The Mythological Banana Split Tragedy

At last, the scoundrel glossed over regretful culpability, “I must’ve been mentally ill.” he explains; renegade avoidance, boorishly. “She’s fat, Stella, I love your body.” Stella finds it laughable; he cheated on her following fourteen years of marriage with his former girlfriend, someone he’d left behind in Mexico before he knew he had AIDS.Eduardo never avowed himself emotionally, rather, his immediate contradictory defense and claim explodes, predictably. He speaks to the wall with his back to his beloved wife, “I am and always will be in love with Cecelia Kuhnt and she’s in love with me, she said so, she says I’m the best Lover she ever had.”He makes no sense.Stella flouts his foolish non-justification and illusionary ideas. He’s a wedded, bedded man, married to Stella not Cecelia Kuhnt; he’s a pain in the neck. Despicable, unscrupulous dalliances and explications stem from his battle with AIDS, a mid life crisis, and his failure to rectify his blameworthy conscience; they made love before left to be with his past lover, Stella felt good with him, believing in him, as she spoke softly, made efforts to be close and communicative. Little did Stella understand his rehearsals were not making up to her, rather assembly and creation of an illicit romance, a rendezvous with Cecelia Kuhnt, his Germanic Mexican Mama, the one he told her about the night before their wedded bliss began.He’s disloyal, he’s sick, he’s on medications, a photograph of him hangs over her head, from when his parent’s dressed him up for a carnival when he was three years old in Mexico City. Now he’s back in the fold, protected, because he’s healthier close to hearth and home with Stella, whose photograph hangs next to his, from when her father presented her with a pair of Everlast boxing gloves, as she asked him to, for her third birthday, her fat belly hanging over her training pants, a glorious smile and a light in her eyes as she raises her fists in the air like a champion.Teacups rattle in his cupboard, so to speak, he’s in ruins, Stella figured it out, she knows damn well he’s lying; he’s lies habitually, as easily as he breathes about every stupid thing, in reprisal, tarnishing Stella’s hope and peace of mind. Stella’s drained of compassion but knows it’s not the time to go round the block with him. She’d rather keep the tranquility, as he might start breaking things and yelling.They sit up in bed together, the end of another day, in the moment, another indiscreet occasion in a series of tactless recklessness and shuffles in their lives, all thanks to his borderline psychotic interplay, pure abuse, on his part, recompense on hers; her miserable enslavement in a role of caregiver to the sick man she married continues, beyond comprehension, against her flexible and liberal character, her mature, and artistic temperament.She’s patient; she bends, sways like a tree in the storm, and her strength holds them together. Her approach is based on experience, she knows she can’t change other people, especially this one; he’s gravely ill, helpless and hopeless to the point of madness, and she promised to love him, honor him, and stay married.She depends on the Universe, god, or her own knack for survival to ease through the hard times, to take care of things she can’t understand, she needs to be aware of him, his needs, his preferences, his desires, accordingly, so she can stay with him; he’s her husband, above all else, she deems forgiveness.Stella grasps her thoughts, steers them toward absolution unforthcoming, she’s hanging on from a paralyzing tight grip contained by her desire to cope; quicker, to be empathetic, to create pity for him, rather than to throw her hands up in the air and tell him to piss off, get out, or go to hell. She decides to counsel him instead, more to buy time, to figure out how to leave him, to avoid a lifetime of conflict and discord, to hang on to a lost cause or to persuade him to change. In this laconic moment, he’s blown all the chances she intended to give him.