Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Hollow "Ha!"

This short story by Ann Forbes Cooper has the topic of unrequited love down nuance-perfect:
Feeling snubbed, overnight my feelings of amour turned to humiliation and a desire for revenge. My days of fawning were over. I'd play hard to get and feign indifference, thereby gaining his attention and boosting my own enigmatic allure. I began ignoring him and flirting with Charlie, the balding science fiction writer. And my next story, about an anal-retentive, narcissist writer who jogged, was clearly a thinly drawn portrait of him.

Unfortunately, such tactics backfired, producing the opposite results from those intended. His--burka-blue?-- eyes flashing, he'd savaged my efforts, embarrassing me in front of everyone. Making me doubt whether I was even meant to be, A Writer. Plus Charlie, the balding science fiction writer, started following me around devoted lamb-like.

That passage made me go "Ha!" Not a mirthful "Ha!" but one of those rueful "Ha!'s" with a underlying threnody of "been there, done that."

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