Friday, April 12, 2013
MSR, ch 69 FBs "Friends with Benefits"
Okay, what happened in this chapter that was supposed to be light and fluffy?
Lizzie said, "I'm not a girl," and whammo! Rosalie had a choice, but either option was a bad one: she could say: 'no, actually, you are a girl" and they'd get into a fight. Or she could say: "You're right, you're not a girl ... when have you ever smiled? or played? or had fun?" leaving Lizzie, drained already, an emotional wreck, nowhere to go but nowhere.
That's what happened.
Bummer chapter in a bummer story.
Remember my author's end note, oh, ten chapters ago, that it was going to get worse before it got better?
The thing is this was supposed to be a fluffy chapter with Lizzie playing 'ring around the Rosies' and Rosalie smirking at Lizzie's manic behavior, as she ran around Rosalie, throwing buds into the air, warning her not to crash (emotionally, that is).
But Lizzie had to open up her mouth, and out came the words.
But why? Well, of course, 'girl' is a trigger word for her, as she's always questioned her maturity, and more generally, her place in this word. Rootless and friendless (ibid), Lizzie is perfectly set up to fight any and everything, and perfectly set up to trip and fall over every trap laid out in her path.
And to Lizzie, everything is a trap to her. So she can retreat, and get into trouble, or she can fight, and get into trouble.
It happens. Somebody withdraws from the crowd, because they're feeling picked on, so they get picked on because they're the loner so they lash out and get into heaps of trouble.
So, as her friend, as her sister, what do you do? What do you say?
"Yeah, you're right, you're not a girl; sorry." When you're not sorry, and you see her lashing out from her hurt?
This chapter should've really been named "Chapter 69: FB -- friends with benefits." Because, truly, Rosalie is a beneficial friend, as opposed to a superficial friend.
Look what she tried to do: she give Lizzie a light, playful wake-up call: "Lizzie, you're saying words that aren't right."
Lizzy ignores this, gets defensive and angry, and over what?
Over the fact that she wants to pretend that she's not a little girl, and that she wants everybody else to pretend that, too. Because the world of pretense is nice and safe. And pointless. But don't think about that. Nobody else does.
That's how things work. And by 'work,' I mean, of course: 'don't work.' Everybody pretends that everybody and everything's hunky-dory when actually people are alone, isolated, and hurting. But 'I'm fine' 'I'm mature' 'I'm competent' 'I'm doing my job' so if we just ignore the hurt in their eyes and in their posture, we'll all just get along until they pull out an automatic weapon and start murdering school children or throw themselves in front of a moving train, being the seventh one to do that this month.
Rosalie doesn't play the 'I'm okay; you're okay' game we all play, as much as Lizzie wants and expects her to, even though she should and does know better by now.
If Lizzie truly is okay, then Rosalie's okay with that, ... happy even.
But if Lizzie's not okay, and says that she is, and wants everybody else to be okay with that, then ...?
Then Rosalie can say 'okay, whatever,' like everybody else does, confirming in Lizzie's mind that she's all alone in this world, and nobody understands her, nor cares.
Or she can grab Lizzie by the collar and shout into her face until Lizzie gets that she can't fuck with Rosalie's mind like she fucks with everybody else's.
Or she can do what she did in this chapter.
One day. One day Lizzie will be happy, and just be happy to be happy, ...
That's what Rosalie is praying for. That's Rosalie's hope, you see.
Because you know how Rosalie knows Lizzie was never a little girl?
Because Rosalie was never a little girl.
Rosalie wants to see Lizzie laugh and dance and play and frolic, because ...
Rosalie never did that.
If Lizzie can do that, if she can drop all the weight of growing up too fast, but never matured into a woman, self-possessed and self-actualized, that is: she knows who she is and she's fine with that ('fine' being actually fine and not 'I'll pretend I'm fine to get by'), ...
Then will Rosalie be able to do that?
That's too much to ask for Rosalie now. But Rosalie will have seen that done for somebody she loves with her empty, cold, black heart. She can't save herself, but if Lizzie is happy, just for one instant, ...
Then Rosalie will be happy. And will treasure that moment of happiness for the rest of her wretched, bleak, solitary, pointless eternity.
Like Rosalie told the girl: she's being selfish. She so wants Lizzie's happiness.
I wish there were more people selfish like this in the world.