Monday, 25 February 2008

The Long, Dark Soap Opera of the Soul :: An Open Letter to a Friend

So, as you know, I started keeping this blog so that I could help force myself to pursue a healthy lifestyle and, somewhere along the way, find myself a lady. A lovely lady at that. One with silken skin and leathery skirts. Or vice versa. One who would make me giddy with adoration and fill my nether regions with hot blood and gristle. A lady to laugh with and love with, to have and to hold, to tickle and tether from this day forth, as long as we both shall live. Or at least for a couple of months, till the inevitable withering or betrayal.

Finding such a thing of course requires me opening my heart and telling my tales. It requires me sharing my intimates and spilling my beans. And my beans of course are smothered in the brightly coloured sauce of other people, other things. The occasional colleagues. The pets I’ve known and loved. The women I ogle on buses and the ones who give me hope in parks and online. And my family, I suppose. And my friends. Aaaaaaaaah yes, my friends.

I haven’t really got that many friends, and of those that I do have, only Keith is aware that this blog exists. (As far as I know.) Because I told him. Because I had to tell someone. But now, as of last night, I’m kind of regretting it. Because as of last night, I realise I want to talk about Keith. And not in a good way.

I’ve been struggling with this all day.

But if blogging is like therapy, which it definitely is, I can’t just lie here on this virtual couch staring out of the window or talking about America’s Next Top Model every week. There are things that need to be said. Even if they sting. So I may as well say them directly. And I know I may regret this. I may end up not even posting it. I don’t know. If you’re reading it, it’s probably safe to say I forced myself to click ‘publish’. I hope I don’t regret it…

Dear Keith

I’ve known you a very long time and you’re my oldest and dearest friend in all the world and I love you.


I got a call from Patricia yesterday, your girlfriend of more than a year, the woman you love and want to marry, the woman whose children you have pledged to support and threatened to adopt. She was crying. She said that you’d betrayed her, that you’d slept with someone else on Friday night. She didn’t know the name of the woman you slept with, but of course I do. You slept with Ange.

I’m amazed. I’m disappointed. I’m shocked and hurt and totally bewildered. I don’t know how you could do this. I don't know how you could do this to Patricia. I really can’t get my head around the fact that you’ve gone and jeopardised the very thing you’ve always yearned for, that which you’ve described a million times as the best thing that’s ever happened to you. And for what?

Ange is great, don’t get me wrong. She’s a fabulous woman. She’s warm, witty and wonderful. But she’s hardly the most emotionally mature mental patient on the ward, is she? She said to me sometime last month: ‘I’m not a very good girlfriend. I’m a good fuck, but I’m not a good girlfriend.’ I replied that I thought that’s all most men wanted anyway, was a good fuck. She said: ‘Not the ones I meet. Nine out of ten times they fall for me. Or they think they do. And they want to go out with me. Or they want to take me home to meet their parents. I’m sure the fact that I don’t want any of that is what makes them think that they do… But I really don’t get off on being in a relationship. I like my independence. And I like my friends. And I don’t want kids. So what’s the point? I just happen to have a very high sex drive.’

I’m guessing that’s what swung it for you. The sex. I understand it’s a very powerful force. I hope it was worth it.

I could be wrong of course, and I’m sure I shouldn’t be writing all this without having heard your side of the story. But for now you’re not sharing; and I have to.

In a way I hope I am wrong. I hope Ange is the one for you. I hope you’ve fallen in love with her and you both make each other blissfully happy. But even if that turns out to be the case, you could have handled it a lot better. You didn’t have to hurt Patricia like this. She spent most of last night weeping into my arms, trying not to wake the kids with her sobs, wondering what she’d done wrong, what she'd done to deserve the pain she was in.

I can’t believe it.

I know I shouldn’t because it’s ludicrous, but I can’t help feeling a little guilty for bringing the two of you together. I keep thinking, if only I hadn’t got sick, or if only Ange hadn’t got sick before me, or if only I hadn’t got back in touch with Ange in December, or if only you weren’t such a selfish fucking short-sighted arsehole.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about you and Patricia; it’s about you and Ben and Dina; it’s about you and Ange. And neither you nor Ange are answering your phones tonight. Hopefully you’re round at Patricia’s and you’re going some way to starting to sort this out, one way or the other.