“She’s in between boyfriends, Eduardo, I myself told every man I knew they were the best lover, it’s a lie, honey, she says the same thing to all the men she screws.” Stella keeps the conversation topical, routing clear of more pressing issues of his philandering and infidelity; it’s not worth it. He’ll just go off on another rampage if she does. Storms commence when the sun goes down, in the darkness, as though his fear correlates to shadows in darkness; he’s predictable, and she doesn’t want to push his buttons. It’s better for her to jump aside than be run down by the charging bull that hurdles out of him in his idiocy.She makes herself unavailable to the man in the slouch in her bed, the man in the midst of frigidity in his voice, the one she married who speaks with hostility and venom, she addresses her make believe partner, the one who listens to her to keep herself out of harm’s way. Stella learned more throughout the years to shift from Eduardo’s constant calamity, chaos and confusion, she opens her umbrella to shield herself; to preserve remaining shredded remnants of dignity, she employs a certain sneakiness in shrewd denial with a strange smile painted on her face, narrowed eyes; she asks only the simple questions she knows the answers to, ”Do you really think you should leave me?” and states the obvious, “What do I know, I’m just the old lady you married to get your green card.” He makes no protests to this fact, nor does he exhibit any shame in the face of truth; he’s a deceitful, manipulative, abusive little worm.“I was only twenty six years old when I married you.” He contends.“Are you saying a twenty six year old man isn’t capable of making a decision to marry? I was only thirty nine when we married.”“I wasted the best years of my life on you.” He insults her. Stella lets it slide off, no need to continue his insatiability in arguments regarding what happened to him at a revolting and nauseating speed over time as his mind deteriorated into an abyss of putrid lies.After his executions finished her, Stella’s point of view changed, she knows it’s not her fault, he owns his transgressions, all of them, it’s his whole bag; she won’t touch it, it’s explosive and dangerous. He’s placed it in her path, deliberately, to destabilize their nuptials and make her crazy, too.Comically, they are together in a Mexican standoff, their marriage is cliché, the older rich American woman and the young sexy Latino man, it’s all a lie. Stella‘s antipathy and resentment builds another barrier. Subsequently, she knows, surely, she made a big mistake to trust Eduardo; he inflicts cruelty and madness on Stella’s kind and generous heart. It’s ruining her life. She can’t hold a grudge, his survival and affluence connects to her enduring efforts, sacrifices, patience, and constant forgiveness. She’s stood in line for him at various AIDS organizations and social programs, and she’s always beseeching monetary favors from her family, petitioning INS, as well as persuading him to cheer up throughout his battle with AIDS; his cheating creates ill will. His non-cooperative actions provoke her antagonism.The way she feels, in subordinate regal indulgence to squabble with his hypocrisy and sham, she walks away in disgust, filled with remorse as she realizes his ordinary existence could never match her extravagant hopes to live a good life in Divine Unity, and Happiness, as a solid, loving married couple until death parts them. She sinks like a stone into disappointment, forever believing him, married to him, helping him to live a good life, working and wanting for the best while he terrorizes her, lies to her and brings his filthy perversions into her realm of serenity, creating needless disruptions, slashing everything up into scattered, oblivious, unfamiliar places, bits and pieces of broken love no longer doable.It’s clear their marriage developed into nothing but refuse to be taken to the trash heap, dumped in a pile at the landfill, useless crassness which common people, unthinking, passive consumers throng by the millions to buy in discount department stores; shiploads of shoddy goods, unaffordable, unnecessary crap all day, everyday; or, like the stuff TV soap opera villains do, stupid tricks he pulls to evade the good and right path a man ought to take to please himself, assure his wife and provide for his family; he acts like it’s fine and customary to upset her. Stella reels, wobbles, stumbles and falls flat on her face, smashing her false notions of security, reaching to hold balance as waves of shame nearly drown her in turmoil. She accepts her poor judgment and naiveté in choosing Eduardo, the lying lout, as her Life Partner when she should have known he isn’t sincere, trustworthy or good. She’s trapped herself in lawful binds of marriage to an ailing man who cares nothing for solid, everlasting bliss. He’s a creep and he likes it, it benefits him, brings accolades, reveres his manliness and keeps his wife in line. His charade brings rewards. She, however, is a fool, duped, conned, bamboozled and she bears it, as years go by, she’s getting worn down real smooth.If he were a respectable, civilized human being, if he were a good man, a loyal, reliable husband, if he loved his wife, he’d get down on his knees to beg forgiveness and make an