Lucine and Dolan in the land of Thirlwell

I’m reading Thirlwell’s Politics. What a fantastic book! They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I needed to write some prose because it’s been too long since my last effort. To break the writer’s block I made his style into a writing exercise. This is the result.

Dolan loved Lucine. It is possible that Dolan did not know what love was. It is equally possible that it did not matter. His notion of love was wrapped in passion, steeped in sacrifice, and delivered without regard for meaningless details like fairness and reciprocity. It was grown-up puppy love. It was dog love.

Lucine was very uncomfortable with Dolan’s sense of love. She was appreciative of his love, and even grateful for it sometimes. But Lucine did not have the same notion of love that Dolan had. She did not understand his love. That made Lucine very uncomfortable.

I would tell you what Lucine’s sense of love is, but I cannot. I can tell you about Dolan’s because he is just a character. I made him up. I know everything about him. Lucine is real. I do not know everything about Lucine.

Lucine loved Dolan. But there were subtleties to Lucine’s love. It came in different flavors. Some flavors built slowly over time and others were sharp for a moment then faded quickly. Lucine imagined Dolan as an indulgence, an appetizer or a between-meals snack. She was surprised to find how long he lingered on her palate. Lucine’s love for Dolan felt slightly dangerous and spicy. It tasted good to her, but was impossible to get rid of. He was garlic and onions.

Lucine was raised Catholic and grew into a devout non-practitioner. This ensured enough guilt to make any decision fall between complicated and impossible. She was close with her family. Her family cultivated a sense of Noblesse oblige that had outlived their means. Lucine was a middle-class Catholic girl who believed she had to do her part to save the world. Lucine was very busy and felt very guilty.

Dolan was raised Catholic and grew into a devout agnostic. His family was not part of his life. He was an artist and musician. He subscribed to no medium. Everything he did was art by definition. Dolan could be very pretentious. Sometimes it was charming. His pretention was tempered with a self-deprecating sense of humor. Sometimes it was funny.

Lucine and Dolan were fated to go separate ways. It was not an easy separation. Once Lucine recognized the doggedness of Dolan’s love, her guilt weighed heavily. She allowed a sense of obligation to affect her notion of love. It multiplied the guilt. It created resentment. I have seen a good definition of love, and I believe resentment is its opposite.

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