The Outbreak

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Amy and I had a big fight this weekend.

She was on the Tori Amos message board she always hangs out on. Of course there are no Tori concerts anymore for her friends to follow around on tour, so what they've been doing is making up what the tour would be like if it were still going on. Set lists, improvs, how the band was, what kind of seats they got, interpersonal drama, travel mishaps, the whole nine. It's really pretty amazing what a convincing fiction they've developed. They're all such funny and bright people, and they're hardly letting the deaths affect them at all. The dead fans are incorporated into the fiction as living, you know.

I figured Amy would be at this for a long time, and I was bored, so I threw a movie on the DVD player--Kill Bill Volume One. We got as far as "Bill, it's your babyBANG" before Amy said "I never said I wanted to watch this, Sean," so I turned it off. Then she got real quiet and started just staring ahead, and I said "What's wrong?" And she goes with this increasingly hysterical tone in her voice "I didn't like thaaaaaaaaaat--" and starts bawling, curls up in a fetal position. Backstory: I'd been suggesting that she might like this movie for some time. She doesn't generally like violent movies but I figured this was a very good violent movie, and she'd like the Bride character. But when I put it on just then I thought "Well, she's not going to be paying attention unless she finds herself intrigued and starts watching it, so if it seems too intense for her she'll just ignore it." This was always her strategy when we'd watch Lost--she'd always be doing something else to avoid the intensity of the show. But as she proceeded to point out to me as I explained all this, she doesn't have my ability/disability to completely tune other things out and focus on one thing (in this case blotting out the movie to focus on the computer), so she was stuck with the movie the moment i put it on. I promised her I didn't think it would bother her, because I didn't, and that I thought her using the computer would mitigate the rougher stuff, which I did. But in retrospect it was all wishful thinking on my part, like the time I thought she'd be able to handle watching Saving Private Ryan and we got about two minutes into the landing sequence before we had to turn the tv off.

What turned it into a fight was twofold. On my end, I got pissed off when she said something about how "It's like with you and serial killers--you're fascinated by them but i can't get past the victims." I got really angry about that. I can handle being told that I'm callous about movies, because I probably am, you know? Ultimately it's a movie, so if I'm callous there I'm not convinced that makes me a bad person. But about serial killers, which I admittedly am fascinated by? That's real life. Those things really happened. Those were real people who killed dozens of other real people. And i'd really have to be some sort of bastard asshole to not think about the victims, wouldn't I? What the hell do you MEAN, *I'm* able to get past the victims??? Don't you remember the breakdown I had a few months ago--a la the Ol' Dirty Bastard breakdown and the Pakistani madrassas breakdown--where I fucking sobbed on the couch after watching a documentary I'd TiVo'd on Leonard Lake and Charles Ng because their victims were all complete, whole, real other people whose lives were their own stories, and now their stories were just subsumed, just footnotes, their lives just cut off, they were there and now they're not because someone killed them and now that's the story? How unfair and horrible that was? That was ME saying all of that! I'm exactly like you, Amy! I think of the victims too! And I mean FUCK after what happened last week we're going to talk about how callous I am about kiling living people????? Who the hell

But Amy said all that was beside the point. All she was saying was that we think about serial killers differently or I wouldn't be able to watch those documentaries, just like she isn't. I guess that's fair, he says calmly several days later. But the main thing she was upset about is not that I may or may not be callous about violence (traumatized? how does shock trauma sound in terms of my relationship with violence? but I guess I can still handle watching a kung fu movie). It was that when I like something I convince myself that Amy will like it too and when she doesn't like it I find that unacceptable. First of all she thought I was being passive aggressive even putting the movie on, like I was doing it to punish her because I was bored. I assured her and I assure you this did not even remotely occur to me--I had all sorts of reasons why I put it on as I said earlier. Second she thought I was REALLY actually getting mad not because I was taking offense but because she didn't feel the exact same way about Kill Bill that I did. "And then you just end up looking for someone who'll echo your opinions about everything." So like that we're back to the cheating and the lies from college, all this horrendous emotional energy that I swear earlier that day I'd actually commented on how much less often we fight. The main argument, though this was never said in so many words, is that Amy fears that in my heart of hearts I'm a solipsist, and that I fear she's right. My protracted suicide attempt in early June is probably proof enough of that for both of us, but we try to ignore that and get through that and whatever that.

The main thing, Amy said, is that she's sick of death. She can't approach it snarkily. Even if, as I said, it's just "bad guys" getting killed. "Don't you think that movie's cool?" "Yes, but I don't think the act of killing is cool. I don't think what I did last week is cool."

Amy always has said that death is not a natural part of life. I agree with her. Death is degrading. Look what it did to us.

We're okay now, though, we worked through it pretty quickly actually, once the two of us calmed down. Saturday's post was not about how unhappy I am in the marriage or anything--it really was just the thought of Amy's sister and brother having to explain what's going on to their kids. Anyway, yeah, we're okay now. It's all Flirting with Disaster all the time on our DVD player from here on out.


Blogger Matt said...

Death isn't degrading. I may be a weirdo, but I never thought it was like that. Life ends. It's not supposed to go on forever.

Now, being eaten and then getting back up and walking around like you're alive. That's degrading. But then's seeing the burn-piles of still-jerking bodies. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see them cleared out, but it's still goddam sad and awful at the same time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 2:05:00 PM  
Blogger Mistrmind said...

After living in the peaceful community of Cuttyhunk for the past 3 months, I have to say I don't miss the jerking dead bodies.

Plus fishing is lots of fun.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 4:25:00 PM  
Blogger Crobuzon said...

We've all seen things no live human should see. We've had to harden ourselves against the possibility of having to kill a body that was a friend or lover only minutes ago. I was stalked for days by a body that had been the nice lady at the convenience store. My friend and I ran from a mob and became separated. Last night I saw his corpse sraggering along with the other dead. There are miles between me and the river, and I walk with a cane. Good to hear from other survivors.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 5:06:00 PM  
Anonymous TheDeacon said...

Sean, I know how you feel.

I'm kind of posting backwards here, as I just regained access to the Internet and am reading your blog in reverse order.

We've been stuck on a roof in Milwaukee's inner city almost since the beginning. The ironic thing is, we were planning on moving out to the suburbs right before the outbreak. Had a nice little house picked out and everything. I laugh about it now, but it even had a white picket fence!

Well, our situation is bad now. The neighbors that were tossing us food from the next building turned and the little garden my wife planted on the roof never really took off too well (neither of us have green thumbs).

After a while, we even ate the stalks we were so hungry. And we fought all the time. Now we just sort of hold each other and cry sometimes because we're so hungry and the food trucks don't come here.....the cleanup crews don't even come here. Nobody comes here.

God, I don't want to die like this, Sean. We could end it, but we might turn you think the revs arepartially self aware? I can't imagine having to walk around endlessly like that. And with the cleanup crews not coming to this neighborhood, we might walk for years.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 5:06:00 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Deacon, I sure hope they're NOT self-aware. I mean, beyond the degree to which any animal is self-aware.

Take care of yourself and wife. I saw something ont he news today that might give you some hope--exhausted now but will blog about it tomorrow, probably. Take care.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 11:01:00 PM  

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