apology. He’d pledge his love, devotion and promise to change his ways in life, change his attitude, and do everything to make it right. He can’t do it because he’s a no good ghetto snipe, he came from the gutter and he will return to the gutter. He’s not worthy.Stella once believed they had it all, endowed with creativity, resourcefulness, vision, good looks, and talent to protect their future; as a team, they could beat his HIV infection, get his green card, become a powerful force of will to live happily together, in love, till time runs out. Her wishes were not entirely fantasy based; they loved each other once upon a time, but it was a long time ago. Perhaps his life is nearly over, he’s really dying now and his bad behavior imitates the progression. Stella often fell on this “He’s a dying man” reckoning to excuse his poor manners and disreputable behaviors. No better desires formed in her heart, even now, than to recover her hopes and dreams, to establish a futuristic plan, her constant flow of desire for a sweeter drama, beyond the hard feelings he created, unexpected detours diverted her attention,“I don’t know what I’m doing.” He says.“We have the rest of our lives to figure it out.” She says, embracing him fully, for a moment, he deflates, she reaches to turn out the light and turns away from him until she hears him snoring, the only time she can think is when he’s asleep, he’s dying peacefully.Once, she felt beautiful happiness, and refused to give up hope; he would beat AIDS, but that was before he ruined everything, wrecked the car, attacked her daughter, and made up stories to get sex outside the marriage. Her hope dispirited when he turned against her, bankrupted her confidence and trust in him, although she can’t pin down the exact moment, she knows she can’t go on waiting for him to change. He can’t, he won’t, it’s over, she lets go, loses her grip on the idea of loving him, she escapes the abuse and craves relief from the burden of living with him.She’s traumatized, as she doesn’t love him anymore, and demurs in dark lamentations.Stella lives her life, prospers and thrives in her dreams. For many years, since his first violent outburst, when he chased her round the house with a butcher knife because she walked home from his birthday party over at the neighbor’s house, half a block away, to cope with abhorrence over the hostess’s gift to him of a pet turtle.Earlier in the day the neighbor told Stella she intended to buy Eduardo a turtle at the pet shop but Stella asked her, expressly, not to give Eduardo a turtle; Stella confided in her regarding Eduardo’s medical condition, an HIV infection, his compromised immune system, and the high risk of salmonella involved handling reptiles.In the evening, at the house party, birthday cake and balloons elegantly placed in the girl’s dining room, Stella’s son enjoying the neighbor girl, and Stella hoping to enjoy the party, up until when the girl defiantly brings out the turtle, green and yellow, rather large, looking dazed and confused and presented it with a Happy Birthday tune to Eduardo. Eduardo took it into the bathroom and filled the tub with water and the three of them marveled at the turtle. He was so happy to receive a turtle as a gift he didn’t think to snub it graciously, and the hostess’s outright noncompliance of Stella’s disapproval of the turtle present warranted her abrupt departure. Stella walked home alone, rather than say anything to anyone about the reprehensible gift. Soon, Eduardo rushed home, stomped across the threshold through the door, grabbed a kitchen knife, scowled at Stella and demanded to know, ”Why did you leave my birthday party?” snarling at her, his eyes bugging out, wielding the knife over her head. She covered her face in the palms of her hands and turned her back on him in horror wondering if he would kill her. Instead, he ran into the bathroom and closed the door. She stood outside and asked him, “Why are you acting like this?” Finally, she coaxed him out after telling him to hand her the knife through the cracked door.Soon after the terrible scene and murderous intimidation and some slight cutting on his arms, Eduardo came out of the bathroom. Stella’s son came home, and she pretended nothing happened, always cheerful, pretending everything is normal, her way of smoothing things over.Eduardo looked terrible, slumped over in a chair, bleeding a little from his self-mutilating wounds, ashamed, yet, he made no request on behalf of forgiveness or admission of guilt and seemed unaware of how dreadfully he’d behaved. Stella led him to the couch, gave him paintbrushes and an empty canvas and told him he ought to paint a picture to calm