He calls me by my full name.
First name, that is.
I’ve never had anybody else name me with such distinction. I’ve never had anybody else always call me by all seven letters all seven letters of the time. I’ve had perfect strangers shorten my name. He uses it insistently like a reminder. I don’t need reminding.
I know he doesn’t like my name. Dislikes, yet uses every last letter. My name is evocative of something he dislikes profoundly yet is oddly attracted to. Not, I stress, sexually attracted. Though I suspect there’s an element of that too – though not specifically with me. My name is common. Class common not overused common. He uses it to remind himself of this. He does it remind himself of how common I am, how coarse. Being so coarse and common I cannot be attractive. I cannot be wanted. He cannot want me, it is not his nature. He can lead me and instruct me and better me. That’s what you do with the common and the ordinary and the commonly and ordinarily broken – you fix them. You help them and teach them. You assign a certain class to the classless by using their given moniker with as much style as you can muster. In this case the unadulterated name links to literature and thus to culture.
There is also the barrier of formality. What kind of intimacy is contained in formal usage? Certainly, none is implied. An outsider would assume an acquaintanceship over a friendship. There is an ease in friendship which belies such formality. Neither emotional nor physical intimacy is allowed with the unhallowed. They are to be avoided. They are to be held back with formality. They are to be pushed away, always. Yet…
There is always a yet.
He comes back though I stab at him with words. He comes back for what and why I don’t know. I sketch and assassinate his character in words. I push and push him away and always draw him closer. He could choose an ending but he never has. I have always done the pushing and pulling and the tearing of souls. I have always kept him informed of just enough. I have been contempt. I have been need. I have personified every emotion between. I have acted all things and acted out all things. I have always kept contact and made allowances and excuses.
And then, one day, I don’t.
And I keep not doing it.