“You really are nice looking. I mean you are attractive, but you also look like someone who is nice to people,” said Geraldine.
Bartholomew blushed a little. He was not used to young women telling him he was attractive. But he had to agree that he was kind to people. It was one of Bartholomew’s strengths that he always tried to be polite and kind.
“Thank you,” he said, “you are so kind to say so.”“Well,” responded Geraldine, “I am as kind as I am pretty.”
I have greatly enjoyed writing about Geraldine. She is an unlovely character who has major issues around relationships. But there is a side of her that appeals to Bartholomew. I have taken to the challenge of writing sympathetically about a rude and unattractive individual. My first notes about Geraldine were that she is incontinent, in the old sense. She is unable to control her body and its functions. Her body is unattractive and unkempt. Her physical desires are out of control. As far as I know, she is not incontinent in the contemporary sense of the word. There is also an aspect of her incontinence that I do not write about, but secretly informs my writing about her. As her story unfolds over the next 45 stories, I hope you come to understand who she is and why she is - and see her in a sympathetic light - like Bartholomew. But I must say that I see each character in these stories as a different aspect of my own personality. Geraldine is the one aspect of my personality I am least likely to confess publicly.
During the course of a long term relationship, partners come to see aspects of each other that they love and admire. But, they also see behaviors and attitudes that are not as lovely, not as welcomed. What is the balance? Bartholomew is very unpracticed at making these kinds of decisions. What happens when the negatives start to outweigh the positives? What happens when one BIG negative outweighs many positives? Bartholomew does not know his "deal-breakers," do you?
High school and college relationships are one thing. Once you are both out on your own, not under the surveillance of an authority, what you really need in a partner changes. In fact, it is then when you really start to understand what it is you need on an independent personal level. Because of some tragic events in his life, Bartholomew is a little behind others in this arena. Perhaps I was, too, at his age.
Geraldine, will be published this Friday, at The Book of Bartholomew.