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The Facade Needs Work
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The Façade Needs Work


“Life is not what you think. You might think one way but it's all une illusion grande un grand mensonge. Makes you wonder about life. Doesn't it?”

Vittoria posted this at 10:25 AM on Monday, on her home page.

One minute after I read it, Francesca popped up in my IM box. She asked me if I had heard anything from her sister. I said sort of, and copied and pasted Vittoria’s short philosophical musing.

After a few moments Francesca said she is very angry at Vittoria for not showing up and making her surgery appointment. Everyone thought for sure she would, and now they are enormously disappointed. And scared.

Francesca also said that her father is deeply depressed. He just sits around the house. Or goes out for long walks. He isn’t saying much.

Has he acknowledged, directly or indirectly, that Vittoria was adopted? No, Francesca replied, he just says he needs to talk to her before anyone else. But he hasn’t denied it. What else could it be?

And what is Nonna up to? She’s cooking. Lasagna. She says it calms her.

Francesca said she wanted to ask me a question. I said go ahead.
“How come she contacted you rather than me?”
“Because she doesn’t love you anymore,” I replied.

Silence.

“That was a JOKE,” I said.
“I know.”
“She didn’t actually send that message to me,” I said. “She just put it on her home page. Maybe she figured I’d eventually come across it, and pass it on.”
“Do you think so?”
“It’s just one of many possibilities. I can’t know for sure.”

* * *

Now I’m in a peculiar state of mind. On the one hand I feel an obligation to be compassionate, understanding. Vittoria’s world, after all, has been turned upside down. She’s struggling to figure out who she is.

On the other, I’m fed up and angry with her irresponsibility and silence. And I’m wondering what I should do next.

Hang in there? Or move the hell on.

What would YOU do?



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If you love her, and it seems you do, you should hang in there. When some comes out of her self-imposed exile she will need you more then than she ever has before. If you want to take a stand on her bad habits the best time to do it is when things are sane.

In every story one of the main characters has to change while the other remains the same. I'm getting the feeling that Vittoria isn't ever going to move off the dime. So James is the one who's going to have to yield.

it depends exactly how long it's been since you've last spoken... I'm think anything over a month is starting to get iffy.

I'm probably the last person to be giving advice.

One should never hesitate to give advice...especially since nobody else ever does!

i'd hang in there. but that's because i'm stupid. my advice is to let go.

There's nothing stupid about being held captive by love...or spells. But it sure does feel that way!

hang in there. The story/Vittoria is far too interesting to give up on

In some sense there's no question James has to keep going, otherwise there wouldn't be a story left to tell!

Perhaps something will happen to James in Vittoria's absence that will alter his perception of the whole situation.

Maybe she won't come back after all.

What I love most about writing fiction is that I'm the one who decides what happens!

Ahh yes it is one way we can be control freaks without getting into trouble!

Love makes us tolerate things of others we normally wouldn't. How far do we allow that tolerance to go? When do we love on our own terms and not just those of someone elses? For me when we realise that the love we are giving is only on the terms that someone else establishes is perhaps the time one needs to let go. Or at the very least not allow ourselves to be governed by someone elses actions. Allow yourself to love her only on your terms and see how she reacts to this. Sometimes I sense that Vittoria knows simply you will always be there for her no matter how badly at times she can be by not contacting you for long periods. Perhaps showing her that you are not there when it suits her will prompt her to re-evaluate how she should treat you or face the possibility that you will in fact walk away.

As I said to newbabel, I'm trying to make this story about the efficacy of Stregherian love spells. Vittoria is pretty sure of herself and her powers...which is why she pushes the limits, just to see what she can get away with. James is deluding himself when he suggests he's about to make a choice whether to stay or move on...kind of like the addict who says he can quit any time he wants, but just doesn't want to right now. Maybe next week.

I'm all for helping people who need help, but there's just so much that you can do for people. What I absolutely detest is people who are so completely selfish and self-absorbed that they disregard the impact that their actions have on those who love them.

People don't exist in a vaccuum. Vittoria's Houdini act is brazenly disrespectful and hurtful to others. She'd have to be blind not to realize that. How long do you make yourself a target for that kind of hurt? I understand that she's going through a hard time right now, but it can't be at the expense of everything and everyone else.

But then there's love. I've been willing to put up with mountains of crap from some people simply because I loved them enough to do so. It's not rational, and it's often unfair, but that's way it is.

Maybe the real question is... how much do you love her?

I'm trying to set this up so that the ultimate question is, how powerful was the love spell Vittoria--the Strega--cast upon James?

All this probably falls into the category of hair-splitting, trying to draw distinctions between romantic love, obsession, insanity, self-delusion, etc., etc. But then what else ought fiction do except ponder these imponderables?

Ahh... see... that changes things a bit. Not the fiction part, I understood that. I didn't know she was Strega. That alters the equation significantly.

See what happens when you come in at the tail end of a good story?

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