his nerves. She found the birthday present turtle in the kitchen sink and quietly carried it downstairs and set if loose under the redwood decking on the ground.Later, after he painted a picture of a woman wielding a sword, which looked like his sister, Angelina, he decided to go out to the Rainbow Bar and have a drink. He didn’t invite Stella, he gave her fleeting look as he left out the door.Stella joined him after her son went to bed. Loud disco music and the gay men crowding the bar, the usual Rainbow scene, boisterous, noisy and rowdy as the electric AIDS train spun round the ceiling every time someone donated a dollar, not exactly Stella’s idea of a good time, the bar scene didn’t match her hopes for his first year of marriage birthday festivity traditions. Eduardo seemed more cheerful, discussing making a documentary film about AIDS with a couple of gay men they knew sitting next to them at the bar drinking and he bought Stella several shots of tequila. Later, they walked home singing La Cucaracha; drunken lovers on the way home in the moonlight.Stella never drank, she threw open the window behind the bed, and heaved the booze and her dinner, while simultaneously peeing on her pillow, “What a mess, “ she said in her stupor. Suddenly, Eduardo jumped up on all fours and butted his head through the glass of the window on his side. He bled a little, looked satisfied and started yelling at Stella to clean it up. Stella asked him why he did it, he wouldn’t say. She told him he has to fix it, it’s not their property, she rents the place, there can be no violence in Section 8 housing or they will be out on the street. Stella’s son came in and asked what happened. Stella explained they had birthday drinks at the bar and Eduardo accidentally broke the window. She could barely comprehend her husband’s stupidity at this point and worried what kind of model the dim-witted man she married made for a teenage boy. She cleaned up the broken glass while he got dressed and disappeared out the front door at 3am.The next day, hung over, Stella took her son to school, measured the window then walked to the hardware store to get new glass. As she arrived back to the house, Eduardo strolled down the driveway. Stella asked him where he’d gone, he didn’t say. He grabbed the things she’d bought at the hardware store out of her hands, rudely; glazing compound and a piece of glass cut to fit wrapped in brown paper. He busied him repairing the window. Just then, the landlord pulled up in the driveway in his truck and came in asking what happened, why all the commotion last night was about as the neighbors made complaints. Eduardo said he had birthday drinks at the Rainbow. He and the landlord had a big laugh about it.In Stella’s mind, all the disorder, about the birthday turtle, the knife, the drinking, the broken window and his disappearance were excruciating, offensive, and unacceptable but she didn’t know what to do about it; alarms went off in her head, mixed with the agony of last night’s alcohol binging, and knowing about AIDS, time, death and her level of easiness caused her emotional pain, deep mental anguish and she questioned whether or not she ought to annul the marriage and ship him back to the City, quit while she was ahead, give up and forget about it. She curled herself up on the bed for some quiet time, but he came in and sat beside her, bugging her, rudely, violating her space, infringing on her peace, insisting she interact. She explained she needed to think right now, “Excuse me, I’m resting, Eduardo.” Stella explained. Closing her eyes, turning away from him.His eyes started bulging in their sockets, his body jerked back, his jaw tightened, “It’s because of me, isn’t it, you’re mad, why don’t you hit me, come on, hit me, hit me.” He grabbed her right hand by the wrist, took her hand and tried to force her hand to smack him with it, “Come on, hit me, hit me, “Stella withdrew, stiffened and pulled away from his confrontational, chaotic demands. She thought she had no right to judge him or be sucked into his ridiculous command. He moved closer; perhaps his intentions lent Stella a moment of power. “Come on” he yelled.On impulse, as though someone else did it, Stella made a fist with her left hand and cut him hard on his right cheek. He never saw it coming.Her jaw went tight, she sat straight up and said through clenched teeth “ Don’t you ever bring violence into my home again, do you understand?” The punch knocked him backwards down on the bed, nearly cold, and unconscious. He nodded sheepishly in agreement, rubbing his face with his hand.Stella felt she’d made it clear and hoped he’d act in accordance with the rules so