Adonis Diaries

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The loathing of Emilia: Encore; (October 6, 2009)


            Thus, in the first two years of my marriage I was happy but didn’t recognize my bliss: everything seemed in the nature of things and I took my situation as given and for ever to be perfect. It felt that our deep and complete accord of our senses mingled with this silence of the spirit; critics of our personalities were suspended; love was the sole judge of our partnership.  Our mutual defects seemed the benign and special quality kinds of shortcomings that enhanced our individualities.

            I recall that I barely got absent from Emelia because she always felt sad when I left her.  Occasionally, I had to be away for a day on business; Emilia would accompany me to the train station. Before I board the train her eyes were misty; many times I had to turn away my face to hide my wet eyes though I am not the sentimental type. My eyes were wet but my heart was light, confident in Emilia’s love.

            Emilia rarely laughed or smiled but managed to disseminate her feelings by body postures and the expressions on her face: she was barely educated and her world opinions were limited. She is mostly timid and shy. In bed, I was the prudish guy and she was the talkative partner, before, during, and after making love; she was the active partner though I was mostly the initiator.

            I frequently felt boredom in our happy relationship: nothing that special, like the air we breathe. People would envy me for my state of happiness and I would retort that I lacked the security of the morrow: I was in a tight financial predicament as a movie critic and we barely managed to go out see a movie.          

            Emilia came from a poor family and kept our studio constantly clean and shining.  She made my small study her exclusive care: my papers, desk, and books were arranged to lure me to work. At the time I was confident that I would become a famous person and acted accordingly in my gesture, attire, and behavior as soon to be this illustrious artistic personality.

            I could not afford to buy an apartment as I felt was Emilia’s deepest wishes: she wanted her own residence to furnish, maintain, and cherish.  I recall now that during our engagement her eyes got wet when I told her that I barely could rent a small apartment: she was longing for a place of her own and quickly. When we visited together for the first time our potential dusty and unfurnished apartment that I purchased with a deposit, Emilia joined me at the window and asked me to hug her; it was a displaced tender and overt behavior on her part.  We kissed passionately and then Emilia demanded: “take me now”.  She promptly removed her skirt and tops and we made love on the dirty floor.  I had never felt that passion in Emilia; it felt as if she was returning the gratitude for an extended expensive gift. Surely, I had the apartment in Emilia’s name.

            I have never felt that despondent and miserable as the first months after we purchased the apartment: I was permanently worried about the next payment.  Emilia did not help any: she increased her shopping excursion to buy furniture.  She was perfectly aware of my financial predicaments but she acted nonchalant and perfectly an “egoist” to me.  Gone was the period I was lording it as a potential famous intellectual; the feeling of the harsh reality that I was an utterly penniless person, a non-entity, overtook me. I started to listen to the opinions of the opposition political parties that lambasted governments, services, and the social inequities.

            Then the film producer Battista hired me to write the scenario for his movie; it was my first in this line of work.  I welcomed this opportunity which will help me pay the next three payments on my apartment.  After we finished dinner in a famous restaurant, Batista invited us to his house. Battista two-seater red convertible could not accommodate both my wife and I.  I nudged Emilia to get in and I hailed a taxi. Emilia felt totally embarrassed and out of place; I then didn’t pay much attention to her predicament. At Battista house Emilia lowered eyes most of the time and didn’t participate in the conversation.  Batista kept inviting us and Emilia would find lame excuses not to join me; she eventually came with me after a few coaxing but I felt that her heart was not in.

            I have been a scenario writer for two months now and I hate my job. The producer or the movie director would hire an assistant for me and I had to suffer this inexperienced assistant in my face for two entire months.  The director lacked imagination and behaved like an accountant.  I am the soul of the movie and the writer of the dialogues but everyone else get recognition and the fat check while I am paid a pittance.

            I have this deep sense that Emilia does not love me anymore. I got this job to make Emilia happier and I feel that I am losing both my zeal for my job and for Emilia.  She never refused to make love to me but I felt her body cold, an inanimate object.

            Emilia loved her new apartment and would not relinquish it; she never admitted that she stopped loving me and she encouraged me to take more screen writing offers. Emilia went as far as admitting that I am excellent in love making.  Emilia was bidding her time for the most convenient opportunity to break up with me.


Note:  This story is taken, with some alterations, from “The loathing” (Le mepris) by Alberto Moravia.




June 2023

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