Saturda". July27. 1974
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Hot July night letter
(Continued from Page 4)
As if defenses are something you can just con-
sciously control. Or as if love couldn't grow
there and make them crumble.
And so you said we need walls, we need re-
constructien, but we can have a gate. Fine. But
I should have been sharp enough to know that
when I wasn't looking, you'd put the cap on
those high walls, and end up with a closed,
phallic tower. You wanted flux and togetherness,
not isolation and possessiveness, and I cut loose
to join you, but by then you weren't there; you
were with the woman I'd cut loose from (and
whom I hurt with this unknowing breach of con-
fidence), and all of a sudden your cherished flux
had moved to the side of stasis and possession.
I'VE TRIED accepting the burden of all the
real and imagined wrongs and misunderstand-
ings, knowing that a large share was mine to
begin with. There's the time I found you and
L--- on my bed and lost my temper. There have
been my innumerable, bald attempts to control
or stop behavior, and there's my parallel sense
that all along you've duped or lulled me into
allowing you to do the same, expecting me to
acquiesce and accept your way as THE way. You
may fear that I see you as chattel, and demand
your body as retribution, but I'm equally wrong
to think you've held it back only to bait me, or
that your failure to yield is a misguided attempt
to find a last repose for strength and integrity
when there's none left. But convoluted as the
instances get, do we want to leave things frozen
IS THERE NO WAY out of the contest of wills?
Are you a thief?
I never counted on you to fill all my needs.
Jealously has killed any three-way relationship
which might have filled them, though it isn't
clear where jealously ends and the real need for
a one-on-one relationship begins:
Beyond a three-way relationship, then, lie the
possibilities for one-on-one relationships, and each
is only as correct as any of us are perfect.
YOU COULD CONTINUE to regard me as
another man who needs a woman who needs
him, as you seem to regard yourself. L--- can't
be that woman for both of us; she's made it
clear that she doesn't want to be the apex of a
triangle. Would it be any less a gang-rape with
"Tears of Rage" playing in the background?
Haven't I already gone way too far already in
treating her as if she were a piece of meat to be
handed back and forth? If L-- is to be a real
person, then, in such a relationship she'd still
be between us. At one time or another we've all
walked away from that possibility. And, obvious-
ly, neither she nor I expects to put back together
the old relationship that she and I had.
There must be a reason, anyway, why I'm
writing a letter to you. I make no claims to per-
fection, but I still feel a great deal of love for
you, and I don't want to view you as a thief.
You had me by the balls, but that's okay, love,
I'm not running away from that, nor am I wear-
ing an armor that's skin-tight. You don't have
to either, and, if Lesley's jealous and wants to
hold onto you, you're going to have to face that
eventually; no one of us holds the blame for
being human. I'm not here as a fixture to make
your life pleasant any more than I'm here to
indulge your hypocrisies. You shouldn't go. May-
be for a while, if you're shy, same way you
may have been shy the first time you felt close
to a woman. But on the other hand, what could
I think if you only came back when I had money,
or another woman? Come, let your fears melt.
::r;.,. ..;r M:r :rMi-' M M ,;:r-yr Mr ;:1 "r
I don't expect you always to be here, or to be
my one-and-only. I don't want you out of guilt,
or indebtedness; I only want to share. If I yield
to you, it is not weakness, but a gentle courage
that will melt the fears that stand between
us. You say our friendship got so intense so
quickly because of your weakness, but I have
enough love to forgive you, not for weakness,
but for the fear that keeps you delicate and
brittle as sculpted glass. I can't let you take me
and this forgiveness for granted, which would
lead only to further hurt, but I'm not going to
admit that our fears are greater than love. When
those fears are gone - whatever it takes - we
can breathe as one.