that his birthday bullying demon would never rear its ugly head again. She felt ashamed and sorry for the whole thing. For several days he acted polite and humbled by her negation of his bad manners. Stella apologized and asked forgiveness, they kissed and made up. She spoke softly to him at night in bed, weighing up what she thought dispersed the trepidation; she laid down the edict to bring peace to each of them for the sake of their happiness and the environment she’d created to raise her son to adulthood, including the new step father.It wasn’t the last event; The Eduardo Incidents often upset and ruined Stella’s continuous efforts to keep a level flow going as years went by. Stella prided herself in caring for Eduardo’s diet, daily health and hygienic matters; his clothes were always clean and pressed, his toiletries plentiful and convenient. She bought healthy food, fresh vegetables and fruit, salmon, whole grain breads; she prepared excellent and tasty meals and kept the house clean. She did her best to stay cheerful, to keep the car legal and running well so they could enjoy a ride around town, or take themselves shopping and do chores, to keep appointments and all, to make everyday go efficiently, to live normally. She ‘d always cleaned houses and did steady little odd jobs for cash to make extra money and continued to do so, she cleaned several large houses, did yard work, cleaned gutters and swept roofs after storms, washed dishes and mopped floors at the coffee shop and several small restaurants in town, drove elderly to the store and to their Dr appointments, stayed overnight with AIDS clients and babysat children, too.She knew he loved to work and needed to work, she cared only for his extreme comforts but always told him about some job, word of mouth gigs, digging graves, digging ditches, or caring for the sick. The first five years of their marriage, they moved several times because of flooding, foreclosures, and problems aplenty. The AIDS epidemic killed someone in every house on the street where they lived, River Boulevard, in Monte Rio.They walked down River Road one night and Johnny came by in his new Lexus and gave them a ride. They hitchhiked to St Philips Church for the AIDS support group meeting, a good dinner, and volunteer therapists as well, who conducted support group, group therapy and dream therapy. During the ride in the new car, Johnny announced he’d started taking the new drugs for AIDS they’d heard about on the news; years of research funded by the Diamond Foundation, completed by Dr Ho, now available to HIV+ people, an amazing feat over ten years forgotten as people dropped like flies and science seemed to be stuck, sexual-social stigma grew; now, something to help bring hope called protease inhibitors. Stella turned around and vowed to Eduardo who sat in the back seat he would soon start on the medications.” “They won’t give illegal aliens any drugs he said.“Don’t worry, Eduardo, we’ll get your papers, too.” Stella assured him as she turned her eyes toward the road ahead. Sometimes, her heart went numb.The church support group, food bank, and other AIDS groups helped them carry on. At least they had food. Stella found an advertisement at the clinic for heterosexual AIDS research with compensation, not much money, but a good contribution to their meager finances and epidemiological causes. One of the epidemiologists asked them if they would be willing to be interviewed for an article a friend of hers wanted to write. Stella said yes. Eduardo shrugged and sullenly agreed. A reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle brought a photographer to their Cazedero apartment and interviewed them about their marriage. Eduardo spoke slowly for hours, dodging and avoiding her questions regarding his life and HIV infection. His caginess caused him great difficulty speaking about his everyday life which spurred Stella to step up, blab about how they met, how they cope and her certain sense of their survival in spite of the usual ending to the story of AIDS victims, “Mr. Death won’t get him.” She stated. The photographer took many pictures of Stella’s nine cats, he admired them, a thrill for Stella; he used up a dozen rolls of film. The article appeared on July 11, 1995 on the Sunday front page, a photo of Eduardo’s identifiable face, Stella, in profile, her long blonde hair covering her features. Further, the article explained their relationship and how they muddle through with his immigration and HIV infection.Stella bought ten copies of the Sunday Chronicle, clipped them out and mailed them out to their friends and family and kept one in her scrapbook, next to the photo of the two