Post-Socratic Dialogues: Love 6
by Greg Scorzo –
Post-Socratic Dialogues are moving thought experiments. They portray elaborate, unfolding situations which, at every turn, force the reader to examine his or her philosophical intuitions about a range of topics. These dialogues are called “Post-Socratic” because there is no Socrates figure, telling the reader which arguments (if any) are the best ones. The reader decides that on their own.
Love: Part 6: The True Face of Unconditional Love
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, It is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, It is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil But rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, Always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4
Joe pensively watches Loraine reading Janet’s email. Loraine does not look happy. Joe doesn’t know what Loraine will do once she finishes reading it. He also doesn’t know how he will react to her. Loraine finishes the email and has a sip of her coffee. There is a brief but tense moment of silence.
Loraine: What an evil fucking bitch.
Joe: Janet’s many things but she’s not an evil bitch.
Loraine: (loudly) Of course she fucking is! Did you not read this?
Joe: I don’t agree with most of what she says but she’s not evil.
Loraine: Oh fuck off, you stupid fucking prick!
Joe: (loudly) No, fuck you Loraine! I’m not the one who posted naked pictures of my partner in a blog that could get me sacked!
Loraine: (yelling) THAT BLOG WAS UP FOR 15 FUCKING MINUTES!
Loraine: I wrote that blog the day I saw you kissing your fucking boss. I wanted to bloody kill you, but instead I wrote my feelings down. I did what you told me to do.
Joe: (yelling) I DIDN’T TELL YOU TO POST THEM ONLINE NEXT TO NAKED PICTURES OF ME!!
Loraine: (loudly) I was fucking angry! I had a cup of tea and then I took it down. Your psycho ex is stalking me, Joe. She’s screenshotting everything I publish like she’s getting ready to fucking kill me! Why are you upset about my blog when you should be worrying about me?
Joe: She wouldn’t have been able to see that blog if you showed the tiniest amount of restraint.
Loraine: Well, she did see it and so did some other people. Fucking get over it. It was nearly a year ago. It’s not up anymore.
Joe: I can’t get over it. I can’t believe how fucking vicious you were. I can’t believe you thought it was ok to share your complete and total disgust at me with everyone we know, with the whole fucking world! No one’s ever hurt me like that, Loraine. It was fucking disgraceful. I can’t express how violated I feel right now. I feel like I’ve been raped.
Loraine: (yelling) YOU FUCKING CHEATED ON ME!! YOU EXPECT ME TO BE NICE TO YOU AFTER THAT!!??
Joe: (yelling) YOU KNOW I DIDN’T CHEAT ON YOU! I DIDN’T SLEEP WITH CHLOE! WE JUST KISSED!!
Loraine: Kissing is cheating you fucking dickhead.
Joe: I was feeling vulnerable that week because you kept laying into me about my snoring. You were making me wear that white mask and you said I couldn’t sleep next to you because I looked like a Nazi doctor. I was feeling rejected, Loraine. I was feeling rejected and hurt and I was spending time with someone that actually wanted to kiss me. I was talking to someone who didn’t treat me like I was shit on her shoe.
Loraine: (loudly) You always have excuses for everything!!
Joe: I’m sorry but kissing someone in a moment of vulnerability isn’t as bad as what you did.
Loraine: Then you have no idea how much you hurt me! I only get angry when I’m fucking hurting.
Joe: I’m sorry I hurt you. I say it every night but I’ll say it again.
Loraine: I can’t even describe how much you hurt me when I saw you snogging that ugly old slag! That blog I wrote about you was nothing compared to what I was feeling inside. Nowhere near it!
Joe: It hurt you that much?
Loraine: I was crying for three hours before I burned your diary.
Joe: I never saw you cry.
Loraine: (yelling) I didn’t want you to see me cry then! I couldn’t cry in front of you until a few months ago.
Joe: You didn’t want to see me cry but you were happy to post naked pictures of me. You were happy to tell the world how I make you sick and you wish I was dead.
Loraine: (loudly) Only for 15 minutes! I wasn’t thinking straight. I took it down!
Joe: Loraine, normal women don’t do things like that. Even when they’re angry, they don’t post shit like that about their boyfriends.
Loraine: (yelling) Normal men don’t cheat on their hot girlfriends with a nasty fucking coffin dodger!
Joe: She’s not a coffin dodger. She’s only 68.
Loraine: (loudly) Yes, and how do you think that makes me feel? I’m bloody gorgeous and my boyfriend would rather kiss a pugged nose fucking prune with a hairy face. You think that’s good for my self-esteem?
Joe: I know it wasn’t good for your self-esteem. But it wasn’t as bad as your blog. You’ll never convince me those two things are equal, Loraine. Especially since I apologised to you about that kiss over and over again for about six months. You won’t even apologise for posting naked pics of my dick and calling me a cockroach.
Loraine: Your apologies don’t count because they were lies. And they weren’t the only lies you’ve told me. You never treated me with any fucking decency. You lie over and over again to shut me up! You make me feel like I’m a goddamn burden. Like you’d be happier without me!
Joe: (loudly) You know that’s not how I feel! You know the last thing I would ever want you to feel like is a burden!
Loraine: (yelling) Then why did you read Janet’s email? Why didn’t you just delete it? Why did you let that bitch back into your head?
Joe: Because I wanted to know what she wanted to say to me.
Loraine: (loudly) She wanted to tell you fucking lies! She wanted to convince you the sky isn’t blue!
Joe: Not everything she said was rubbish, Loraine.
Loraine: (yelling) Oh god, YOU ARE SUCH A PATHETIC FUCKING RETARD!
Joe: (yelling) I AM NOT PATHETIC! I JUST HAVE EMPATHY!
Loraine: (yelling and banging her fist) YOU HAVE EMPATHY FOR A FUCKING PSYCHOPATH, JOE! SHE’S SCARY AND DANGEROUS AND YOU’RE LETTING HER INTO OUR LIVES! YOU’RE LETTING IN SOMEONE WHOSE FUCKING EVIL!
Joe: I can’t believe she’s evil, Loraine. Not anymore.
Loraine: Joe, she just told you she made two people kill themselves. She almost burned her fucking family to death. Are you seriously ok with that?
Joe: You don’t know her, Loraine.
Loraine: (loudly) She doesn’t even know me and she says I’m abusing you! She said I’m trapping you into a family you don’t want! Doesn’t that fucking bother you?
Joe: I think she’s wrong about you too.
Lorraine: She’s lying about me, Joe. That’s what psychopaths do. She’s a user. She’s good at getting people to do things for her. She said it herself!
Joe: But that’s not true, Loraine. She’s suffering. She didn’t want to send me that email but it was the only way she could get out of bed. She’s obviously depressed.
Loraine: Oh, Jesus. How can you not see what she’s doing?
Joe: I don’t know what she’s doing and I don’t care. There’s pain in that email.
Loraine: You make me so disappointed in you, Joe. I wish you had the courage to be a man and just get the hell out of my life. All you do is destroy everything!
Joe: Janet isn’t normal and I know she can be manipulative. But I care about her and she’s hurting. You know what it’s like to be depressed, Loraine. You know what its like not to be able to get out of bed. You can feel empathy for Janet. I know you can!
Loraine: (loudly) Every day she’s in bed, that’s a day she’s not fucking hurting people!
Joe: She doesn’t just hurt people! I’ve seen her on telly giving speeches. I’ve read reviews of her books. I’ve seen her vlogs. She does a lot of good in the world, just like you do.
Loraine: None of that shit makes you a good person.
Joe: I don’t care, Loraine! I’m not in a position to judge her. I’m sure if you pick away at my life, you could find loads of reasons why I’m not a good person either.
Loraine: Now you sound like a loony.
Joe: (loudly) That’s not what you said last night. Last night, you said I was a failure!
Loraine: (loudly) That doesn’t mean you’re not a good person! The fact that you’re a good person is more important than whether or not you’re a fucking failure! I wouldn’t be with someone who didn’t have a good heart! I’m only still with you because you’re good!
Joe: Loraine, I’m not a good person. You know that.
Loraine: (yelling) You’re the nicest person I’ve ever met!
Joe: That’s not saying much. Your friends are assholes.
Loraine: (loudly) I’m a better judge of character than you are! I didn’t fall in love with a woman who tried to poke a fucking hole in my brain!
Joe: I don’t think that’s what happened. I think…
Loraine: (interrupting) Psychopaths like her control people, Joe. They stop you from thinking for yourself. They can’t help it. You know that. You know Janet’s jealous of me. You know she wants to isolate you from your family and the people you love. She wants you to forgive her when you know you should fucking hate her and protect me from her! She could hurt us!
Joe: I care about Janet, Loraine. Just because she has problems and I can’t be friends with her, that doesn’t mean I’m indifferent to whether or not she’s in pain.
Loraine: (loudly) But she’s lying! She can’t fucking feel pain! That’s why you broke up with her! Don’t you remember all the things you told me?
Joe: I don’t think I understood her then.
Loraine: (shouting) IF YOU THINK SHE’S A GOOD PERSON, YOU’RE THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO SEE A FUCKING DOCTOR!!
Joe: I don’t care.
Loraine: (confused) What?
Joe: I’d rather be fooled than doubt someone when it looks like they’re in pain. I don’t ever want to do that again. If that means I’m easy to manipulate, I’m easy to manipulate. If that means I’m mentally ill, I’m mentally ill.
Loraine: (sarcastically) That’s just great. I feel so safe and protected by you. I feel like I’m with such a strong dude.
Joe: (loudly) We’re not in any danger!
Loraine: (interruptingly loudly) She stabbed you in the fucking face!
Joe: (loudly) She apologised for that!
Loraine: All it takes is an apology for you to forgive that? You’re under her control more than I thought.
Joe: (loudly) I’M NOT UNDER HER CONTROL!
Loraine: Yes, you fucking are. She wrote a long fucking email trying to convince you to get back with her. And now you’re gonna do it.
Joe: (loudly) I wouldn’t go back with her in a million years! That email wasn’t something she wrote ..
Loraine: (interrupting) Just make sure you don’t make her mad! Don’t come crawling back to me when she forks out the other eye and blinds you.
Joe: (yelling) SHE DOESN’T WANT ME TO GO BACK TO HER!! SHE’S WORRIED ABOUT ME!!
Loraine: (loudly) Of course she wants you to go back to her! Her whole email is about how you misjudged her, how I’m a walking turd, and how much she still loves you. It ends with her trying to convince you that you were wrong about her, that she can love you like a normal person. It’s pure fucking bullshit!
Joe: Did you ever consider the possibility that she needed to write those things down? Sometimes you need to get thoughts out of your head in order to cope with life when things are really bad. You of all people should know that!
Loraine: (yelling) Then she should have written them down and not sent them to you! You’re in a fucking relationship she knows nothing about and has no reason to judge!
Joe: I know that. I know she was completely unfair to you in her email. And I don’t agree at all with what she said about unconditional love. Loads of other things she said were horrible. That’s not up for dispute. But there’s pain in her words too. It’s not black and white.
Loraine: Why should you feel sorry for her? She fucking mutilated you. She stabbed you and left you there to bleed to death in front of everyone! She didn’t even call an ambulance!
Joe: She’s a complicated person.
Loraine: She’s a self-centered bitch who wants to ruin our relationship. You can convince yourself that she’s more than that, but you can’t convince me.
Joe: I don’t know what she is. All I know is I couldn’t be with someone like her again. I want to be with you. Her letter helped me see that.
