Rachel really was a dilemma. There were some things about her that Jak longed for; her beauty, her intelligence, her compassion, and her independence. But there were other things he was not so keen on, and, truth be told, there was probably a lot she didn’t like about him. He wished she didn’t smoke; she should get more exercise and fresh air. She should relax a bit more with people; develop her sense of humour, and lose some of that cynicism and those paranoid expressions of sexist propaganda that feminists put out. She would perhaps be more sexually satisfied if she didn’t think of herself as some great prize that can only be given to the right man; the one that “turns her on”. After all, she has to turn the other person on too. Perhaps she thought she was hard and frigid, and was so afraid of it, that sex was a trial to her rather than a joy. She didn’t want anyone to assume rights over her.
Perhaps, he thought, thoughtlessly, that’s why she had reacted badly to him. Perhaps he had taken advantage of her experimental love-making and assumed too much. On the other hand, she must have been puzzled that he hadn’t stayed with her after such a lovely experience that weekend, and didn’t contact her straight away when he “returned” to Moscow. Yes, really it was his own fault, and he had been a fool!
– o –
The film that Friday was “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”; it seemed very appropriate. Was Klaus Kinski the sort of man Rachel really liked, despite her protestations of independence and her feminist ideals? He looked very much like the rugged Greek who had admired her in the Grossbeer. Jak was beginning to think that the real problem was that they were too much alike.
He had been reading Jung and had worked out in his amateurish way that his “Anima” was wild and passionate; dark and sensuous. “She” was really a primitive who felt life, rather than thought about it. A feminine spirit who knew about nature, the earth, animals, and the Gods. “She” was loyal and submissive to the one she loved; a man who would protect her and explain things to her. Giving him fruit and meat, but asking for security in return. It struck him that one of Gaugin’s two “Tahitian Women” on his living room wall could be his subconscious ideal. Not like Rachel at all really, but perhaps what she wanted was someone like that – her “Animus” – a wild man, in tune with the elements, but helping her to get close to the earth as well. No! She was far too intellectual and independent!
On the other hand he felt that his “Shadow” was vain and arrogant. A conceited man prone to sentimentality and decadence. “He” was wilful, selfish and self-indulgent. His positive attributes were emphasised in his self-respect, self-confidence, and strong ethics. Perhaps, that was Rachel’s “Shadow” too?
But who Jak was himself, was still a mystery to him!
Perhaps, he thought, she felt that she had “given” herself too freely, and that he had assumed rights over her. Obviously, she wanted to be free and not feel pressurised into doing things, but if she gave any sign of love, it would be a sign that she had given in to someone else’s desires.
At last Jak thought he understood about Rachel! They were in fact very similar people, both looking for the same thing. They had very similar tastes and intellect; the same sort of apartment and furniture; the same records, plants, books, even hobbies.
They also had the same “Anima/Animus”; someone wild and sensuous who would free their emotions and help them to express their feelings. She looked the right type for him – dark, wild, independent. He looked the right type for her – wild hair, ugly-nice features, an “outdoor” type. But neither of them actually were that person – they were both intellectuals, introverts, always thinking rather than feeling, and both afraid to show their emotions in public. So they were both disappointed in each other and then projected their similar “Shadows” onto each other. They both thought the other conceited, arrogant, sentimental and self-centred. He had even criticised her for smoking and secretly condemned her for drinking and drugs, though she probably had not smoked pot more than a few times, and then only in a desperate attempt to free herself. What she thought of him, God only knew!
He thought now he could understand her taste in men – rugged, anti-intellectual, sensuous types, who nevertheless were loyal and submissive, and dependent on her. He hoped she would find someone to fit the bill; and he too.
Also, of course, at the same time as their own awkward sexual and emotional manoeuvring, there was Peter! Jak thought she did care a lot for him; she had said she had “fallen” for him. Maybe she felt sympathy with his unhappiness, the work problems, the demands of his wife and children, but that was nothing to do with Jak; he couldn’t interfere. He wished she could talk to him about it without thinking he would somehow take advantage of her. She had said some strange things to him during their brief exchanges: “I want you”; “I’m no push-over”; “Then I fell for him”; “It’s not you, but something in me that I can’t tell you about”; and “Can anybody really help anyone else?”
Maybe it was about time he accepted that it was just not to be – that any special, loving, exclusive relationship with her was doomed from the start. He should forget about it. The most that he could hope for was that she remained a friend.