of them painting Christmas images on the Bazaar Coffee Shoppe windows presented on the front page of the Russian River Times the year before. Some of her friends in town read the Chronicle story, too; one by one, each took her aside at the coffee shop, at her housekeeping jobs and at the gas station to ask why she’d not said anything to them, caring friends who wanted to help, she thought.In spite of the advance in treatment with the new drugs made available to him in 1996, with a bit of maneuvering both at the health care center and with the doctor, Eduardo grew even more despondent. He acted out, banged his head bloody on the walls over the slightest annoyance, mostly when he didn’t get his way, or, during a conversation where she disagreed with him wanting to steal something or going to San Francisco to see his sister. He threw himself around like a rag doll, injured himself seriously several times and didn’t seem to remember when the episodes settled. He’d leave their house and stay with gay men, then return after a few days, pathetically, sadly, and dejected.Stella never suspected he cheated, it never occurred to her he was having sex with other people nor did she feel she was to blame, she was not the reason he was sick. His doctor explained one of the medications side effects, Sustiva, caused depression and psychosis; she recommended he take more drugs to counteract his demonic personality disorder and raging destructions.Eduardo started a strange little habit of getting up before sunrise and leaving the house with out waking Stella who was more than happy to enjoy sleeping in. He didn’t bother writing a note, upon his return he didn’t bother to say where he’d gone, and she didn’t ask. At first, Stella thought it was a good strategy for him to go out everyday to find work. Go to the coffee shop, schmooze with the local contractors who needed day laborers, and prove himself as most the young jobless men in town did daily, especially the Mexican day laborers who stood on the corner in front of the convenience market.“In Mexico, people call me “Blanca, because I’m white.” He stated, more than once. Stella understood him to be class conscious and a bit confused regarding racial prejudice. Stella ignored it, thinking it might be related to his illness or medications, his Nation of origin was important to her only because of INS laws , their marriage and the hoops they needed to jump through to make sure he got his medicine and green card to work. His age seemed unimportant to her, too. She saw herself as young at heart and hoped he’d survive to feel the same. .After a week of his early morning disappearances and several missed appointments with various employers, she followed him, and found him meeting a teenage girl, Thalia, at the coffee shop. The dark haired big-busted beauty enthralled her husband. Stella walked by the window where he could clearly see her, Thalia’s back to the windows, him facing the street, his eyes glued to the beautiful young girl at the table with him, he didn’t see Stella although she walked back and forth several times hoping to get his attention, but he was spellbound, gaga over the girl. He was laughing and enjoying himself with someone of an inappropriate age, and him a married man, courting a big titted bimbo. Stella steamed, nearly bowled over at the sight of him beaming and gushing over the girl. Stella entered the café, came up behind him and placed her hand on his shoulder. He was startled. “What are you doing here?” Stella asked bluntly, looking down at him, into his eyes, frowning in furious emotion.He shuffled and scoffed, introduced Thalia, as though innocence was the name of his game, Stella didn’t acknowledge the stupid girl flirting with a married man in public. Stella didn’t say a word. She stood there growing angrier until he excused himself, embarrassed and busted by his wife, and they walked outside toward the house together. He told her lies, how he’s “just friends” with the bimbo, a “real nice girl”. Stella waited until they got to the corner, stopped and informed him, ” Her father is suspected of killing several people here in town, stay away from her you dumb son of a bitch. If you ever cheat on me, I’ll divorce you. If you don’t want to have a nice life and a happy successful marriage then get the fuck out now, I’ll annul the marriage and you go fuck yourself or whoever you want. “ He bowed his head in shame, or to avoid her ultimatum. His body language is as fuzzy to Stella as his stupid behavior, she can’t read it. They walked home and Stella never said another word about it again.Stalwart and stoic, as Jupiter turned in its’ orbit around the sun, for many years, Stella unwearyingly reminded him each night to take his meds because she wanted to live a normal life, for him to get well and to be alive when science and medicine came up with the cure for AIDS.