Loraine: How did it help you see that?
Joe: It reminded me that I’m really lucky to be in a relationship with someone who isn’t so pompous and arrogant. That aspect of our relationship was so damn irritating. Psychopath or not, she can be very judgemental.
Loraine: (loudly) Then why didn’t you delete her email? Why didn’t you at least tell her to fuck off and never contact you again?
Joe: Because I care about her. I care about her and her email helped me see some things that could improve our relationship.
Loraine: (flabbergasted) OH MY FUCKING GOD!
Joe: It made me see that I think I want more kindness from you.
Loraine: (irritated) You’re taking advice from her about kindness? ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE??
Joe: I want to lose weight. But I want you to encourage me without hurting me, like I said. I don’t want you to threaten to withhold sex. I don’t want you to tell me I’m disgusting. I want you to reward me. Not punish me.
Loraine: (angrily) What is going on here? Did you fucking IM her on facebook? Have you been talking to that bitch while I’m at work?
Joe: I don’t want to remain in contact with her anymore.
Loraine: (yelling) THEN WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU TAKING ADVICE TIPS FROM HER??!!!
Joe: Because she’s insightful about some things.
Loraine: I can’t handle this. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you, Joe. I feel like I’ve lost you.
Joe: Loraine, I need you to hear me now. I agree with what Janet said about kindness being a benevolent form of manipulation. That’s why your words hurt me yesterday. I’m not the one who should have apologised to you. You should have apologised to me.
Loraine: (loudly) Oh, fuck off! Not this again!
Joe: Yes, this again.
Loraine: (yelling) I said what I said to you yesterday because you needed to hear it! I’VE TRIED BEING KIND BEFORE AND IT DOESN’T FUCKING WORK! I WON’T HELP YOU HURT YOURSELF ANYMORE! I’M YOUR GIRLFRIEND! I’M SUPPOSED TO HELP YOU!
Joe: (loudly) Yes, and your good intentions don’t excuse your fucking insensitivity! You’re not loving or kind when you try to help me. You’re like an abusive fucking parent and you need to take responsibility for that! You need to say you’re sorry sometimes!
Loraine: (angrily) SO YOU DO THINK I ABUSE YOU!!
Joe: (loudly) Yes, I fucking do! Are you happy now? I think my beautiful girlfriend who loves me fucking abuses me. I’m in an abusive relationship. I can see it. Anyone who goes online can see it. Janet can fucking see it!
Loraine: (shouting in a panic) THAT’S BECAUSE SHE’S TRYING TO TURN YOU AGAINST ME!
Joe: You’re the one whose turning me against you.
Loraine: (yelling) I’ve never done anything to you that’s worse than what you did to me! I never cheated on you! I never wrote a 40 page poem about how much I hate you! You fucking read that poem in front of all your friends last week! You even used my name in the title!
Joe: Ok, so we’re as bad as each other. We’re in an unhealthy relationship. We’re abusing each other.
Loraine: (yelling) We’re in a normal relationship! She wants to fucking split us up! Why won’t you see that?
Joe: Anybody who sees some of the stuff you write online would be worried about me! She’s not unreasonable in worrying about me!
Loraine: (loudly and in desperation) She can’t worry about anybody except herself!! Why do you keep ignoring me?!! Why won’t you fucking listen to me?!!
Joe: (loudly) Because I know Janet! She can feel bad if people she cares about are suffering. I’ve seen it with my own eyes! I’ve seen her cry because people she loves are in pain. Being self-interested doesn’t preclude that!
Loraine: (loudly) Being a psychopath does! Those tears were fake! She told you they were fake!
Joe: Not all of them were fake. And that diagnsosis was wrong. She’s the furthest thing from a psychopath.
Loraine: (loudly) Jesus, she was fucking diagnosed by a team of clinicians!
Joe: I think her therapist just didn’t get her. I think his biases influenced all of the other people that were working with him when they evaluated her. Maybe they all had their own preconceptions that stopped them from understanding the good parts of Janet. Maybe they focussed on Janet’s youth. Maybe they didn’t take stock of all the ways she changed when she became a young adult.
Loraine: Clinicians are trained not to do that.
Joe: They did this time. They must have. Her email isn’t something a psychopath could have written.
Loraine: How can you say that? Everything she wrote in that email was scary! She thinks people should be more cruel and violent! You think that’s a nice fucking person?
Joe: You can’t say someone isn’t a nice person because they say things you disagree with. I don’t like a lot of what you say and I don’t accuse you of being a horrible person.
Loraine: (loudly) You don’t need to! A doctor never diagnosed me as one!
Joe: I know there’s something wrong with Janet. I know she’s dangerous. But I also think the mental health system failed her. Whatever she is, she’s not a psychopath. She’s not a horrible person. She’s not cruel.
Loraine: (shouting desperately) WHY CAN’T YOU SEE WHAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FUCKING FACE!!
Joe: What am I not seeing?
Loraine: (loudly) She’s telling you a story to make your heart melt! She’s fucking seducing you! She’s trying to make you feel like it’s ok to be fat!
Joe: That’s not how I read her email. She’s been suffering over what happened between us and she wanted to reach out to me. She’s worried I hate her. I can understand that.
Loraine: (loudly) Why didn’t she do that eleven fucking years ago?
Joe: She probably thought I was frightened of her. She probably didn’t want to scare me.
Loraine: (yelling) SHE DIDN’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU!
Joe: No, she does care about me. Or else she wouldn’t have written that email.
Loraine: (loudly) She’s giving you a fucking rom com fantasy tailored for you!
Joe: What are you on about?
Loraine: “The psychopath who learns love and becomes a good person.” Like that could ever happen!
Joe: I believe she can be something like a good person. And even if she can’t be, she wants to be. She wants to be a good person, very much. For me, that’s what counts.
Loraine: (angrily) That’s because her words are twisting you! You’re letting her ruin your life, just like you kill yourself with food!
Joe: I saw her every day for three years. I lived with her for two of those years.
Loraine: That doesn’t mean shit. That bitch can lie.
Joe: She’s not a horrible person, Loraine. She’s not someone I can be with but she’s not a horrible person. I know her.
Loraine: (loudly) How the fuck can you say that? How can you say that after everything she did to you? How can you say that after seeing everything she wrote about me?
Joe: When she attacked me, she wasn’t well. She was still struggling with the emotions of our break up and she couldn’t control her behaviour.
Loraine: (annoyed) And you’re dumb enough to actually believe that?
Joe: I saw her every day for three years, Loraine. She was never the way she was the last time I saw her. The day she attacked me, she was like a different person.
Loraine: (loudly) That’s because she hid herself from you every day until you fucking broke up with her!
Joe: No, no person can do that. You can’t put on an act every day for three years.
Loraine: (shouting) You can if you’re a fucking psychopath!
Joe: But I saw her on the days she was moody and grumpy. I saw her on the days she should have let the mask slip and showed me this terrible person. She never did. She was no different to everyone else I’ve ever known when they get pissy. Compared to most women I’ve ever seen in a foul mood, Janet was pretty cordial and apologetic afterwards. She always apologised if she said something she knew upset me. Not like you.
Loraine: (loudly) She was lying! She had more control over her behaviour than a normal person. She’s fucking fake and you fell for it! That’s what you told me!
Joe: Loraine, on most days, Janet was friendly. She was funny, a great conversationalist, and someone with a lot of very high energy and a great imagination. She had great ideas, a great mind for politics, and wonderful taste in music and films and books. She was always really creative and talented. I loved her drawings and the little essays she would write. I loved all of that before she got famous. I still love all the stuff we wrote together.
Loraine: That doesn’t make her a good person.
Joe: I know that but she was also really sweet and forgiving. Much more so than me. She was patient with me on many occasions she had no reason to be. She defended me when she didn’t have to. She negotiated with me when I was wrong and most people would have lashed out at me in anger. If she knew I was upset or hurt or anxious, she spent however long it took to make sure I was ok. She took days off of work to look after me when I was having panic attacks.
Loraine: (shaking head) That’s because she was trying to make you dependent on her. She wanted you to feel like you needed her to feel good about yourself. All her love for you was a big fucking lie and you’ve known that for eleven years. But now she’s making you doubt yourself and it’s putting my life at risk. I can’t feel safe if you allow her back into your life!
Joe: I wasn’t the only person she was nice to, Loraine! She was patient and loving towards people I found it hard to be around! She was even good with my mother! Before they fell out, she got along better with mum than I ever did. That’s why mum wanted to see Janet when she was dying. Janet was the only person that could help mum actually have fun. She was the only person I ever knew that could bring out the good side of my mother before mum got sick. She made mum actually want to be nice to me! She made her feel like another woman actually wanted to be her friend. I know Janet has impulse control problems and can say really horrible things. I know she can be arrogant and judgemental. But on most days, she’s an unusually kind person.
Loraine: She hates your mother, Joe. She was never her friend. She lied to her.
Joe: No, she loved her and hated her. I loved mum and hated her too.
Loraine: (loudly) That doesn’t make any sense!
Joe: (loudly) People are complicated!
Loraine: (loudly) No, they fucking aren’t! People lie and make it look like things are complicated!
Joe: Loraine, you are very very complicated. You’re one of the most complicated people I’ve ever met.
Loraine: What do you mean?
Joe: Whenever you talk about the kind of people you hate, the kind of people who completely drive you mad, who are you describing?
Loraine: What does that have to do with anything?
Joe: You’re describing me! You hate people like me and you love me!
Loraine: No, you’re different to those bellends. You’re a sweet heart. You don’t have a fucking lumberjack beard. You don’t have twenty nose piercings and a big hole in your ear. You don’t wear a dress so you can get a hard on pissing in the girl’s loo. You don’t read Lena Dunham. You don’t follow Russell Brand on twitter. You don’t like Mumford and Sons. You’re not an anarchist. You don’t drink absynth. You don’t go to hipster bars and pay ten pounds to eat a bowl of cereal. You’re just a fat dumb wanker whose lazy.
Joe: Then tell me why you’re not with a gorgeous, intelligent, and hard working guy who isn’t a wanker.
Loraine: Because no guy like that will have me. I work with what I can get.
Joe: No, it’s not as simple as that. You’re attracted to qualities in me that you don’t like. The fact that they irritate you makes you want to be with someone like me. If what I’m saying isn’t true, this relationship would never have happened. If you truly hated the things in me that really piss you off, you’d be happy being single. You’d be happy having one night stands whenever you got horny.
Loraine: What does that prove?
Joe: It proves you want to be with a wanker, Loraine. It proves you’re pretty fucking complicated.
Loraine: It just proves I’m a fool.
Joe: You’re not a fool, Loraine. Deep down, you like people who challenge you.
Loraine: I don’t like hardly anyone anymore.
Joe: Oh yes you do! You just think you don’t!
Loraine: (rolls eyes) Whatever.
Joe: If Janet wasn’t my ex and you met her on the street, I know what would happen.
Loraine: What would happen?
Joe: You’d get to see what it’s like being around another strong woman and you’d love it. You’d be best mates. Janet’s tough as nails, just like you are. One night, she was making a salad and she accidentally chopped off her left index finger. There was blood everywhere and she didn’t even wince. She looked at me with this big smile on her face. She had the finger in her right hand and said, “Ooops..” like she was a four year old who’d just wet herself on purpose to be naughty. I was freaked out and got her into the car and rushed her to Glenfield hospital. But she kept laughing at me. On the way there, she was giggling and making jokes, doing impressions of me being scared. I was panicking but she eventually started to make me laugh too and then I could calm down. She kept doing these really funny impressions of Nigella Lawson. By the time we drove into the carpark, there was blood all over the car and we were both laughing our heads off. She can laugh about ridiculous things, Loraine. She can make anyone laugh their head off.
