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She is a little woman; really quite slim, tightly wound.

But even still,


shes quick and light in her movements, she actually overdoes the
quickness, she loves to put her hands on her hips and abruptly turn the
upper part of her body sideways with a suddenness that is quite
surprising.
Anyway, this little woman, is very dissatisfied with me, she always
finds something objectionable in me, I am always doing something
wrong to her, I annoy her at every step. I have often wondered why
this is; it may be that everything about me outrages her sense of
beauty, justice, her habits, traditions, hopes, and customs, but why
does that upset her so much? Theres nothing between us to cause her
to suffer. All she has to do is to treat me like an utter stranger, which I
am, she only needs to forget my existence, which I have never
imposed upon her, nor would I ever, and obviously her torture would
end.
I am not thinking of myself when I say this, my discomfort is
meaningless compared to the suffering she endures. All the same, I am
well aware hers is not an affectionate suffering; she cares only for
herself in the matter, which is to revenge herself for the torment I
cause her and to prevent further torment in her future. I have tried
once to put a stop to her resentment, but my attempt caused her to
have such a burst of fury that I shall never repeat it.
However true it is that the sole connection between us is what I cause
her, or rather what she lets me cause her, I feel a certain responsibility
for the situation. I hear she has often risen in the morning of late tired,
pale, filled with headache, and almost unable to work; her family is
worried sick about her, wondering what caused her condition. I am the
only one who knows. Although, I do have my suspicions that her

sufferings at least some of them are a pretense put up to bring


public suspicion on me. She is too proud to admit openly what my very
existence does to her; to appeal others against me is beneath he, but
to keep silent about something that so persistently upsets would be
too much for her. So with her feminine guile she steers a middle
course; she keeps silent but displays outward signs of disgust,
persistent and active disgust, in order to draw public attention to the
matter. She surely hopes that once public attention is fixed on me, a
general public rancor will rise up against me and condemn me much
more effectively than her relatively feeble private rancor could do; she
will then draw a breath of relief and turn her back on me. Well, if that is
what her hopes are really set on, she is deluding herself. Public opinion
will not take over her role, because public opinion would never find me
so objectionable.
Even still, if it becomes known my behavior is making her ill, which
some, those who bring me information about her, for instance, are not
far from discovering, and the world puts questions to me, it would be
difficult to answer them. Should I admit that I don't believe in her
illness, and give the impression of being a person who blames others
to avoid being blamed himself? And even if I did believe she were ill
how could I say I dont feel the slightest sympathy for her, since she is
a stranger to me and the connection between us is invented and onesided. Any answer I made would cause the world to suspect there is a
love affair in this case, although it is extremely clear that such a
relationship does not exist, and if it did, it would come from my side
rather than hers.
So the only thing left for me to do would be to change myself, just to
lessen the woman's pain. I have often considered if I would be willing
to attempt some changes in myself, not because Im dissatisfied with

who I am but to please the woman. And I have honestly tried, taking
some trouble and care, it even did me some good, but it was
unsuccessful. How could it? Her objection to me, is a fundamental.
Nothing can remove it, not even the removal of myself; if she heard
that I had committed suicide she would fall into a rage.
That is why Im taking the occasion, for the very first time, with you, to
mention this matter, just in passing, you understand, casually, in a
word or two, reducing it to even less than its proportions. Its curious
that you are not ignoring it; in fact you seem to be making more of it
than I am.
I think you should go away. For a short time.
My leaving wont set it right. I should avoid such a departure; if I am
to follow a plan at all it must be that of keeping the affair within its
limits which do not yet involve the outside world, that is to say, I must
stay where I am and not let it affect my behavior.
Well, I dont think you should mention to anyone. Not because its a
mystery, but because its so trivial, a purely personal matter and it
should be kept on that level.
So my friend's remarks taught me nothing new and strengthened my
original resolution. And on closer reflection it appears that the
developments of the affair seems to have undergone in the course of
time are only developments in my attitude to it.
From whatever standpoint I consider this small affair, I shall quietly
continue to live my own life for a long time to come, untroubled by the
world, despite all the outbursts I experience from the woman.