After my marriage twelve years ago, my divorce bespeaks to be among the most memorable and romantic experiences I ever had. It brings the taste of recuperated freedom, of being young again, on the move. On the other hand, we decided to treat ourselves to a special, a week-long celebration, with a bottle of champagne in the jakuzzi, candles, and the usual paraphernalia. As well as abundant gratitude and laudation to each other for how unique we have been during these last twelve years. What comes after marriage is called a honey moon; how should we call what comes before divorce?
Certainly, zero violence, zero hostility, zero trauma. What worries me is what to do next. I suppose I should gather the best of my experience and capitalise it as far as it will prove possible. It might be a good idea to stick to this zero violence formula, largely against the usages of both my old country and western Europe. As far as I understand, people usually assume that it is normal to quarrel, to have a certain measure of fight in the relationship; on the contrary, it might seem unnatural, even aberrant to sit for negotiations, all ego emotions at bay, bringing forth abstract arguments taken from an archaic system of rights and obligations. Yet I'm not sure if I'm still able to live a relationship in any other way. Throwing cushions at each other, for example.
It also costs me to imagine I might actually live with someone, I mean sharing a home, making intimacy something constant, without that moment when I close the door and am on my own, alone with my books, my writings, my body. How long would I manage to live with my new partner, whoever he may prove to be, before feeling tired? Do I still have enough patience and tolerance for any such intimacy?
Or better to stick to the two-flats formula, as much as it might be economically draining? Also, this would create, I'm afraid, the sensation of an open arrangement, constantly inviting for infidelities, in a city of no boundaries. Or is it just my Polish prejudice, completely out of joint with Dutch partnership ethics?
I feel very incompetent in terms of western males. The Dutch do attract me, perhaps as the only European men; undoubtedly they do possess a great potential of maleness and a specific ethics that may appeal to me. But I have many worries of financial kind. Modern relations do not recognise any due in exchange of female body; love is freely given, the western male wouldn't recognise any debt towards me just because I made love with him. Meanwhile, candles, stockings, perfumes, little foods, alcohols, aromatic oils and resins, lubricants, contraceptives, makeup, chocolate, flower petals, cosmetics, little extras, washing powder to keep the sheets clean, without counting with a third party's service of any nature, the bill of eroticism is endless. Who will endorse it? In a perfect equality of fortunes, to ask for and receive money from an Arabian sheikh is a gesture of confidence and intimacy, it is tender and arousing; to ask for and receive money from a Westerner would be, I'm afraid, awkward and unpleasant for both parts, mood-cutting and profoundly antierotic.
That means that with time the relationship would drain my resources; I would have to live up to his lifestyle, paying from my own pocket. Unless, perhaps, I agree on the hard formula of state marriage (with the only way out in state divorce, with tribunal, barristers, etc.) that I find enslaving and extremely difficult to admit. This is, I'm afraid, how it might become a mixed blessing to chose any Dutch upper class person for my partner.
Neither free love nor state marriage; this is how it becomes hard to find any alternative to the religion of God. Also, I have little faith in any kind of newfangled rituals. Years ago, the guy with whom I was living tried to offer to me a self-styled, improvised "humanistic marriage". He bought a pair of cheap silver rings in Sukiennice, that we exchanged, surreptitiously, in the hind pews of the Wawel cathedral (sic!!!!!!!!). As a consequence, he went on calling me, in front of his astonished colleagues and friends, "meua dona", a Romance expression that might sound romantic in any other context but the one he was creating (incidentally, he was telling it in Romance, because he was a Catalan, not a troubadour). Meua dona! He gave up on the whole idea after a couple of weeks, and up to the present day I find the experience truly humiliating, revolting. As if I needed or deserved some kind of ersatz.
Instinctively, I stick to that groundless, unsubstantiated self-perception of invincible womanhood I mentioned in my previous post. Otherwise, I would easily run out of options. Against all the odds, I feel my strength, my assets, the certitude that, whatever comes, I will be the winner. In a game where, perhaps, dignity is as much or more the stake than bodily delights.