Loraine: (loudly) How can you think that fucking bitch has a sense of humour? Whenever I make a joke about you on Facebook, she says I’m being “disdainful” of your writing and teaching! Is that what you think of me?
Joe: No, but she thinks that because some of your jokes don’t always translate well online.
Loraine: You know I think you’re an amazing teacher. When I joke on Facebook about you repeating yourself to your students, I’m being affectionate. I take the piss out of you because I think you’re great! I call you “Fat boy” because being fat doesn’t make me stop wanting to be with you! I call you “Fat boy” because I love how sweet you are and that’s more important than how you look! I’ve never met anyone as sweet as you. I never knew people could be as sweet as you!
Joe: She doesn’t get your humour. Your humour is like a 12 year old boy. Janet doesn’t get 12 year old boys.
Loraine: You don’t get 12 year old boys either.
Joe: Yes, but when a woman talks to me like that, I think it’s fucking hilarious! She doesn’t understand that but you can’t really blame her for that. That’s not something most people understand about me and you.
Loraine: She thinks I’m a bigot. She thinks I’m a bully. She thinks I’m trapping you into a family you don’t want. She thinks I’m using my beauty to leverage power over you. She thinks I’m an all around piece of shit! You think I shouldn’t blame her that? Is that how much you love me?
Joe: (loudly) She’s depressed Loraine! When you’re depressed, you don’t think clearly and you’re unreasonable! You know what it’s like to be depressed!
Loraine: She’s not depressed. That bitch is fucking character assasinating me. So are you.
Joe: (loudly) She’s not character asassinating you! She’s worried about an ex of hers who she saw being degraded and humiliated by his girlfriend!
Loraine: You keep making excuses for her. You still won’t hate her! You won’t hate her even though she hates me!
Joe: (loudly) She’s only worried because of what you write in your blogs! Even your mum thinks some of that stuff is terrible. It’s not just Janet!
Loraine: (shouting) Don’t bring my mother into this! You know she wishes she never had me!
Joe: (loudly) She doesn’t wish that! Your mum just thinks you do things sometimes without thinking about other people! She loves you!
Loraine: (shouting) SHE DOES NOT LOVE ME! She doesn’t care at all about what it’s like to be me! She only cares about other people having to put up with me! Neither of my parents ever cared one fucking bit about me! They were self-absorbed, unkind fucking snobs who acted like raising a child was some kind of prison sentence! That’s what I fucking had to grow up with!
Joe: I know that but..
Loraine: (interrupting loudly) Growing up like that hurts!
Joe: I know it hurts. I know they weren’t the best parents for you but..
Loraine: (interrupting loudly) Your psycho ex sounds just like my mother!
Joe: (loudly) Loraine, they are two totally different people! They are nothing alike at all!
Loraine: (loudly) Neither of them give a shit about what it’s like to be a beautiful woman with a fat boyfriend! They don’t give a shit about how my beauty effects me!
Joe: Your beauty is a privilige, Loraine. How can you see that any other way?
Loraine: Notice how Janet didn’t write: “The only thing about Loraine that makes Joe seem genuinely excited is her beauty. He makes no effort to make himself hot and still expects Loraine to fuck him every night. I worry about Loraine. I worry Joe doesn’t really like her. I worry she’s being treated like a cum bucket by a man who uses unconditional love as an excuse to lie to her. I worry she’s being abused.” Notice how Janet didn’t write that!
Joe: Is that how you see me?
Loraine: That’s what she would see if she actually lived with us instead of screen shotting the blogs I take down.
Joe: I can’t believe you actually think I don’t like you.
Loraine: (loudly) You act like you don’t fucking like me! You act like it every damned day!
Joe: I do like you but I SEE you every day. That’s why it sometimes looks like I don’t like you. But that’s normal. No one gets ecstatic when they see their partner. That’s not what life is like. I wasn’t even like that with Janet!
Loraine: (shouting) YOU ARE SUCH A BOLD FACED FUCKING LIAR! HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF?
Joe: (loudly) I don’t know what you want from me! I don’t know how I’m supposed to communicate that I’m jumping for joy every time you walk into a room!
Loraine: (loudly) The only thing that excites you when I walk into a room is how I look! That’s the only fucking thing!
Joe: (loudly) That’s not true. You know I love your character! I love everything about you!
Loraine: (shouting) GO FUCK YOURSELF! You love HER character!
Loraine: You still want her. I can see it in your face.
Joe: (yelling) ARE YOU DELUSIONAL?? LOOK AT WHAT SHE DID TO ME!!
Loraine: Yes, and you can make excuses for her because you’re still hard for that cunt! You’re hard for a fucking ice queen with a heart of stone. That’s how much you love yourself.
Joe: (yelling) I DON’T EVEN WANT TO BE IN CONTACT WITH HER! I’m with you because I wanted everything she isn’t! I wanted to be with someone whose a giver!
Loraine: (loudly) I don’t believe you. You like her! I can see it in your fucking face. You like her more than you like me!
Joe: (shouting) I CAN’T LIKE HER!! I HATE people who only care about themselves! That goes against everything I’m about! People like that ruin this fucking country! Everything I do is about trying to give back to the communities I work with! Every poem I write is about how we should come together in society and practice empathy instead of greed! I have empathy for Janet but I still can’t fucking like her! She stands for everything I think is reprehensible.
Loraine: Now, you’re fucking lying to yourself. You bloody like her.
Joe: I really don’t, Loraine. If I liked her, I wouldn’t have given up on her when I found out about her diagnosis. If I liked her, I would have forgiven her for what she did to me. I’d still be her friend today if I liked her.
Loraine: You’re blind to yourself, Joe. You don’t even know you like her and you do.
Joe: (loudly) I don’t!
Loraine: You like her for the same reason you like how beautiful I am.
Joe: I don’t understand.
Loraine: You like my beauty because you can’t make yourself be attractive. You like her because she’s everything you’re afraid to be.
Joe: (loudly) I know what it’s like to be fucking self-centered! I was a kid once! You think that scares me?
Loraine: You like her because she’s not afraid of being happy. You are.
Joe: Why do you say that?
Loraine: (tearing up) Because you act like it every fucking day! That’s how you talk, that’s how you behave, that’s what it looks like when you look at me. Even when we’re having a good time, you look at me like you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re disappointed. You smile at Jill and Claire. You don’t smile at me. Not anymore.
Joe: Loraine, I get a lot of happiness from watching you be yourself. I know I should show it more but watching you be you does give me a lot of joy! I know I’m not good at showing it. I know I need to work harder to show it better.
Loraine: (crying) I don’t understand how you can get joy from me.
Loraine: (crying) I don’t understand how you can get joy from someone so angry with you. I don’t understand how you can get joy from someone so different to you.
Joe: I get joy for loads of reasons. I love the hard work you put into teaching your students. I love how you fixed Claire’s shower last week even though she didn’t ask you to and you don’t even like her. I love how you always put away everyone’s rubbish bins on our street at 6am. I love how whenever any kid in our neighborhood wants to go to a party, you always give them a ride so they don’t have to buy a cab. I love all the work you do raising money for cancer research. I love all the volunteering you did last year for charities that help children with brain diseases. I love how you’re always there for me, no matter how fucked up my head can be. I know I need to communicate how much I appreciate you more. I know I need to make more of an effort to show you how much I love those things.
Loraine: (wiping away tears) There’s that word again.
Joe: (flustered) What word?
Joe: What’s wrong with “Love”?
Loraine: You loving all of those things about me isn’t important.
Joe: Why do you say that?
Loraine: Because you don’t like them. They don’t excite you. They don’t make you feel happy. Neither do I.
Joe: Of course those things make me happy! They make me feel safe and loved and like I can count on you!
Loraine: Joe, everything you say you love about me gives you far less joy than a ten minute conversation with your friends. You have more fun texting your friends than spending an evening with me. Open your eyes.
Joe: (loudly) I can’t trust someone with my life just because I have interesting conversations with them! I don’t need to be constantly entertained by you! I love you because you’re always there for me and you help me grow! I love doing that for you too! Don’t you know that about me, Loraine?? Don’t you know that’s what I’ve always wanted??
Loraine: You don’t know what you want.
Joe: (loudly) Loraine, you know I want someone I can settle down and have a family with!! We’ve talked about this over and over again!! I want someone I can have a legacy with that both of us can be proud of!!
Loraine: I’m finding that hard to believe after reading that email, Joe. You fell in love with that bitch cuz you both fucking hate families.
Joe: I didn’t want a family when I was 23! I didn’t know myself then, Loraine! I didn’t realise how wonderful children were!
Loraine: (loudly) You never told me you hated children when you were 23!
Joe: I didn’t think it was relevant. I was in a different place then.
Loraine: (angrily) You never told me you laughed when she said, “I FUCKING HATE CHILDREN!” You fucking laughed at that, like you agreed with her! You had your first kiss bonding over how much you hate the creatures in the world who need love most! You were both holding hands and giggling over how much you both hate INNOCENT AND HELPLESS TODDLERS! That’s fucking horrible!
Joe: (loudly) I was laughing because I knew she was joking!! She doesn’t hate children at all!!
Loraine: (loudly) You expect me to believe that? She could write a fucking book about how much she hates children!
Joe: Loraine, when we were together, we spent a lot of time with her niece Emily. I told you about Emily before. Janet was a great influence on Emily.
Loraine: That’s because Emily was a precocious, well behaved little girl who was doing her Master’s at LSE by the time she was 17. That’s not a normal kid!
Joe: Why does that matter?
Loraine: Janet would hate spending time with normal kids. She’d hate spending time with any girl who’d like to play with dolls or dress up in pink. She’d hate spending time with any boy who’d like to play sports or smash toy cars or run into walls.
Joe: That doesn’t make her hate kids. I wouldn’t enjoy spending time with those kids either.
Loraine: That doesn’t make sense.
Loraine: Why in the world do you want to have kids if that’s how feel?
Joe: You can’t control the kid you get when you become a parent. So you can’t expect to get a kid you enjoy. That’s not what matters. What matters is that you’re totally there for the kid you do wind up with. What matters is that you love that kid unconditionally. You love them even if you can’t stand spending time with them.
Loraine: Do you actually believe that?
Joe: Of course I do!
Loraine: (angrily) I’m confused now! I’m fucking confused!
Loraine: (shouting) WHY DO YOU EVEN WANT TO BE A DAD??
Joe: Well I..
Loraine: (interrupting angrily) We’ve spent so much time talking about having kids and you’ve never even told me why you want’em!
Joe: (loudly) You never asked me why I wanted them!
Loraine: (loudly) I didn’t even know there was a time in your life you didn’t want’em! Not until I read that fucking email! I’ve known you for two and a half years, Joe!
Joe: Loraine, I didn’t want children when I was younger because I thought I wouldn’t make a good Dad.
Loraine: Why did you think that?
Joe: Because I didn’t like being around children and they mostly irritated me. I didn’t really like being around other children when I was a child. Like I told you, I didn’t have friends until I was a teenager.
Loraine: What made you change your mind?
Joe: When my mother died, I started thinking about our family’s legacy. I started thinking about how I could make peace with mum and my memory of her. I started thinking about unconditional love and how children are the ultimate test of that. I started thinking I needed to learn to be more patient. I started thinking about how I needed to learn to get along with people better who were very different to me.
Loraine: I think I understand now.
Loraine: You want children because you want to feel like you can love people you can’t stand.
Joe: That’s hardly how I would describe thinking about my family’s legacy.
Loraine: (shouting) Children aren’t your family’s legacy! They’re fucking people!
Joe: (loudly) I know that!
Loraine: (shouting) No, you don’t!
Joe: (loudly) Why are you so angry about this? My reasons for wanting children are the reasons most people have!
Loraine: (shouting) I don’t care what most people want!
Joe: (shouting) What gives you the right to judge what most people want?
Loraine: (shouting) The fact that you don’t know makes my decision for me!
Joe: What decision?
Loraine: (loudly) I’m not fucking having kids with you!
Loraine: You heard me. I’m not having kids with you or anyone.
Joe: I thought you wanted kids as much as I did.
Loraine: I was doing it for you because I thought it would make you happy. I didn’t realise what kind of a Dad you’re going to be. I can’t believe how fucking stupid I’ve been.
Joe: You don’t want to have kids with me because I want my bloodline to pass on?
Loraine: No, it’s because I know you. You’ll treat our kids the way you treat me. You’ll love them even if you don’t get the kind of kid you want. If that happens, they’ll be able to tell that all they’re getting from their Dad is love. Fuck that! I know what that feels like.
Joe: I don’t understand. You don’t want kids with me because I’ll love my children even if I don’t have much in common with them?
Loraine: It’s so much more than just that.
Joe: I still don’t understand.
Loraine: Joe, you are bad at nurturing people. You are bad at giving people boundaries. Someone like you shouldn’t be a parent.
Joe: (irritated) There you go again, being fucking cruel.
Loraine: Joe, listen to me! You would not make a good parent. You don’t want kids for the right reasons.
Joe: (shouting) But my reasons are the reasons of most parents!
Loraine: (shouting) I don’t fucking care! Too many children suffer because of parents who have them for those reasons. I was one of those children! You won’t make me do that to a child! No one should have to grow up like I fucking did! No one!
Joe: Why is it wrong to want to have a legacy? Why is it wrong to want to learn patience you don’t have yet before you become a parent? Why is it wrong to want children because you want to grow?
Loraine: (shouting) Because you’re playing with their lives! You treating their lives like an experiment where you can prove to yourself that you can do something you hate! You’re putting them in fucking danger!
Joe: (loudly) What danger??
Loraine: You send too many mixed messages. The people you say you love you treat like burdens. You get no joy from them on most days. You say they constantly hurt your feelings. Seconds after you complain about your hurt feelings you tell them you love all their imperfections. You say shit like, “I wouldn’t change a single thing about you.” Then you write fucking poems about how stupid and boring they are. I can handle that but not a kid! That would fuck with a kid’s head. I don’t want to do that to someone innocent.
Joe: But don’t you trust that I can work on myself and change?
Loraine: I trust that you will try. I don’t trust that you’ll actually do it. You’ve disappointed me too many times.
Joe: It’s nice to know you have such faith in your boyfriend. You’re being soooo considerate of my feelings right now.
Loraine: (shouting) FUCK YOUR FEELINGS! I HATE YOUR FUCKING FEELINGS! YOUR FEELINGS MAKE YOU HURT YOURSELF!
Joe: (shouting) Oh, I see how this is! ONLY YOUR FEELINGS MATTER!
Loraine: (loudly) I might not be able to stop you from hurting yourself but I won’t let you harm a kid!
Joe: (loudly) You think it’s me that would harm a kid and not you?
Loraine: It’s not a fucking competition because it’s not going to happen. Get over that or find someone else. I’m tired of this shit.
Joe: We don’t want the same things, do we?
Loraine: (loudly) We fucking don’t! Now what are you going to do about that?
Joe: What do you mean, what am I going to do about that?
Loraine: Do you want to stay in this relationship or leave?
Joe: Of course I want to stay with you, I..
Loraine: (interrupting) Joe, think about what you’re saying! You’re committing yourself to a relationship with someone who won’t have a family with you. You’re with someone who won’t have a family with you because they think you’re damaged. Is that what you really want?
Joe: Why do you want to be in this relationship?
Loraine: I don’t if this relationship is going to hurt the both of us.
Joe: I thought you said you were going to love me no matter what. Last night you said nothing I could ever do would make you stop loving me!
Loraine: You’re not the only person who got something out of that email.
Loraine: Love is only good if people don’t delude themselves. Janet’s right about that.
Joe: You think I’m deluding myself?
Loraine: Our relationship isn’t making you happy. It’s making you miserable. I’m making you miserable.
Joe: (loudly) That’s not important! I still want to work on it. We’ve been happy before and we can be happy again!
Loraine: Love isn’t good if it doesn’t make you happy. It just hurts.
Joe: If you love someone, you work hard so that the relationship does make you happy.
Loraine: Sometimes you can’t. I do care about you, Joe. But that doesn’t mean I can be in a relationship with you.
Joe: (loudly) Breaking up with me isn’t showing me that you care about me!
Loraine: (loudly) I’d only break up with you because I’m trying to help you. That is me caring about you!
Joe: No, that’s patronising. Love is about doing the hard work to accept another person. It’s supposed to be difficult! You can’t honestly say that you love your child if you stop seeing them because it’s exhausting. That’s not love. That’s taking the easy way out!
Loraine: Joe, you’re not my son. You’re my boyfriend.
Joe: (getting irritated) It doesn’t matter. Love requires dedication and compromise! You can’t leave a person on their own because you can’t bring yourself to be there for them in a healthy way. That’s a bloody cop out! If you love someone, you do the work you need to do so that love can go on. You make the relationship healthy! You control that!
Loraine: I’m trying to make our relationship work, Joe. I really am. I just feel like I don’t have whatever it takes to fix it. I’m missing whatever it is that will make us be happy together. I feel like I bore you, you just make me angry, and then I hurt you. I don’t feel like I’m good for you.
Joe: (loudly) The success of our relationship has nothing to do with you not being good enough for me!
Loraine: Then what’s wrong with me?
Joe: You need to make more of an effort to stop acting like a fucking bitch! You need to think before you speak! You can’t fucking belittle me for my weaknesses. You need to accept them and help me overcome them! That’s what you do for the person you love!
Loraine: I do want to help you with your weaknesses, Joe. But I don’t feel like I’m in a relationship where my weaknesses are being helped. I feel like a fucking obligation.
Joe: You said you felt very loved yesterday.
Loraine: I do feel loved. I don’t feel liked.
Joe: Isn’t love all that matters? Love is what gives us the strength to work through our problems. I can like you because I love you.
Loraine: That’s not how I see it, Joe. I cherish your love but it’s not enough. “Like”, not “Love” is what gives me the strength I need right now. Loving me might make you feel good about yourself. But it doesn’t help me solve our problems. I need “Like” at the moment. Not “Love”.
Joe: I do like you. But I am hurt by some of the things you say to me.
Loraine: Isn’t most of what I say true?
Joe: I don’t know. It’s hard for me to decide that. A lot of the time, I agree with you. But even when you say things I mostly agree with, I feel like I’m being cut open. Your words are like razor blades. When I look into your eyes, I just see pure hatred staring back at me.
Loraine: But that’s who I am! That’s who you chose to love.
Joe: I know.
Loraine: Then why are things between us so rotten? Why does it feel like we’re constantly tearing each other apart?
Joe: That’s not how I would describe our relationship.
Loraine: How the fuck else would you describe it?
Joe: It’s a relationship where I’m tested and I like that. It makes me a better person.
Loraine: Then why do I feel like I don’t give you what you want?
Joe: That’s part of what I like about our relationship. You test me.
Loraine: I test your patience?
Joe: You test all sorts of things about me.
Loraine: I don’t want that.
Joe: Then what do you want?
Loraine: I can cope with testing you if I feel in other ways that we enjoy each other. I need to feel like my boyfriend isn’t just tolerating me.
Joe: Loraine, I do so much for you! I don’t eat meat in the house. I listen to music with my headphones on. I’ve even given up music on weekends. I’ve agreed to meet my friends ouside of the house. I’ve agreed to cook for you before you get home from work. We have sex whenever and however you want. I let you say things to me that really push the boundaries of what I’m capable of hearing. I’m staying with you even though you don’t want to have children with me.
Loraine: Ok, I see the problem now.
Joe: What do you see?
Loraine: I’m angry because I don’t feel like you’re excited to be with me. That makes me resentful towards you because of things you do that fob me off.
Loraine: I make you promise that you’ll try to do less of those things. But that doesn’t solve the problem. You’re still not excited to be with me.
Joe: I wouldn’t say that I’m not excited. I would say that I’m frustrated…
Loraine: (interrupting) You’re not excited to be with me because I’m making demands on you. But there’s no demands coming from you towards me. You’re resentful because you feel like you’re bending over backwards to appease me.
Loraine: So here’s what we have to do. You need to tell me some things I need to do for you. Things that will make it easier for you to like me.
Joe: Are you serious?
Loraine: Yes, deadly serious.
Joe: What kinds of things?
Loraine: Well, I’ll make a deal with you. I’m not going to censor myself and stop being honest with you. You’ll always have to put up with that if you choose to be with me. But I can do some other things for you.
Joe: What other things?
Loraine: Whatever would make your resentment go down. Whatever would make you enjoy me more.
Joe: You know you don’t have to do anything to make me approve of you. I already think you’re wonderful.
Loraine: No, this isn’t about you fucking approving of me! This is about you liking me! I don’t need you to be my friend but I need you to like me. I need you to tell me things that will make you like me more.
Loraine: This is the only way I can see our relationship working.
Joe: I’ll do whatever you need me to do, Loraine. Anything. Just tell me what you need and I’ll do it.
Loraine: Like I said, I need you to tell me some things I can do to make you like me more.
Joe: Ok…here’s one thing. I don’t mind seeing Jill and Claire at Starbucks. But I’d like you to see me read my poems occasionally at the Crumblin’ Cookie. I know you don’t understand them. But I’d like the moral support. I won’t read any of the poems about you that are nasty.
Loraine: I’ll come and see you perform. I can do that for you.
Joe: I’d also really appreciate it if you reserve judgement about whether you like a poem until you’ve spent a few days trying to understand it.
Loraine: So if I hate a poem, I say to myself, “Wait for three days. Then decide if you hate it.” Is that what you want?
Joe: Yes, that’s a great way of thinking about it. And during those three days, really try and think about what I was trying to say. If, after those three days, you still hate the poem, you can tell me you hate it.
Joe: Here’s another thing. I’d like to watch one film a week with you that I like or want to see. We can watch it on my laptop or go to the Cinema.
Loraine: That’s fine.
Joe: Like the poems, I want you to wait three days before you decide whether or not you like the film. I want you to really think during those three days about what the film-maker was trying to do. I don’t want to hear you complain about the film, if you complain at all, until three days have passed.
Loraine: That’s fine. What else?
Joe: Here’s something. You’re really beautiful. But lately you’ve been wearing these baggy dresses that are really unflattering. They don’t do you or your figure justice.
Loraine: You mean my new orange dresses?
Joe: Yes. You look best in your tight black shorts and your grey pornstar t-shirt. I’d like you to go online and order five or six more of them. Make sure to buy them in a smaller size so that they really cling to your body. Also, it would be really nice if you could order one of those “Playboy Bunny” T-shirts we saw at Primark the other day. And make sure that all the shirts cut off just below your breasts so people can see your stomach. People need to see that. It’s important to me.