I’m sorry I’m writing this to you in a public forum and not in a private email. But I kind of lied when I said it’s not about me. It is also about me. And this is where I write about me and my life. And this ugly mess you’ve made is now part of my life.

I’m sorry I’m coming across all self-righteous too. Maybe if I had the opportunity, I’d be a treacherous son-of-a-bitch too, and maybe you’d be up here, poncing around on the moral highground, all holier than thou and smug as a Samaritan. Maybe. But I doubt it. You're not as self-righteous as I am. And I'm not as selfish as you are.

Most of all, I’m sorry this has happened. And I hope it can be resolved without too much more pain. I just don’t want to see the people I love hurting each other. I know, I know, me, me, me…

I’m sorry.

Good luck.



In other news, someone pointed me at this dating site, OkCupid, which wipes the floor with loveandfriends. Just as soon as I have a moment, I’m going to beef up my profile and find that woman I’m after, the one with leathery skin and the jasmine-scented undergarments. And when I find her, I swear to God I'll treat her well and never ever be swayed by another woman's leather. Or jasmine. I swear.

Oh, crikey. It really is good. I just had someone message me!

I’m in!

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Iron Fist said...


Carolina said...

I'm so sorry his betrayel has touched you. Bravo for having the courage to address it; I didn't when my time came and have always regreted it. Good luck with the jasmine scent, underwear, and leather. In which ever combination you want them.

..schoolgirl.. said...

Wow. Touching. I love this blog, Bête. It's wonderful for all of us and I'm sure it is for you, also. However... a French error has been driving me crazy! It should be "Bête du Jour" not "Bête de Jour" if you're trying to go for the French title. This is because "jour" is masculine, so it is "du" even though bête is feminine. It's the same thing with "soupe du jour." soupe is feminine, but it's still du because of jour. Thanks, and continue your wonderful writing!!!

Christine said...

Hi there. I've been reading and enjoying your blog for some time now and I'm really enjoying it. Kudos to you!
Funny twists and turns life throws us huh? If you ask me it sounds like Patricia dodged a bullet... assuming she and Keith don't get back together.
Honest to God I don't understand why people risk losing the person they love just to have a quick screw. Makes me sad... and probably old fashioned.

Anonymous said...

What a twat! (That's the second time in as many days that I've referred to a bloke as a twat - and I wonder why I'm single?!)
I'm curious to see what Keith will make of this.

La Bête said...

Hey. I still feel slightly weird for blogging this. It seems a very strange thing to have done. So I'm glad your responses have not been 'what on earth are you doing, bringing this deeply private thing into a public forum?'. Anyhow, no news yet on any developments. So I guess that's good news.

Now, schoolgirl, your correction interests me, and frightens me somewhat. I'm rather anal, as in pedantic, and this worried me when I started this blog. But what convinced me that it should be 'de' and not 'du' was this:

and this:

How do you explain that then? Je ne comprend pas.

suburbanhen said...

Recently a friend of mine blogged the most recent betrayal of her husband. She was tired of keeping his affairs a secret; felt it just made it easier on him to do it again. So she blogged it, and then he blogged an open letter of apology on her blog. It's gone some way to help with the healing.
Affairs touch a lot of people, not just the immediate few. Affairs touch friends and make them angry and confused. They challenge our friendships and make us choose sides, if but for a brief moment. Sometimes our friends affairs make us keep awful secrets. Thank goodness you didn't have to choose to keep this a secret from Patricia. That sort of thing eats you up inside.

La Bête said...

Wow. That must’ve been some apology. Is it still online?

Yes, I’m very glad I wasn’t asked to lie, because I wouldn’t have been able to do it, and that would have made things even worse.

Glamourpuss said...

Only idiots cheat. Don't feel sorry for being upset. Making one of you friends inadvertently complicit in your deception is a shitty thing to do.

Sounds like both of them have 'issues' around commitment and self-worth and Patricia is well shot of him.


K said...

