Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Playing Cat and Mouse (Over and Over In My Head)

For several years I have been haunted1 by "Cat and Mouse"2, an episode of The Twilight Zone3 in which a woman invites a stray cat into her home and learns that he is a man who has lived for centuries cursed to spend every day as a cat.4
They become lovers, which is beneficial to her since she has hitherto been crippled by extreme shyness (she is the "mouse" of the title), and he makes it clear from the beginning that he is interested only in a very casual relationship. Even so, she is crushed when she learns he has had sex with a friend of hers. So much that she decides to drug him, and he wakes up the next day in a cat-carrier at a veterinary clinic, where she is arranging to have him "fixed".

1 No, that is not too strong a term.
2 Which never should have occupied so much space in my head, but there it is.
3 And not even the classic Rod Serling series, but the 1980s color revival.
4 At night, he can change voluntarily between cat and man.

So why does this story keep coming back into my mind? Specifically, why did it climb into my head when I woke up at 3:00 AM and prevent me from getting back to sleep before the alarm went at 4 and I had to get up?

What does it mean to me? Do I feel as though I am in danger of being emasculated -- sexually, or socially, or . . . what? I don't get it.

My sex life is actually pretty good right now, and I seem to have better control over my sexuality than before -- it's been quite awhile since I did anything stupid and destructive on account of listening to my dick.

Not having regular work bothers me a lot. That could be it. It certainly makes me feel weak and helpless and impotent, and it prevents me from "doing my duty" by my wife and to a lesser extent by other people I care about.

Do I feel as though I am, like the cat-man, the victim of some immense, cruel, disproportionate revenge?

Possibly. Several times recently I have felt ill-used by demands and complaints that seem irrational and arbitrary.

I don't know. And I don't know why I have been feeling so irritable all morning when it has actually been a very enjoyable and undemanding day.

I've been feeling very pleased with myself over my increased self-awareness since I went through therapy, but times like this show me that there will always be limits to it. But at least I am noticing that my feelings are irrational, and not trying to blame them on someone or some circumstance around me.

No comments: