How Julie Slayed Her "Confusion Demon"
"Confusion demon" discussed
"What do I do?"
(Writer’s note: This is the second piece that I have dared myself to do. Dared, because I am not myself in the text, but a confused, mostly-heartbroken woman named, “Julie.” I don’t know how, right now, this will turn out. I guess that will be the fun of it, like being breathless in the middle of an unsure, unsteady roller coaster ride. Kenneth)
“Beth, get over here now! Why? Oh, you haven’t heard? ‘David’ didn’t show up at ‘Terrace’s’ for lunch like he promised. Beth, please! Just get your steroid-layered butt over here.”
“Sometimes I swear that ‘Beth,’ didn’t fall from a turnip truck, she “is” a turnip that fell off the truck.”
“Curse that demented jackass, ‘David.’ So suave and yet, callus when “my” heart is at stake. Oh, yeah. Our two-year . . .where is that doofus, Beth? . . . shell of a relationship is ‘going south,’ and all thanks to that witch, his “ex,” ‘Mollie, the Dollie,’ he slept with for four years at Dartmouth.”
The "Confusion Demon" was around in the 1950's
"Why me?" "Why did 'he' confuse me?"
Julie's savior arrives
“Maybe some wine. No, I need sober thoughts right now. Besides wine and PMS don’t mix, honey.” “Coffee would taste good—yeah, and, and, yeah, that uhhh, graham cracker crust in the ‘frige.—Beth! Thank God! Oh my God, did she, oh God, is that a case of beer in her little hands? Oh my God, what a dork—carrying that beer like a guy. I can’t stay mad at her. She and I go back to pre-school and making “Mrs. Ketchum” mad as Hades when we showed our pink underpants to our stupid friends . . .(giggle) . . .wish I felt that ambitious now.”
“What took you so long?” “Did you not feel the pain in my voice, Beth?” (Julie stands and paces) “Do you think that David is a dunce, be honest.”
“What? You “do” think he is a dunce?” “Is that what you said, Beth?” “Ahhh, sorry, girl. I am just about to start my “monthly ride on the cotton pony,” and coupled with “doofus David,” not showing his butt at the restaurant, well, do you think I need professional help? “I am so messed-up, and “Beth,” the last ‘weed’ I smoked was two months ago when we all went to the John Legend Concert in the park.”
“Oh, God, why can’t we all just go back to loving each other and stop making me s-o-o-o-o mental, and like, confused, you know, Beth?”
(Beth just sits on the edge of Julie’s Queen Victorian bed and stares straight at Julie who is now holding her head in her hands sobbing.)
See how innocent women are treated by confusion?
Confusion misleads its victims into various levels of darkness
Let it all out, Julie
“Right, Beth! You are oh, so pristine when you analyze me.” “Beth, you know me. I’m a good Catholic girl. Sure I sin and I have made-out with David a few times, but everyone has fleshly-urges, well except you, Beth, but why am I allowing that “monster,” David to run over me like a steam roller?”
“Answer—me—Beth!” “Oh my God! I am losing it. Gimme the wine—now! And a big glass, and have you got any, uhhh, “weed’ on you, sweetie? I need a “mental vacation,” so bad.” “ . . .and, that, uh, old CD of the Human League that’s stuck over there under those Cosmo mag’s . . .yeah, oh, how I loved that band.”
“Don’t you dare pick up that phone or I will choke you with your own Argyle socks! Beth, I mean it!”
(Phone stops ringing. Julie gazes quickly at the Caller I.D.)
“Can you, I mean, will you believe that it was that codfish, David?” “I didn’t need to hear his vomit-voice now, Beth.”
“Why am I in this state of mind?” “Hand me another glass of wine, Beth!” (Julie takes a drag on her joint).
“Not just today, but in all, today makes six times this blowfish has stood me up for lunch, to go to Maine for the weekend, to meet his brother, “Jonathan,” and others, but today did it. We had talked so long last night that my buzz wore-off and I fell asleep.”
“Lunch was what I had my heart set on, Beth. Just lunch. That’s it.”
“I dress nice just for David—this brown skirt that he likes, or used to like, said my legs were nice, yeah and Teddy Roosevelt sang for a living. Hardly any make-up, you know, when we were in college, David and Mike did not like us in “Barn Paint,” they called our make-up, and somehow, moderate make-up . . .I need more wine, Beth, . . .worked.”
Weary and worn, she tries to run
A girl without direction or foundation
Solitude used to be your friend
Julie turns to reality for solace
“What happened?” “Did Mike say anything to you, Beth?” “I know that David and Mike were pretty tight and talked a lot over beer, so did Mike say anything about . . .David’s “witch ex?” “Got another joint?”
“I’m sorry. We cool?” “Confused and used is what I am now.” “Yew know, like those “mood sows,” those pork farmers have in Mississippi, Beth, that’s what that devil made me feel like—cheap, grimy, and lower than a loose woman in New Mexico.” “That isn’t funny, Beth!”
“Oh, “brood sows,” I knew it was something kinky like that, or David wouldn’t have used that term when we were snuggling one night.”
“Did he call me a brood sow?” “More wine, Beth.” “I kinda think he did, but well, we were getting hot and worked-up and well, I really can’t recall.”
(As a casual observer of this “Scenario of Shame,” Julie is riding with her BFF, Beth, it is, to me, a male, very disturbing, that this man, David, or this David creature, has been allowed by the illusive, mockingly-powerful universe, to run over a female of such heart as Julie. So far I have been hooked on her angry outbursts followed by mellow apologies to Beth, sure-fire symptoms of confusion at its best. My point now is: If I get confused as most of my gender are, we either get drunk with each other or crawl into our secret dark hole until the confusion passes over us. Obviously, although in its primitive state, Julie is onto something, maybe an undiscovered inner-tool to help her with this web of confusion that David has spun over her vision and clarity.)
“We need food . . .hear me? Food, Bethie, so let’s head for the Pizza Hut, what? Too drunk? I am not driving, you are.”
“Can you spot me the my part of the buffet, sweetie? I spent my last cash on some pantyhose and body wash last week. Thanks.”
“Could this red light be any longer in keeping me from foraging like a wild ape?” “Really, are there actually five innocent people really being kept alive by this ignorant safety policy?”
“Okay, sorry. I will just focus on that pepperoni, cheese and that Italian sausage . . .speed it up, Beth. Make this cracker go!”
“Whoooo---eeeeee, I love to let my hair blow free with your top down . . .yeessss, turn up that R.E.M. CD you got loaded . . .ohhh yeah, ‘stand in the place where you were, now turn north . . .”
“Got a comb I can use? I look worse than David’s “Witch ex,” except with less make-up.”
Images of pain surface
Julie stands victorious
Julie and "Confusion Demon," meet for the show down
(Two hours later)
“I feel so bloated. Should have been like you, my friend, and ate like a sparrow, but no, ol’ brood sow, Julie, had to stuff her gut to cope with this sack over my head and try to be a working single woman who allowed herself to be used as a soccer ball by, well, I do not need to call his name . . .David! I hate his empty soul. I hate him for being a man. I just hate him, Beth!” “Do you believe in purging after eating, Beth?”
(Back at Julie’s apartment. The cold October rain has started dripping down her bedroom window. Julie and Beth just stare at each drop and the trail it leaves as it fights the enemy: Gravity, and continues to flow downward until it mixes with the other raindrops and finally disappears)
“Makes me think of how I am right now—that dumb raindrop. What a way to view myself. A stupid raindrop.”
“I know, Beth, Zin Buddhism says that ‘all are one and one is all,’ but I am so confused that I am going to vomit.”
“Yeah, a good night’s sleep . . .what are you doing, Beth? You are not a psychiatrist. I will let you know if I need professional help. I am going to shower, dress very nice, call David, tell him he is history and hit the town and come home worn-out by daylight.”
“Yeah, girl. Sounds like a plan.”
(Beth, so patient, waits and watches the rain as Julie showers. Beth knows already that Julie, a self-taught emotional engineer, is building a road that she will not come back over, but telling her this will only prod her to go faster.)
“Felt good, girlie girl, to let the warm water soak the jerk, David off of my body. Hand me the perfume. Thanks. Think I look good in this?”
“Okay, just a swipe of eyeliner and there! Poof! I am a new single woman!” (Julie laughs).
“Now to do what I have needed to do for months—so do you wanna pour me the rest of that wine?”
(Julie’s hand shakes as she punches in David’s digits.)
“Come on, answer! Three rings, where can this jerk . . .oh, hello there, is this David? Yeah, I know. Your sister is sick or your mother had an episode with her dog, don’t tell me that you forgot our lunch date, jerk! That’s right, David, you are just a jerk, well not a jerk, but a jerk-off of a boyfriend.”
“Settle down? Is that what you said, settle down? That’s what I have been doing for two months, settling down, and in your case, “settling” for a shell of a man like you. No. No. Just listen. I am going out, and will not be back until sometime tomorrow, maybe the day after, so you can your cute “Mollie, the Dollie,” can get things back the way they were in college. Yes, you idiot. This is what is commonly-known as breaking-up!”
“Girl, did that feel great!” “Yes, dear Beth, David and I are d-o-n-e.” “Let’s go. I am hungry again.”
(Obedient and loyalty are two of Beth’s most-priceless traits. She silently walks with Julie to her car with the top still down and the two girls say nothing even at the damp seats caused by the sad October rain).
“See how great I feel? My skirt is damp and I don’t care!”
“Cheer up, Beth. This is not you going wild into the “men jungle,” you still have your loving Mike to give you the tender reinforcement that you need, but tonight, you and I are in college, back in our wild senior year----yeahhhh!”
(Beth pulls up at their favorite restaurant: Olive Garden that is full of rehashable-memories the girls and their guys, when they were couples, made over wine, cheese salads, and all the bread and soup they could hold.)
(Beth’s flats do not make a sound, Julie’s spiked-heels click, clack, as they stroll as only women can stroll, up to the entrance of the restaurant.)
“Beeeethhhh, do you see what . . .I . . .see?”
“Yeah, it “is” him—“Devilish Dave,” “master liar, concoctor of confusion,” sitting there with, yeah, it’s his “ex,” ‘Mollie,’ I knew it, Beth. I just knew it.”
“No, stupid. I am not going over the edge and I do not pack any heat, except when I find a new lover.” (giggles).
“Let’s ride, girlie girl. I’ve suddenly lost my appetite for Italian, jerk and low-life food, let’s head to the Joe’s Crab Shack over on Fifth and Garden.”
(Both girls walk and Julie almost skips in a schoolgirl gesture back to the car.)
“Am I alright? Yes, dear Beth. I am fine.”
“How did I get to feeling this good?”
“Seeing that snake, David, with his “ex,’ cleared my head faster than Polynesian liquor.”
“Confused? Uhhh, no!”
(Casual observer here. Amazing stuff, what women can do when they are under such a burden as Julie was. I am without words. Except who would have dreamed that the visible-knowledge of seeing her now-“ex,” David and his “ex,” soon-to-be-lover, would be a cure for Julie’s state of confusion?)
Julie, one last stand
More by this Author
(Just) talking about meddlers and busy bodies is not enough. It is time I did something about them.
Southern belles are special. And I know how to get a date with them.
Riding with Dr. Thompson was not boring, but now it's over.