THEN, FINALLY, I could part with both of
you. The summer is ending soon, and none of us
is growing younger. You're 19, in some ways
barely beginning. L---, two years older, may have
a bit more wisdom. At 24, I can't help but be
a little aware of both possibility and limitation,
and maybe that's for the better; it's about time
I put together a more integrated life. Perhaps
the answer lies in the realization that the secret
to end man's woes doesn't lie in getting behind
my parents' locked bedroom door. It lies in each
and all of us. I can still find what I want, and I
suppose whoever's involved will be sufficiently
careful when we have it, but it can never be
But to give up the quest for this secret is to
give up a dream older than the American
dream, older even than the dreams of Oedipus
and Israel. I returned here from New York to
find a way beyond the brutal, greedy commerce
that has blitzed your mind and hardened the
ramparts of my soul, whose ravages may yet
destroy what little peace and charm is left here
-transforming a golden land of old railroads
and open porches into a bullshit showcase, an
outpost of complex fear beyond whose horizons
stand the capitals of manipulation and force.
Perhaps the road straight ahead is, in reality,
the path of least resistance. Why then do we
speak? Where, then, is art, or change, or all
I can't believe it's time.
E SUPREME COURT'S rejection of Judge Roth's
school busing plan has sunk America twenty years
into the past.
The majority of the C o u r t misunderstands the
modern American city--a poor black core surrounded by
relatively well to do white suburbs. To argue that there's
no connection between the two, that their fate is in no
way related, is folly.
Yet Chief Justice Burger does exactly that. "Where
the schools of only one district have been affected, there
is no constitutional power in the courts to decree relief
balancing the racial composition of that district's schools
with those of the surrounding districts."
Such myopia compounds America's oldest and most
pressing problem - the exclusion of blacks from full
Busing could only have been difficult. But if backed
and prepared for by federal and local government task
forces such as those employed to fetch moon rocks, in
ten years it might just have pulled the country together.
Or at least made a start.
JUSTICE BURGER'S occlusion of the late Chief Justice
Warren's vision leaves all of us a bleaker future.
MICHIGAN REPERTORY '74
William Inge's summer romance
POWER CENTER-8:OM p.m.
BOX OFFICE OPENS AT NOON
t ofl6 Way,
After the above was written, I called L---, and,
telling her that listening to the song made me
think of her, asked her to listen to "Tears of
Rage." She said I was insane, that I should seek
help immediately, that my supposed attempts
to communicate were spoiling the tranquility of
her life (and that she should have called the
police when they did), and that she didn't want to
speak to me any more, and she hung up. I called
her father, according to her a rebel from a Jew-
ish background who came west to start a new,
intellectual- life. He was a professor, and, I
thought, a man after my own kind with a bit
more experience and, perhaps, wisdom; she
didn't get along with him, and I thought per-
haps I'd find empathy in calling. I found some,
but ultimately, of course, justice is flesh and
blood. He knew I was high when I called, and, in
fact, I was tripping, with 25 hits of windowpane
in my drawer, and I flew into a panic, thinking
I'd be busted in minutes. I called my parents in
New York - the only people left I felt I could
trust - and, feeling bathed in love, tied to a
lifeline, threw the acid out of my window and
said I'd return to New York with just the clothes
on my back to start a new life. I convinced them
to fly to Michigan, but when they got here. they
said they felt I should come back to New York
with them, so I returned and spent the week
there. I got back to Ann Arbor today, possibly
to pick up my stuff, possibly to begin a new life
here. I'd like to get into book production, there's
an opening at Edwards Brothers. L--- says mine
is the tempo of East Coast life, but if that's the
tempo of smog and ulcers and overcrowding,
I'll change, and maybe bring a little of the New
Yorker's blunt hontesy here; it wouldn't hurt.
I HAVE NO TIME for any more bullshit, but
Martin, if you're still listening, at least for now
I'm still here. If you ever really need a friend,
forget the seduction, forget it all. I'm ready, when
I have time, to learn what it means to you.
And with a bit more, just a bit more, of an
idea of who I am, I'm ready to go from here.
Mitchell is a University alumnus, class of
'71, and a 1970 Hopwood Award winner.
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