Oh nice one. Very classy.

Anonymous said...

Bonjour La Bête.
Sorry I have to disagree with Schoolgirl about Bête "du" jour.
Your blog makes reference to another blog which refers itself to a film (belle de jour), which plays with the name of a flower that opens at night (belle de nuit).
Though both "du" and "de" are correct, Bête du jour would translate as Beast of the day, which I guess is not what you had in mind.
On the contrary, Bête de jour sounds more general and more adapted to the purpose of your blog.
However, I do agree with Schoolgirl about your writing.

Uncle Did

K said...

Sorry I have been a quiet reader for the last few weeks. I was moved to comment by this post though..
Make sure you keep us filled in on how it all works out.
K... aka Kat xxx

suburbanhen said...

yup, is still online

is the first post

is her second post

is his apology.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bête

What about Outsiders

I was dismissive at first, but they did help me a bit. Not your thing, perhaps. But perhaps worth an open-minded look.

Dan said...

As we're all being out in the open, I'm not convinced that your blog was the most appropriate way of saying this.

You may have decided to put your life out there on the net, but maybe he hasn't.

Anyhow, i hope everything works out for all those concerned.

..schoolgirl.. said...

ah! i think you are very right, Bête and anonymous. i actually had NO idea that such a movie existed, but it's fine with me that you named your blog after something (also note, anonymous, nuit is feminine so belle de nuit is right. i'm not sure about the movie title, but it sounds intriguing! perhaps i'll rent it). thanks so much! carry on... :)

La Bête said...

‘Only idiots cheat.’ Yes. I am forced to agree. I think Patricia’s great and I don’t like her being hurt, but people do stay together after one of them has been an idiot. I’ve just read Hen's links above by the way. They have made me very sad, but also kind of full of hope.

K, um. Yeah. Thanks.

Uncle Did! Mon dieu! Merci beaucoup! And thank God for that. I would have had to scrap it and start again if it was wrong.

K that is Kat, welcome and thank you. And you know I can’t now. I’m sorry.

Hen, thank you for that. That is an astonishing snapshot. That sounds piffling. I mean, I just read those posts and… I don’t know… people are amazing, what they do to each other is amazing, what they do for each other is amazing, how they mess up and forgive one another. It’s all amazing. I felt really sad reading Javaira’s posts, devastated for her. But when I got to Willett’s apology I kind of broke down a bit. I don’t know why that should have affected me more. Maybe because we think it’s easy to understand how betrayal feels. It’s portrayed a lot in films and elsewhere. We see the pain of victims more than we see the pain of those that do the hurting. Willett’s sorrow, his pain at the pain he’d caused really moved me. And it made me think about what’s happening with my friends in a new light. Thank you for showing it to me.

Anonymous, thanks for that. I will look into it.

Dan, see the thing I posted earlier today. I agree with you. I’ve stopped. (A bit of chat in comments doesn’t count, surely?)

Schoolgirl, I’m afraid I’m going to have to spank you now.

Bête takes off his belt. His pants fall down. Oh well…

Sue said...


In a way, this DOES concern you. You are friends with all three, you are in a very tough position. If anybody is upset, it can't be because it ain't true (or am I wrong there?).

La Bête said...

No, I think it's all true. But you know, I guess sometimes the truth doesn't have to be broadcast all over the place.

Anyway, I'm done with it now. No more truth.

Hanspan said...

All or nothing, I guess. Blogging about anyone close to you is hard.

Coastal Aussie said...

ttp:/.OkCupid? It that for fun..because I thought you had moved into with Morag for happy life-ever-after-ness?

La Bête said...

Oh God, that's old. You're right though, I should probably disable it. Not that it ever got me anywhere. Thanks for reminding me though.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that publically washing someone else's dirty laundry is going to help them, or you.

If anything, it's a betrayal of your friendship with Keith (and if they read this and work out it is them, Patricia and Ange). What did you gain by writing this? It has no therapeutic value, and quite frankly even if it did, writing it privately would have been better.

Keith's behaviour is shameful. But so is yours.

M-Squeeze said...

Interesting that most of your readers seem to be women.