“ Did you take your pills?” she asked before he turned out the light to sleep every night. She kept quiet about his annoying habit of popping his knuckles like a thug, or the way he paced the floor and couldn’t keep his focus on simple tasks, she didn’t argue with him or bicker or gripe at him if he made a mess or said ugly things about her family or his coworkers or if he went into a rage and broke things and yelled, maniacally. She finds it hard to remember a day when things went well, and the mind boggling last straw in the struggle to beat AIDS, Stella’s sacrifices to assure the happy ending, when he decided Cecelia Kuhnt is his Lover, not Stella, his dearly devoted wife.Poor guy, Stella thought, he’s deluded about Cecelia Kuhnt, totally in love with someone from the past who doesn’t love him. “What a little whore he is.” She muttered under her breath as she stood over the stained porcelain sink and washed the dishes in the house in Oceanside, years past, a million miles from their beginning at the River, while he worked at the ghetto AIDS clinic in San Diego, on the border.Stella’s smugness, like her gold wedding ring secured on her finger, anchored her determination to bear her shame; she felt glad it’s his infidelity, not hers. She prides herself to live for better things to do with life than play stupid games, to put her good health at risk or to betray him. She did the housework and fed her cats, then went back to bed till an hour before he arrived home from work when she dragged herself out of bed and prepared dinner, pretending all is well, always pretending so as to fortify herself against the tragic end, whatever it might become, apparently he was on his way out and her force of will wavered under the pressures he applied without constraint.She married for Life, forsaking all others, as they pledged each other. Stella saved his Life and she sacrificed a fortune for him. She now questions his integrity with a careful eye: Eduardo has no clue, Cecelia Kuhnt knows nothing about AIDS, or his assimilation into USA society, it’s certain Cecelia Kuhnt is not going to be with him long, their tryst is nothing but a one time fuck. How dare she take up with him knowing he’s married? As if the fat assed Mexican Mama would choose a man with AIDS to build a future. Cecelia Kuhnt, too, is a whore, fooling around with a married man to masturbate her underdeveloped ego, an amoral bitch. Eduardo revealed to Stella before they married Cecelia Kuhnt’s history: her father committed suicide while she was still in of diapers, she inherited a Jewish Banking fortune her dad probably stole from murdered Jews during the Holocaust; she doesn’t want for anything but sex, she’s got plenty of money and a good life in Mexico. Her mother buys her better clothes and jewelry than any man; she lives with servants who clean her house and do her laundry, she lives like royalty, and she doesn’t need Stella’s husband. Cecelia Kuhnt wouldn’t give Eduardo the time of day except he went chasing her, promising her nothing but sex in a sleazy hotel in San Diego.How could he possibly believe Cecelia Kuhnt would welcome him back into her World? It didn’t work before, it doesn’t work now, he’s nothing but distraction from her daily routine, she’d never take scum like him home to meet her Mother, or her child.“Hi mom, this is my lover Eduardo, he ‘s married and has AIDS. “~Eduardo, me amour, que Vida en SIDA, Mama”, spoken in Spanish, it still does not fly. Stella ‘s antipathy builds a barrage of embarrassment because she is aware she made a big mistake to trust Eduardo; he inflicts abuse and insanity on Stella’s kind and giving spirit, it’s humiliating and extremely uncomfortable; it provokes irritation, simultaneously, it diminishes her determination and strength to carry on. It’s the worst mismatched couple on record and Stella is coming unglued.Indifferently, Stella can’t figure out why he came back home afterward, it’s bewildering, mystifying, why he set out to return to Cecelia Kuhnt, then, Mexico, weakening himself, tearing the marriage asunder, all he accomplished is committing very dirty adultery. Why he didn’t stay with Cecelia Kuhnt and stay in Mexioco, go home to his Family so they could take care of him, why did he never apologize about anything; these constant questions and more burn holes in Stella’s mind. He had whimpered and whined for months about missing Mexico, and then he would say he despised Mexico, he is never fixed in his grievance, and he’s always nutty, for years. Instead of putting his mind to come to a decision, to solve his health, work and marital problems, he instead creates more problems compounding chaos in unfathomable disarray, it won’t change for him, but Stella will be better off without him. He brought Cecelia Kuhnt across to USA with community property money, money from their joint account at the bank. He is a coward, it’s verified once and for all. Stella got thrown out the window, demoralized and deserted, both emotionally, and financially.He’s insane. He decided he didn’t want to take his medicine or to be married anymore; his great plans caused so much difficulty, and, of course, didn’t satisfy him, as nothing ever did. Then, he waltzed right back in as if nothing happened, but Stella found out; he lied some more, continuously, his mania constructed his associations and fortification of incredulity, she can’t get over it, a divider of pained rancorous ill-will between them, his urn of disgrace is her heart’s crypt. With Stella he kept saying, “I’m sick, I ‘m frail”, yet, he acquiesced, planning to meet up with Cecelia Kuhnt at a later date, he couldn’t stop himself from doing wrong, it made him feel masculine and alive to lie and cheat himself and his wife.He acted first, out of his woe from AIDS, secondly, neglect, in combination, never making effort to heal the chunk he blew out of Stella’s’ rock solid commitment to him, or to replace the rug he pulled out from under his dear, sweet wife; an impulse of utter fault and infamy, his small mistake, malingering only once, of course. Behind her back, he made more plans to leave, to strike out like a wildcat maverick, ignoring all promises, making more mistakes. No wonder he got AIDS before Stella met up with him. His character thrived in sexual depravity and wantonness, emerged from his genetic flaws, and cultural, sexual digressive deviance. From the start, Stella realized his wile. He didn’t have the courage to inform her, to disclose his HIV infection; she found out by snooping in his mail, he in no doubt mentioned it to her.“In sickness and in health, I will try to be cheerful, to help other people, everyday, to do my best to do my duty.” In her mind, Stella’s brownie scout promise to herself pulsated regularly, pumped her lifeblood through her heart and back again. Stella’s commitment to her marriage kept going. She never walked out, she never abandoned him, she wanted to but she didn’t.The night they got back together, Stella cast tarot cards on the bed and said, “Look at this, what does this say?” Mostly cards with pictures of happy couples, rainbows, hearts, flowers, pentacles, and swords lay out. He seemed to accept the fortune portrayed, a flimsy wish, playing on the bed sheets, cats curled up asleep like children, Satchmo singing “Wonderful World” on the radio, his bath running, as if no harm came into their lives from the summer of his Involvement with sex with other people outside the sacred grounds of marriage; the crime against himself, a devastating blow to their protracted marriage, a brazen, shameless destruction of his lifeline, years of Trust and Intimacy which created normalcy, and saved his Life. He came close to her and smiled when he saw the cards and said “Yes!” gleefully, then raised a fist in the air and went to bathe.The husband, the artist/painter, Eduardo could never accept Stella’s’ refined instruction or criticism in spite of the fact she’d studied nine years of painting at University. Stella bought all the painting supplies, making sure they were non-toxic. Eduardo’s bad habit of leaving the brushes to harden and splattering wet colors, messing up the carpet, walls and his clothes irritated Stella, incessantly. His paintings all looked like prison art of the pornographic bent, naked female figures with enormous breasts and butts, swirls of conflicting color, skewed expressions of adolescent yearnings, distorted body parts and objects mingled in misinformation and poor perspective, so very telling to Stella’s trained eye. While drawing and painting, he at least remained calm, so Stella encouraged it in spite of the outcome. His resentment toward any suggestion of subject matter or design decisions set him off; Stella learned to bite her tongue. Sullen malediction in the simplest of activities, distortions of Stella’s helpful suggestions and her expressions of concern frustrated them both him. Consistently, constantly, he acted difficult if not impossible in his interactions whether intimate or casual with his wife.

The Mythological Banana Split Tragedy

susygzelaya

Guerneville, United States

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