Joe: Because it’s a work of art. Your stomach is unbelievably sexy, Loraine. You have the most beautiful stomach on any woman I’ve ever seen.
Loraine: But dressing like that in this weather is really fucking cold.
Joe: I see loads of women on the street wearing far less because they want to look nice.
Loraine: So you want me to be uncomfortable whenever we leave the house?
Joe: I think that’s only fair, given everything I’m doing for you. Being a little cold isn’t exactly agreeing to never have a family.
Loraine: You’re right. It isn’t.
Joe: Besides, when we’re out doors, you can wear a coat if it’s cold. What’s important is that indoors, people see your stomach and your legs and your face.
Loraine: Ok. As long as I don’t have to wear fucking heels in the snow.
Joe: You don’t. In fact, you look really good in white trainers. It doesn’t matter the time of year.
Loraine: I can wear trainers.
Joe: Sandals aren’t flattering because your toes are too big. But with good trainers, your legs can be really beautiful. Even if they look kind of empty.
Loraine: They look empty?
Joe: Well, they look nice. But they would look even better with a really good tattoo.
Loraine: A tattoo of what?
Loraine: You want me to tattoo your name on my leg?
Joe: No, I’d like an image of my face tattooed on your left thigh.
Loraine: Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?
Joe: Not at all. I want to show you off when we’re out together. And when I’m not around, I want people to know that you belong to me. I don’t want it to be a small tattoo of my face either. I want it big enough to cover your entire thigh. And I’d like you to get a second tattoo above your navel which says, “Just 4 Joe” in green letters. I want a black arrow next to it pointing to your crotch. That’s partly why I want your tummy on display.
Loraine: But I’ll feel like a cow that’s been branded.
Joe: I hope you do feel that way, Loraine. I want you to feel like a cow that I love and want to make people jealous of because of how proud I am. I want you to feel like the best tasting cow in the world! The cow most men and women wish they could taste in their wildest dreams!
Loraine: (laughing) At least you’re being honest with me about what I can do to make you happy.
Joe: I want to be more honest with you.
Loraine: I like that. When I know you can love me and still look at me like a piece of meat, that turns me on.
Joe: More truth comes out: I can still turn you on, despite my weight.
Loraine: A little bit, yeah…if you’re honest with me about how you see my body. There’s nothing that turns me off more than when you talk about how much you love me.
Joe: (sarcastically) That’s good to know. No love talk.
Loraine: I get that you love me but sex isn’t about that. It’s about feeling fucking wanted. When we have sex, I don’t want to feel like I’m some princess being rescued by a loving prince in shining armour whose working hard to treat me like a delicate flower. I don’t want it to feel like I’m making love. I want it to feel intense, like two tigers ripping each other apart. I don’t want to to talk during sex or play any bloody games. I want it to feel like we’re ferocious fucking animals, fighting to the death! Every time I cum, I imagine we’re both dying. That’s how I can ignore your body some of the time.
Joe: You’ve never told me this.
Loraine: Having to explain what I want completely turns me off! I want a guy to just know. The problem is no guy has ever figured it out on their own. I always have to spell it out.
Joe: Neither of us like telling the other what we want. I guess we have to though, if either of us are going to start getting it.
Loraine: Totally on board with that, Joe. Now, what else do you want from me?
Joe: I want you to help motivate me lose weight in a way that works for me.
Loraine: What would work for you?
Joe: Well, here’s what I’d like. Between Sunday and Wednesday, we have sex that you want. But on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, I want you to use your vibrator. I want those to be my days off.
Loraine: I can do that but I don’t understand how your weight loss figures into that.
Joe: I will weigh myself every Friday. If I don’t lose a pound, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays are days without sex.
Joe: If I lose a pound, I have sex with you on Friday. But it’s sex exactly the way I want it.
Loraine: How do you want it?
Joe: I want to rolepay some fantasies with you. I might want to buy some Halloween costumes I think you’ll look sexy in. There’s a William Shatner mask that would be so hot if it had your body poking out of the neck. I want you to wear that mask and I want to play some Star Trek episodes on my laptop while I’m fucking you. I’ll plug the laptop into our stereo speakers so we can hear the dialogue and music booming through the floor. That’ll be so fucking horny!
Loraine: That doesn’t really get me off but I can do that for you. I’ve still got Sunday through Wednesday for me to get the sex I want.
Joe: That’s true. But on my days, I’m not holding back Loraine. I’m taking everything I fucking want from you.
Loraine: Fair enough. Is there any other kind of sex you want on your days? Or is it gonna be you, me, and Captain fucking Kirk?
Joe: Hmm….sometimes I’ll want us to act out a scenario where we pretend we’re different people before we have sex. Other times I may want you to read an erotic story to me while I wank.
Loraine: That’s not a problem. You know I’m good at reading bedtime stories to my little cousins. I’m a good actress.
Joe: Your talents will come in handy, I assure you. When you read me a story, I want you to put some bloody effort into making it good. Pretend it’s a dance you’re getting just right. I want to see skill and artistry, Loraine.
Loraine: You’ll see it. Trust me.
Joe: When I tell you I’m ready to cum, I want you to stop reading and fuck me to orgasm. I want you to be really responsive to my body in those moments. I want to feel you pushing hard and fast with those strong hips.
Loraine: (smiling mischievously) You don’t know what hard and fast is.
Joe: Well after I find out, you’re going to read me a second story and repeat the process. I’ll want at least 2 orgasms from 2 different stories that I pick during the week.
Loraine: (giggling) I feel like I’m about to host my own late night radio show!
Joe: It’ll be more like a radio drama.
Loraine: This actually sounds really fun. I used to love doing voice over work.
Joe: It will be really really fun….FOR ME.
Loraine: I hope it is. You know, I really want this for you, Joe. You having fun with me…is more important to me than anything right now.
Joe: Well, you owe it to me. If I owe you my health, you owe me some joy. On my terms. That’s what a girlfriend’s for.
Loraine: I know that now. I really do.
Joe: Well, that’s not how you act, Loraine. You stopped acting like that after I moved in with you.
Loraine: It’s because I can’t do it anymore, no matter how hard I try. That’s why I hate your fucking friends. They make you happy. I can’t even make you feel creative or inspired or naughty or…
Joe: (interrupting) They don’t make me feel naughty.
Loraine: Yes they do. Just not in a sexual way.
Joe: Why do you say that?
Loraine: Because I’m like your mum and their like the kids you get in trouble with. I hate that. It’s so different to everything I thought things would be. I wanted to be like ….your sexy fantasy mother. But instead I’m like your real mum. It’s embarrassing.
Joe: You’re not like mum, Loraine. She wasn’t beautiful. I was the pretty boy, remember. She was the one who had feelings for me.
Loraine: (smiling sadly) I wish she was still alive and you could hide me from her. I wish you were 14 and hot and I could be the age I am now. I wish I could have an affair with you and break the law and risk everything, maybe go to prison. I wish I could scar you for life and still be your dirty little secret.
Joe: I don’t need any secrets. Not anymore.
Loraine: I just wish I wasn’t me sometimes. I’d rather be a bikini poster on your bedroom wall or some wet dream; something more exciting than old hags or fat bitches or… pointless conversations.
Joe: (loudly) They’re not fucking pointless! I get ideas from those conversations! My friendships make me happy in ways you can’t! You don’t do depth or imagination. That’s not what you bring to the table.
Loraine: (looking up in disappointment) I just wish I did. I wish Claire was your girlfriend and you were secretly falling for me.
Joe: No, it’s better things are the way they are.
Loraine: I’d love it if you were obsessing over me and hurting her, the way she hurts me. It would make me so happy if you’d betray her and make her feel like she couldn’t believe in anything. I wish you’d fucking destroy her, Joe.
Joe: Loraine, that’s not…
Loraine: (interrupting) I wish she’d slit her fat fucking wrists. I’d want to be there when she got scared. I’d want to be the one she needed to call 999. I’d laugh. I’d watch her fucking die and spit on her.
Joe: When you talk about Claire like that, it makes it hard for me to like you.
Loraine: Well, that’s too bad, cuz if I had my way, it’d make you hard.
Joe: Well, you’re the reason I’m not hard. It’s you and your awful fucking behaviour.
Loraine: I wish I was like this dangerous drug… or piece of forbidden candy. And I wish you would just fucking take me, before I even knew what was happening. I wish you wanted me so bad, it hurt.
Joe: (irritated) Then you actually have to try to be a decent lover! You can’t be half-hearted about getting me off anymore. You have to be sexy and seductive! It’s not just me!
Loraine: I know that..
Joe: I’m sick of you assuming that because you’re a woman, I’m the one who needs to do all the work. You need to give ME your best for a change. And stop complaining about me all the time.
Loraine: I’ll give you more than my best, Joe.
Joe: How do I know I can trust you about that?
Loraine: Because it’s important to me. I feel like I need to prove myself to you.
Joe: Well, you do. Things need to change around here.
Loraine: I need to be better at something than Claire. Even if it’s just making you cum.
Joe: Then here’s what you need to do. When you roleplay with me, always stay in character. Even when I’m cumming.
Loraine: I’ll stay in character.
Joe: Don’t ever stop being that character, Loraine. Even if it’s a character with a helium voice. We’ll get you some balloons so you can swallow the air that makes your voice go high.
Loraine: I’ll swallow anything you give me, Joe.
Joe: Good. Because if you’re doing a character with a helium voice, I want to hear that fucking voice when I’m cumming.
Loraine: You will.
Joe: I want to hear it right at the moment the semen starts popping in your fanny.
Loraine: (smiling) You are such a weirdo.
Joe: That’s who you chose to love.
Loraine: I know.
Joe: Anyway, that’s what I want every Friday night if I lose one pound.
Loraine: What if you lose more than one pound?
Joe: That’s where Saturday night comes in.
Loraine: Why am I frightened?
Joe: On Saturday night, if I lose more than one pound, I want you to give me a three pronged stealth attack massage.
Loraine: What’s a three pronged stealth attack massage?
Joe: It’s Japanese. It would suit us perfectly because you’re taller than me.
Loraine: Just tell me what it is.
Joe: It’s a nude massage where you massage with both hands and your tongue but the person you’re massaging can’t see you.
Loraine: I hope this isn’t what I think it is.
Joe: It’s a massage based on the idea that erotic power stems from creating sensations that the body can’t anticipate using visual cues. For the first prong, we both get naked. I bend down in front of you in a doggy position, facing away from you. You get behind me. You spit three times on both of your hands and do a little Bhuddist prayer about forgiveness. Then you use your right hand to alternately toss off my cock and rub your palms against my balls. With your left hand, you alternatively pinch my nipples and rub your palms all over my chest in a rapid motion. Then you do a little prayer about atonement that starts the second prong.
Loraine: This sounds really complicated.
Joe: It’s something you can have fun with once you really get into it. The fun will help you ignore what you’ll be doing with your mouth.
Loraine: Don’t tell me..
Joe: (interrupting) The third prong of the massage involves you performing anilingus on me while you use your hands to do the other things.
Loraine: (shouting) NO FUCKING WAY!
Joe: Loraine, it’s not as bad as you think. The ass, when it’s clean, is much more hygenic than the human mouth.
Loraine: (loudly) You can fucking forget that! I am NOT EATING OUT YOUR ASS!
