece?) (Disbanding their annual holiday “reunion”, for Christ’s sake?)
And, noting his slip up, on two occasions, referencing some sort of test passing on the Mate Front. All his talk of being “happily single” sliding into a neat slot, to be addressed later. She knew what was really happening; she was being scoped out, gauged, for her Coupling Potential. He really was checking her out.
His lovely mother had seemed genuinely happy to see her, each time she visited. She really believed it to be true.
(And, where was the loyalty toward committed musicians, anyway? Had anybody said they didn’t want to play?)
It had taken tracing the patterns of behavior over the past several months for her to finally see. First, warm enthusiasm; then, distance, almost formality. Followed by a sudden declaration of an actual visit, possibly within days, accompanied by detailed, very persuasive descriptors of how they’d spend their time together.
And, the long periods of silence, in between.
Interrupted by two, even more surprising, phone calls, a return to Warm and Wonderful.
All culminating in a final, curt, condescending “cool it with the emails”, as if she had somehow transgressed a Set of Rules that had never been laid out.
Not that her personality had ever bowed to anybody else’s, anyway. But, off had gone another whole summer of Hopeful Anticipation, shot dead by a single dictum.
(No matter that many thought the whole thing a shrewd, political move to consolidate power. The fact that familial traditions, and even livelihoods, were being shredded in the process felt far more like a grotesque twist on ethnic cleansing than any alleged “raising of the bar” of performance quality.)
One thing was certain: she had to cease this infernal devotion to fickle, feckless men. Two years of over half a century; no do-over. And, two decades, or more, of foundering in their fomenting wake.
( Good God. Three decades, tripling in the pit.)
Time to raise her life to the third power.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 8/19/16 All rights those of the author, whose story it is (can you play cello/celesta/harp cues?), and whose name appears above this line. Thank you for Applying Within. Now, back off.