QMA: What’s it like, living with him?
M: Mostly okay. He does mean well. And we don’t want for things. The bills get paid. T is a man like any other, but I’m used to him by now. My life has grown in and around his.
QMA: Can you compare it to something? Something our readers may be able to relate to?
M: I don’t know—it’s not like I’m living with Bukowski or even Hemingway. T doesn’t drive his sadness into me. He pretends that it isn’t there. He lies. He’s a liar. The most delicate and useless of lies. He doesn’t call me a cunt or leave for months on end or drink himself into sadism. He lies. Imagine living with someone who is constantly trying to win a secret game against the known world. [long pause.] Maybe that’s even worse.
QMA: You’ve been living with him for twenty years and he still lies? You still allow him to lie?
M: It isn’t a question of allowing him. He doesn’t have any idea what the truth is. It isn’t in his deck of cards. When I ask T what he wants for lunch, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a truthful answer. Somehow, to him, allowing me to know what he’d like to eat would let me in on his plan.
QMA: His plan?
M: T lives in some sort of extra-dimensional world. I say that I guess kind of tongue and cheek but he really doesn’t live here. He lives in, how did cummings put it— thousands of these enormous dreams. Yes.
QMA: Enormous dreams? His lies?
M: I think his lies facilitate the dreams, not vice versa. He isn’t concerned enough with me, with life, not to lie. The ramifications are nonexistent to him. I guess by sticking around I haven’t helped the situation.
QMA: Why do you, as you say, stick around?
M: The first ten years were tenuous but exciting. He’d won most of his awards and things by that point. I was a trophy. A role I was mostly comfortable with, because T was a kind man. The second ten years have been calm and, to be honest, good. Very good. T and I don’t see each other, not for what we really are, but somehow the layers of playhouse makeup have piled up into something we both find comfort in. His lies are my escape. My truth keeps him awake and alive to stare out of the windows and dream for the world.
QMA: Is he ever honest with you?
M: I think there are times where he’s honest without knowing it. Things which are true not because he decided they were, but because there is no other. There is no lie that exists. He tries to hold these things like bargaining chips, pieces of the plan. His one blind spot. His one ignorance is in truths which he cannot control.
M: Like when he whispers to me that he loves me, and his eyes tell me that he thinks it’s a lie.