Joe: Can’t you just concentrate on other sensations the way you do when we have sex?
Loraine: No way! Ass eating is fucking disgusting!
Joe: Is it really that much of me to ask of you?
Loraine: It fucking is! I wouldn’t even do that to Brad Pitt. I do not clean out bumholes with my tongue.
Joe: (loudly) Let’s list the things I’m doing for you!
- I’m trying to lose weight!
- I don’t smoke in the house!
- I’m agreeing to not have my friends over the house on Tuesdays and Thursdays!
- I’m agreeing to cook for you before you get home from work!
- I’m agreeing to spend my weekends with you!
- I’m agreeing not to make you have to listen to music I love that you hate!
- I’m agreeing to give you the sex you want on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays!
- I’m willing to accept the language you use in the ways you express yourself to me AND
- I’m agreeing to stay with you despite the fact that I won’t be having children with you!
Loraine: I can understand what you’re saying but..
Joe: (shouting angrily) NOW LET’S FUCKING LIST WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO FOR ME!
Loraine: Calm down!
Joe: (shouting and adopting a physically threatening pose) DON’T YOU TELL ME TO FUCKING CALM DOWN! I SAID LET’S LIST ALL THE FUCKING THINGS YOU’VE AGREED TO DO FOR ME!
Loraine: I get your point!
Joe: (loudly with anger)
- You’ve agreed to come to a fucking poetry reading!
- You’ve agreed to watch some fucking art films!
- You’ve agreed to wear clothes that feel slightly cold!
- You’ve agreed to get a tattoo that will help you look nice!
- You’ve agreed to help me lose weight by giving me some sex I want EVEN THOUGH you’re getting WAY MORE OF THE SEX you want!
That’s FIVE AGAINST FUCKING NINE, Loraine!
Loraine: I know it’s five against nine. I just don’t see why you want me to do something that disgusts me so much.
Joe: (shouting) YOU SAID LOVE BETWEEN US WAS NOT ENOUGH! YOU SAID I NEEDED TO LIKE YOU!
Loraine: I know but why do you need me to perform anilingus on you in order to like me?
Joe: (shouting loudly and menacingly). YOU FUCKING OWE ME THIS!! YOU OWE ME THIS FOR EVERYTHING YOU’VE PUT ME THROUGH!! YOU OWE ME THIS FOR EVERY FUCKING DAY YOU HURT ME!! YOU OWE ME THIS BECAUSE I FUCKING LOVE YOU!!
Loraine: Joe I’ve never seen like this before. You’re scaring me!
Joe picks up a glass and smashes it on the ground next to Loraine’s feet. Loraine screams.
Joe: (screaming menacingly and coming closer to Loraine’s face) YOU WANT ME TO FUCKING RIP YOU APART?? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? IS THIS WHAT TURNS YOU ON!
Loraine: (scared) Joe please stop!
Joe: (screaming in a rage) YOU’RE GONNA GET WHAT YOU WANT, YOU SELFISH FUCKING BITCH!!
Joe grabs Loraine by her shoulders. Loraine struggles to get away in a panic. Loraine can see hatred in his eyes, staring back at her.
Loraine: (screaming) GET OFF ME!! GET THE FUCK OFF ME!!
Joe: (screaming) NO!!
Joe slams Loraine hard against a wall. Loraine hits her head and is nearly knocked unconscious. She’s in pain, terrified, and experiencing a huge adrenaline rush.
Loraine: (frightened) What are you doing? Why are you doing this to me?
Joe suddenly stops his aggression and smiles at Loraine.
Joe: (in normal tone of voice) You should be careful what you ask for Loraine. You might get it.
Loraine: (shouting) I DIDN’T ASK FOR YOU TO DO THAT!!
Joe: (loudly) Oh yes you did! You said acting like an animal trying to kill you gets you hot!
Loraine: (loudly) I meant I wanted sex to feel that way! I didn’t want you to fucking act like that right here!
Joe: Get over here.
Loraine: Why should I trust you?
Joe: I want to show you something.
Loraine: Joe, I’m freaked out. I think I’m bleeding.
Joe: (calmly) There’s no reason to be scared. You know I love you. Now come here, I want to show you something.
Loraine: You’re not going to hurt me, are you?
Joe: (calmly) No, Loraine. I love you. You’re my partner. The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt you.
Loraine: Please don’t hurt me. Please.
Joe: I won’t hurt you. You know you can trust me.
Loraine cautiously steps towards Joe. Joe sticks his hand down her knickers and feels her lubrication with his fingers. He then sticks his fingers in Loraine’s face.
Joe: There’s wetness there Loraine.
Loraine: I know.
Joe: You don’t like it when I’m nice to you.
Loraine: My body responds to you when you’re aggressive.
Joe: I knew it!
Loraine: (loudly) That doesn’t mean I wanted you to be aggressive here! I can’t get off if I’m fucking terrified! It doesn’t matter how wet I am! That’s not what I want!
Joe: Then what do you want?
Loraine: I want you to be aggressive in bed when I tell you to be aggressive! I just want you to do what I fucking tell you to do, Joe. I don’t want to feel scared in my own house!
Joe: I see.
Loraine: Just because I like aggression, that doesn’t mean I want to feel like I’m on my way to a battered women’s shelter! Pretending is one thing but this wasn’t pretending! This was fucking real! You fucking hurt me!
Joe: I take your point. I don’t know why I just did that.
Loraine: I know why you did it.
Loraine: I made you really fucking angry.
Loraine: (loudly) But you can’t behave like that just because I make you angry! I’ll punch you in the fucking throat if you ever come near me like that again!
Joe: (confused) I don’t know what just happened to me. I’ve never done that before…to anyone. I’ve never been that angry with anyone before.
Loraine: I made you that angry?
Joe: Yes, you did.
Loraine: I know you won’t believe me when I say this…but that actually makes me feel good.
Loraine: It’s a relief.
Loraine: Because it means it’s not just me that gets really angry.
Joe: It isn’t.
Loraine: Do you realise how hard I have to push you to get you to show me any of your anger?
Joe: I try to hide my anger from you when I can.
Loraine: Yes, but I don’t want you to, Joe! I don’t crumble when you get angry with me. I didn’t crumble last night. You don’t have to either shove down your anger or act like a fucking wife beater. There’s a middle ground.
Joe: I know but finding that middle ground is hard. I know it’s not for most people but its really hard for me. It’s hard for me to say what I want without hurting people.
Loraine: Joe, I can handle the truth about what you want! Just remember to be kind afterwards.
Joe: (smiling) Kindness? YOU…want kindness? LORAINE KLEIN wants kindness?
Loraine: (smiling) Everyone needs a bit of kindness. Even me. I know I never ask for kindness because you make me so fucking angry all the time. But if you can be honest with me and not hold shit in, I might not get so angry. You know, when I’m not angry, I actually enjoy being nice to you.
Joe: You are nice to me sometimes. More than you think.
Loraine: Sometimes I want to be nice to you. It doesn’t matter whether you always deserve it. Sometimes, I enjoy watching you be happy.
Joe: I never expected that to come out of your mouth.
Loraine: You know, I’m not as different to you as you think I am.
Joe: What do you mean?
Loraine: Sometimes, I love giving you things you don’t deserve. Sometimes I enjoy getting angry with you just so that I can enjoy forgiving you.
Joe: You can hurt me all you want as long as I know you’ll forgive me in the end. As long as you love me, I can take anything you throw at me. I’ve decided I’ll never complain about you hurting my feelings ever again. I was being petty earlier when I said you needed to apologise to me.
Loraine: Thank you Joe. That makes me feel good.
Joe: I’m happy I can make you feel good. I was beginning to doubt I could do that anymore.
Loraine: (smiling) Today, you not only made me feel good. You just fucking made me wet! We weren’t even fucking and you made me wet! It was scary but you did it!
Joe: I honestly don’t know what happened to me. I’ve never ever done anything like that before. I’m so sorry. Please trust me when I tell you I’ll never ever do that again. I would never ever want to frighten or hurt you. I need you. You mean more to me than anyone.
Loraine: I know all of that. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is you know you can get me wet before you slim down. I can complain about your body and you don’t have to feel hurt about it.
Joe: I scared you and smashed your head against a wall, Loraine. There’s blood on your neck. That’s not good.
Loraine: I know it’s not good. But if you could release that aggression when I tell you to, it wouldn’t be scary. It would be fucking hot!
Joe: Aren’t you upset at me?
Loraine: I was for a minute. But now I’m just relieved. You know you can turn me on and I can still be honest with you. That’s all that matters. I need you to stand up to me sometimes. I hate knowing I can walk all over you.
Joe: Ok…so does this mean you want me to act like a maniac tonight when we have sex?
Loraine: I’d honestly love that, Joe. I’d love it if you could do that for me. Except tonight, don’t throw my head against a wall. That could cause brain damage. I’ll figure out something else for you to do, though. Something sexy. Maybe you can punch my stomach or drop kick me. I’ll have to think about it.
Joe: We’ll need safewords. I’ll need to know if I’m going too far.
Loraine: (rolls eyes) We’ll get you some fucking safewords.
Joe: This is weird.
Loraine: What is?
Joe: I feel like I’m learning about all these different sides to you that I never knew about.
Loraine: Don’t you think I feel that way too?
Joe: It’s just that when you’re with someone for as long as we’ve been together, you think you know them. You think you can always guess what the person wants or is going to do.
Loraine: You never really know anyone. You’re always getting to know them, every day.
Joe: Sometimes I feel like I know me less than I know you.
Loraine: I feel the same way. Funny that.
Joe: I know myself enough to know I love you. That’s all I really know.
Loraine: It never goes away no matter how much you sometimes want to kill me.
Joe: We don’t really know why we love each other, do we?
Loraine: Your guess is as good as mine.
Joe: So where do we go from here?
Loraine: First, you’re going to clean up all that fucking glass on the floor.
Joe: Yeah, that would be a good idea.
Loraine: Second, I’m going upstairs to watch some telly. You can do what you want. Come up later if you want to. Write poems on your computer if you want to. Listen to music if you want to. Just be quiet on your way in if I’m alseep.
Joe: Thank you Loraine.
Loraine: Thirdly, you’re going to try your hardest to lose less than 2 pounds this week.
Joe: Why less than two pounds?
Loraine: Because I don’t want to spend this Saturday evening with my tongue darting in and out of your asshole.
Joe: (excitedly) You mean you’re going to…
Loraine: (interrupting) YOU ARE GOING TO SIT IN SOAPY WATER FOR AT LEAST 40 MINUTES BEFORE I EVEN COME NEAR YOU!
Joe: (smiling) You are an amazing fucking girlfriend!
Loraine: I am an amazing fucking girlfriend.
Joe: I’ll do whatever I can to make this as painless for you as possible.
Loraine: Just make sure you’re clean. Other than that, don’t worry about me.
Joe: As much as I’m looking forward to this, I don’t know if I can go through with it now.
Loraine: Why are you fucking with my head again?
Joe: I just realised something.
Joe: I can’t enjoy it if I know you’re disgusted.
Loraine: But I’m a good actress.
Joe: I know you’re a good actress but…
Loraine: (interrupting) Joe, you have to put up with my honesty every day. Let me act for you for one night.
Joe: Why do you want to act for me?
Loraine: I never get to perform for you. I’m always performing for other people and being honest with you. I love performing. I want to be able to share that side of myself with you.
Joe: You like performing because you like impressing people.
Loraine: Totally. You know I wanted to be a magician when I was a kid.
Joe: I’d love it if you could find some way to work magic into our sex life. That would make me so fucking hard.
Loraine: (smiling) Honey, you look like a fat pig. So when you get me wet, that is a fucking magic trick.
Joe: (laughing) Sex is magic, isn’t it? It’s like magic for grownups.
Loraine: You can’t impress someone or delight them or turn them on if you never do any magic to them. Too much honesty ruins shit. People need to have fun. People need to act and perform for each other, once in a while. That’s why dancing is so beautiful. It’s not real.
Joe: It’s acting.
Loraine: Yes, it is.
Joe: (mischievously) And speaking of acting, tell me how you’re going to play your ass eating character?
Loraine: She’ll be a total slut. …..but not just any slut.
Joe: (smiling) Oh?
Loraine: She’ll be the one slut who knows how to do it right. The one slut who won’t rest until the job is fucking done proper.
Joe: (giggling) I think I’ve already type cast you.
Loraine: (smiling) I don’t mind being type cast as long as my performance teases you into all those naughty little feelings your body isn’t expecting. If I’m acting, that means my big tongue is acting all over you. And if I’m performing anilingus on you, my tongue will be acting like it’s actually excited to wiggle up your nasty big bum just to make you fucking cum hard all over the floor. I’m a dancer, Joe. I act by moving my body on stage for a living. All of my body is very limber, especially my tongue. Remember that.
Joe: (excited) I’ll remember.
Loraine: I’ll pretend I’m putting on a ballet for bedridden fat kids that can’t clap for me. If I can give them a hard on, that’s how I’ll know they want an encore.
Joe: And what’s the encore?
Loraine: (with seductive eyes) Fun and frolics for the whole family.
Joe: (surprised) Wow.
Joe: You’re really making me hard right now. And you’re doing it with words. I’ve never seen you use words like this. It feels almost like Janet.
Loraine: (smiling) Janet’s got nothing on me.
Joe: (giggling) I don’t know, Loraine. She may be fucked up and dangerous but she’s very good with words. She’s also very good with her tongue.
Loraine: I still think I have the edge on her.
Joe: Why is that?
Loraine: I’m better than her at making you feel things. Yesterday, you said I made you want to crawl into a hole and die. Today, I made you feel like you’d been raped. Then I made you violent. I made you throw me against a wall and hurt me. She could never do any of that. She could never make you feel the things I make you feel.
Joe: No, she couldn’t. You do something to me when we have sex that she never did.
Loraine: What’s that?
Joe: You make me feel like I’m stealing something. Sex with Janet just felt like fucking someone who instinctively knew how to to get me off, really really hard. It was like wanking with another person’s body instead of my hand. Except the orgasms were way more intense. A few times I passed out.
Loraine: I told you she was trying to kill you!
Joe: Well, that’s not the point. The point is you give me something totally different to her. When I fuck you, it feels like I’m robbing a bank. I love the fact that it’s me fucking you and not some handsome bloke with rock hard abs. I feel like I’m stealing you from all those beautiful men and rubbing their fucking faces in it. That’s far more exciting than anything Janet ever did for me.
Loraine: I like the idea of you breaking into me and stealing something.
Joe: It’s like a battle I’m always on the verge of winning. I can’t ever leave you no matter how much you hurt me. I can’t let myself lose. I have to win. You make me want to fucking conquer and defeat you. No woman has ever done that.
Loraine: You know you can’t live without the things I make you feel.
Joe: It’s true. I can’t.
Loraine: That’s one of the reasons why I still have sex with you even though your body disgusts me. I love the days we fuck and you’re angry with me. I know you try to hide it and be gentle but you’re a horrible actor. I can always tell when there’s rage in you. When I can really feel it, that’s when your body doesn’t bother me. That’s when I cum.
Joe: So when I’m angry with you, you can ignore the fact that I look like an ugly fat pig?
Loraine: When I feel you fucking hate me, the fact that you’re an ugly fat pig only makes it hotter.
Loraine: (giggling) Last night, when you were saying all those horrible things about me, I had to work so hard to stay angry. I had to cry to keep myself focussed on being angry instead of..
Joe: (interrupting) You were horny last night??
Loraine: I came three times after you left. When I heard you crying I came a fourth time.
Joe: (surprised) You’re joking!
Joe: So my inner turmoil and pain gets you off. Not just my anger.
Loraine: That’s who you chose to love.
Joe: But if that’s what gets you off, why is it so important to you that I lose weight?
Loraine: I don’t feel good getting turned on this way. I know what its like to cum because you like me and I want that again. I don’t want what we have now. I need to know you’ll put in some effort to look nice for me, Joe. I can’t feel liked if I don’t see that effort coming from you. I can’t feel beautiful if you don’t like me. When you don’t like me, I feel ugly. You know I can’t handle that.
Joe: But why do you need me to like you in order to feel like you’re not ugly?
Loraine: (speaking hesitantly) ….When I was a kid…. my mother used to tell me I was a beautiful little girl that was fooling everyone. She said none of my friends actually liked me. She said they just wanted to be my friend so they could be popular. She said some of them were only friends of mine because they were scared of me. When I got expelled from school for the first time, I started to believe her. When my cokehead uncle finally told me my parents wanted me to move in with him, I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. That’s why I gained all that weight when I was 14. I wasn’t brave enough to kill myself so becoming ugly was the next best thing. ….But being ugly felt worse than being dead. Being ugly is what gave me the courage to die. That’s why I was hospitalised.
Joe: Why haven’t you told me this before?
Loraine: I didn’t want you to know my mum is right about me.
Joe: (loudly) Your mum isn’t right about you!
Loraine: I’m not beautiful, Joe. I’m ugly.
Joe: How can you say that? You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen!
Loraine: Only on the outside. Only while I’m young and exercise.
Joe: That’s rubbish, Loraine.
Loraine: No, I’m an ugly person. I can’t do anything about that. I can just distract myself by doing other things.
Joe: (loudly) You’re the furthest thing from an ugly person!
Loraine: I can distract myself by being healthy and looking beautiful. I can distract myself by helping people and working hard. But I’m horrible and you know it. You live with it.
Joe: You’re not horrible at all. I couldn’t be with you if you were horrible. Not after all the things that happened to me.
Loraine: I fell for you because you were the first man I ever met who actually liked me. I know we don’t have anything in common and I’m not someone you would be friends with.
Joe: You have no idea how much I’d love to be your friend, Loraine. There’s nothing I want more but I don’t know how to be your friend. I don’t know how to get you to let me in.
Loraine: I don’t know either. I’m not a good friend to anyone, really. I’ll never make a good mother. I can only dance and help people and make people feel good when they look at me. That’s it. That’s all I can do. I’ll never be able to lead a decent life. Most people who get to know me wind up hating me.
Joe: That’s so NOT true, Loraine! You have no idea how loved you are by so many different people.
Loraine: They don’t really know me. My friends don’t really know me.
Joe: That’s because you don’t let them know you. You keep them at a distance.
Loraine: They’d hate me if they knew me.
Joe: No, they wouldn’t. They’re similar to you.
Loraine: They’re not as angry.
Joe: Are you angry with them?
Loraine: I don’t even know. There’s so much anger in me that I don’t understand. It comes out if I’m really close to someone. That’s why I’m only close to you. I have absolutely no clue why I have all this hate in me. Most of the time I’m not angry, I feel like I’m dead inside. Hardly anything or anyone makes me feel good anymore. It feels like I can’t love other people, Joe. I can’t even love you if I’m honest.
Joe: (shocked) What?
Loraine: I said it, didn’t I? I guess I should say it again: I don’t love you, Joe. I’m sorry but I can’t love you.
Joe: I don’t understand. You tell me you love me nearly every day.
Loraine: I say I love you but I don’t, really. I want to but I don’t know how. Saying it is the closest I can get to actually doing it. I tell myself that if I say I love you enough times it will eventually happen but it never does. It’s like a deaf person trying to understand music.
Joe: So why are you in a relationship, then? Why are you in a relationship with a guy you don’t love?
Loraine: Because you made me feel like I could be beautiful inside. No man ever liked me after we started seeing each other for a few months. You did. You liked me even after you saw how ugly I am.
Joe: Loraine, I liked you because you needed me to like you. It doesn’t matter what you’re like on the inside. I don’t do conditional love. When I love you, its not something you have to earn. It’s a gift.
Loraine: Well, it’s a gift I’m not getting anymore. You’ve had to put up with the real me for too long. You only love me now because you feel sorry for me. You can’t make yourself like me anymore.
Joe: Loraine, right now, I like you a lot. I like you more than I’ve ever liked you.
Joe: So many reasons. It’s hard to put it all into words…
Loraine: It doesn’t matter. I need to hear it.
Joe: I like you because…you make me feel all those things I’m not supposed to feel. You actually do make me feel naughty, Loraine. You make me feel like I’m getting away with something. You’re not like my friends. You’re the most honest and passionate person I’ve ever known. You’re honest and passionate even when it hurts me. Being with you feels electric. Being hurt by you feels electric. And when you hurt me, you don’t stop, no matter how much pain I’m in. You always keep going.
Loraine: I know I do. I can’t stop.
Joe: It’s fucking amazing.
Loraine: You like that about me?
Joe: You’re like James Bond. You could easily torture the bad guys in order to save London from being blown up by a hidden bomb. Other agents would stop when the suspects started crying. But not you. You’d go all the way and burn their bodies to ashes. If any of them gave you any jip, you’d castrate their friends. You’d suffocate their mums. You’d even torture their children and enjoy it. You’d do whatever needed to be done so that everyone could be safe.
Loraine: I know it’s terrible, but I would enjoy that.
Joe: I know you would. And I know it shouldn’t make me feel this way, but I’m just in awe of you.
Joe: I’m gobsmacked when I think about who you are. I can’t believe how strong and beautiful you are. You impress me so fucking much, Loraine. You achieve everything you want in your life. You help so many people. You never get tired or bored with anything you’re doing. You work so hard at absolutely everything. You’re like a drill instructor with your students but they listen to you because you’re so bloody good. And you’re not just a harsh task-master. You’re also really kind and supportive when they need your help. I can’t count how many times you’ve had a kid over the house crying in your arms because of something that’s going on with their parents. You have so much more patience with kids than I do. I can’t believe you think you’d be a bad mother when I see how you are with kids. You’re so protective and loyal. You always go the extra mile to make sure everyone you care about is ok. You tear other people to shreds when you think they’re even taking the piss out of me!
Loraine: (giggling) Only I’m allowed to take the piss out of you.
Joe: I know. That’s why being with you is like…. having a guardian angel. That’s why whenever I think about how cruel you can be, I can never be angry for very long. You hurt me so badly and I know a lot of it is abuse. But at the end of the day, everything about you just makes me go gooey inside. That’s why I sit there and take it when you say horrible things to me. That’s why I never get fed up and leave. I’ll always do anything to be back in your arms again. You should know that about me by now…I’m in love with you. You’re my dream woman, Loraine. You’re my dream woman and I’m so happy you’re in my life. You’re like a super-hero to me.
Loraine: (tearing up) Oh, Joe.
Joe: (tearing up) I’m so fucking proud of you. I know sometimes it’s all for the wrong reasons and I know I’m seriously fucked up in the head, but I’ve never met anyone who makes me feel like you do. I want you for all the reasons that make people love you. And I want you for all the reasons that would make them hate you if they ever lived with you. But I don’t care what they think, either way. To me, you’re wonderful and helpful and sassy and so strong it makes me want to cry. You’re like a hard and bright diamond. You’re so beautiful and so unique and you never break, no matter what. That’s like being perfect, Loraine. To me, you’re just fucking perfect.
Loraine: (tears streaming down face) I’ve never been perfect to anyone.
Joe: (crying) You’re perfect just the way you are.
Loraine: (crying) I never knew any of this. I never knew you felt this way.
Joe: (crying) I didn’t know it until today. I didn’t know it until you said we should break up. When you said we should break up, everything I was feeling flipped on it’s head. Going back to Janet suddenly seemed like a horrible punishment. Losing you seemed like it would be the biggest mistake of my life.
Loraine: (crying) You’ve just made me feel beautiful for the first time in over a year.
Joe: I’m glad. I want someone I like as much as you to feel beautiful.
Loraine: (wiping away tears) Joe…
Loraine: I believe you now. I believe you when you say you like me.
Joe: (smiling and wiping way tears) If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t have started loving you. If I didn’t love you, I would have broken up with you by now. You’ve given me a million reasons to break up with you.
Loraine: I know. Compared to you, I’m not a very good person. But it’s ok because you still love me. No one’s ever loved me like that.
Joe: I know they haven’t. They weren’t as strong as me.
Loraine: At least I’m honest about myself though. I would never lie to anyone and say that being in a relationship with me is easy. One time I made a guy so angry, he punched a hole in his car window and split his hand open. Another time, a guy told me I was the reason he got really bad fucking plastic surgery. I’ve made so many blokes cry in front of me, Joe. Girls too. I’ve never tried to hurt anyone though. I’ve never wanted to hurt anyone. These things just happen to me, no matter what I do.
Joe: (smiling) They don’t just happen to you, Loraine. When you’re upset about something, you can be a cruel fucking bitch.
Loraine: (giggling) You’re probably right.
Joe: But you’re a cruel bitch that’s helped me see something very important about myself.
Loraine: What’s that?
Joe: I am not a civilised man.
Loraine: I wouldn’t be with you if you were.
Joe: I know that now. I know why you’re with me.
Loraine: I’m glad. You knowing that might make our relationship easier.
Joe: I want it to be easier. I want us to be happy with each other.
Loraine: I want that too. I’m sorry I haven’t been appreciating you so much lately.
Joe: I understand. I’m sorry for being so lazy with my eating.
Loraine: And let me just get this out of the way: I’m really really really really fucking sorry about that blog post. I know it was only up for 15 minutes but it was still fucking vicious. I’m sorry I wrote it. I’m sorry I let other people see it. I should have held back. It was mean to you. You kissed Chloe because I was mean to you and I feel like such a horrible fucking cunt. I don’t want to ever do anything like that again. I want to be the best girlfriend for you that I can be.
Joe: I’m not upset about that blog anymore. I know why you wrote it. I know how much I hurt you when I cheated on you. I won’t ever hurt you like that again.
Loraine: (sniffing) There’s nothing that hurts me more than you getting something from someone else you could have gotten from me. There’s not much I can give you, Joe.
Joe: I understand that and it’s not a problem. What you do give me is more than enough. Just be you and I’ll be fine.
Loraine: You know, if you ever decided you wanted to be with someone else, I’d want you to just be truthful with me about it. If I could see it wasn’t bullshit and you were really in love with another woman, I’d let you go. I’d be in bed for weeks but I’d still let you go. I wouldn’t ever want to stop you from being with someone who loves you. I’d want to kill the fucking bitch but I’d hold back for you. I’d hold back so you could have her. Sometimes I feel like that’s the greatest gift I could give you.
Joe: But that’s not the gift I want from you. The only gift I want from you is you.
Loraine: (smiling) I’m so lucky to have such a good bloke.
Joe: I‘m not a good bloke. I’m just a bloke who loves you.
Loraine: I appreciate that. I’d like to love you someday. I’d like to learn how to do that.
Joe: Are you sure you don’t love me, already?
Loraine: I’m sure and it makes me feel fucking horrible.
Joe: It really shouldn’t. You can only do what you can do.
Loraine: You love me, Joe. Me not loving you isn’t fair.
Joe: It’s fine, Loraine. I have to accept and cherish what I have from you. Life is largely about learning to be happy, appreciating the things you are lucky enough to experience. You can’t always get everything you want. But you can still be happy anyway. That’s how you become wise.
Loraine: I don’t fucking care. It feels like you’re hurting yourself. I hate it when you do that.
Joe: Why do you think I’m hurting myself?
Loraine: Because I can’t give you the one thing you want from a woman.
Joe: No one can give anyone everything they want. That’s a fantasy.
Loraine: Maybe. But I feel like I should be your friend. I feel like I should be able to talk to you for hours. I feel like by not loving you, I’m letting you down.
Joe: Loraine, last night you said all that mattered was that you fuck me and were loyal to me. You said that was what worked for men and women.
Loraine: That’s true but you’re not like a man. You’re like a woman.
Joe: What does that mean?
Loraine: You want to be with someone who loves you.
Joe: Loraine, I’m with my dream woman. Very few men can say that.
Loraine: It doesn’t matter. You deserve better than your dream woman.
Joe: True love isn’t about what you deserve. It’s about loving the person you chose to spend your life with. It’s about learning to grow the compassion and patience it takes to do that. It’s about accepting who you love without needing them to change. It’s about accepting who you love even if someone else comes along that’s more attractive to you or gives you more of what you want from a partner. It’s about loving no matter what, loving without conditions, loving with all your heart even if it turns out that you love your partner more than they can love you.
Loraine: I know that all of that, Joe. Love isn’t fucking fair, is it?
Loraine: You know, that makes me sad.
Joe: You don’t have to feel sad about it. Love makes the world go round.
Loraine: …..I feel sad for you.
Loraine: You’re choosing to love someone who doesn’t love you back.
Joe: That’s not sad. That’s the purest kind of love.
Loraine: You’re choosing me over another woman who still has feelings for you.
Joe: I know that.
Loraine: You’re rejecting her. You’re never going to talk to her again.
Joe: That’s right.
Loraine: (confused) I don’t know what to think right now. I feel like I’m going crazy.
Loriane: Things turned out the way I wanted them to. You made the choice I hoped you would make. I fucking hate Janet. She’s a psycho bitch.
Joe: Then you should be happy.
Loraine: I know but I’m not.
Joe: How do you feel?
Loraine: Very sad.
Loraine: I don’t know what’s happening to me.
Joe: What’s happening to you?
Loraine: I feel very very sad.
Joe: But why?
Loraine: It’s stupid.
Joe: Your feelings are your feelings. Don’t ever be ashamed of them, Loraine. Just tell me why you’re sad.
Loraine: I can’t say it. You’ll think I’ve lost the plot.
Joe: No, I won’t. You can tell me anything.
Loraine: (quietly) I’m sad for her.
Loraine: (tearing up) I feel so sad for her.
Joe: Why are you sad for Janet?
Loraine: (crying hysterically) ..Because she loves you so fucking much!… I can feel it in her words…It’s not normal …It’s like how my mum loved my dad…
Joe: I know she loves me.
Loraine turns her back to Joe, her head in her hands.
Loraine: (sobbing) I hate her… I fucking hate her but I can’t stand the idea of making her sad…I hate hurting her and I don’t know why…I wish she would hurt me instead… I feel like I’m losing my mind…
Joe: You’re not losing your mind. You just have empathy for her. I knew you had empathy for her.
Loraine: (crying) She loves you so hard…and you’re throwing her away to be with a woman who can’t love anyone…That’s so sad it’s fucking cruel, Joe..
Joe: But that’s life. People get rejected for all sorts of reasons. It builds character.
Loraine: (crying loudly)…I don’t want to build her character!…I don’t want to be this person anymore!…I don’t want to take you away from her…
Joe: You don’t mean that, Loraine. Come and have a glass of water.
Loraine: (crying painfully) I want to tell her how sorry I am…for everything…I want to tell her I’m so so sorry…
Joe: But you haven’t done anything to her!
Loraine: (sobbing loudly) …I feel like I’ve taken my dad away from my mum…It’s like being a kid again…I feel so horrible…I feel worthless…I feel like I’m not good enough to breathe…
Joe: You’re not worthless and that’s not what’s going on. I’m doing what’s best for Janet.
Loraine: (crying) No you’re not…She needs you and you’re fucking crushing her…You’re crushing the one woman who loves you…
Joe: I’m actually doing her a favour. I’m giving her the chance to be with someone who won’t crush her. I’m giving her the opportunity to get over me once and for all. When that happens, she’ll be able to be in a healthy relationship with a nice, decent bloke whose normal. But that’s not me. I’m horrible for her and that’s why you’re crying. She’s suffering but that’s only because she hasn’t moved on from me yet. I’m making the right choice, Loraine. I’m giving Janet a chance to find love. Remember, even the best choices can be difficult. But don’t be sad for me and Janet when I’m not sad. I’m actually very happy right now.
Loraine turns around and faces Joe, wiping the tears from her face.
Joe: Don’t forget how happy I am that I can still be with you. Think about who you are, Loraine. You’re the woman I’ve chosen to love. Not Janet. It’s you. You’re the one in this house with me. You’re the woman in my life, in good times and in bad. You can do anything you want to me and still be that woman. You’re the woman I love, the woman whose there for me every day. I fight and cry and scream with you because you’re that woman.
Loraine: I know I am.
Joe: Doesn’t that make you happy?
Loraine: I don’t deserve to be happy. I feel like I shouldn’t have been born.
Joe: None of us deserve to be alive. And we’re still here. It’s like the universe is loving us all. It’s the ultimate example of unconditional love. We all exist, despite all the things that could have happened in the universe to prevent us from ever evolving and being born. Isn’t that beautiful?
Loraine: Maybe…I don’t know.
Joe: Doesn’t that make you feel extraordinarily lucky? Doesn’t it make you feel happy to be alive?
Loraine: I don’t know.
Joe: Loraine, think about what I just said.
Loraine: I am.
Joe: You still look sad.
Loraine: I am sad.
Joe: Well, I can’t tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel. I can’t make you happy if you choose to be unhappy. All I can tell you is that there’s nothing that makes me happier than knowing that whenever I am sad, you’ll be there with me. You make my life so beautiful, no matter what’s happening in it, no matter what I’m facing. That’s how I cope with all my struggles. That’s how I cope with being sad. That’s even how I cope with you acting like such a bitch.
Loraine: That makes sense.
Joe: Of course it does. It’s love.
Loraine: It’s not for me.
Joe: And that’s ok. Everyone interprets love differently.
Loraine: It’s not ok. It’s fucking horrible.
Joe: It’s better than being alone.
Loraine: I don’t know what to think anymore.
Joe: It’s obviously better than being alone, Loraine. Don’t be stupid.
Loraine: I don’t know…
Joe: I think you’re forgetting what it was like to be alone. Remember all the months you couldn’t get out of bed? Remember all the meds you were on? Remember all that pain?
Loraine: I remember.
Joe: Do you seriously want to go back to that?
Joe: Then be happy. Be happy with what you have. Cherish it and protect it. You’re lucky to have someone who loves you. Think about all the people in the world who don’t have that. Think about all the lonely people. Think about all the lonely people who envy you right now.
Loraine: I do think about them, Joe. I think about them every day.
Joe: Then be happy.
Loraine: (tearing up again) I’m trying.
Joe: Fucking try harder!
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