The Wealthy Man’s God & Fried Cod

  • Brian: he works at my bank with me. I trust he is also crazy, probably. He has also done the Right Thing. He is divorced, but now dates a young woman who worked in PR. I think they are not married yet; maybe they are. She doesn’t work, now that I think about it —so yes, they must be married. She was very interested in him when they first met. He was very lonely so this worked well. Early in their relationship she said she wanted to be a stay at home wife; he said yes. I think this happened because Brian needed a woman to dote on him. This is because of the issue with his first wife — it hurt him. His first wife was, like him, a Texan. Conservative, grew up outside of Dallas. He grew up outside of Houston. Both of them were genuine Oil-Money-Jesus-Freaks — him in the standard male form (doughy, businesslike hair, predilection for khakis and blue blazers with boat shoes, clean shaven to a fault) and her in the standard female form (somewhat too skinny, dyed-blonde long hair, expensive dresses, boring makeup). They had planned to go back to Texas at one point. She had started doing housework at their condo in addition to being a banker herself (they met in business classes at Harvard). She hated it, then started talking about feminist stuff, then left him. She currently lives in Brooklyn and wears mostly black; my understanding is that she is currently dating a European DJ who is several years younger than her. I passed by her recently on the street recently. She now has bags that are conspicuously designer. On a lark, I looked her up on Facebook some time ago — six or seven years now, — and saw that she was a big fan of Hillary Clinton. When she left Brian, it was the only time I saw him break; otherwise he has always been the consummate professional. She paid a man to serve Brian with their divorce papers while he was at work. He screamed “bullshit” when it happened, threw all the papers in his office around, jumped up and down while shouting and throwing things and pounding on his desk, then left the office. He was then gone for three weeks. When he returned, we all pretended like nothing had happened. That was 12 years ago. Him and I were both promoted to Managing Director some time later.
  • Arthur: Arthur transferred to Harvard from Penn; he would study with me frequently. He worked in Private Equity after graduation then started dating a woman who worked in Fashion. Eventually the woman, now his wife, introduced him to what I shall broadly call liberal bullshit: yoga, expensive coffees, art galleries, trendy night-clubs, and living in Hoboken. Disgusting. I hate Arthur because he gave into it: he retired at 32 and now teaches Yoga classes somewhere in Vermont. It is upsetting to see a Harvard man become a lay-a-bout bum. It is unbecoming of someone who, previously, had been doing the Right Thing. I have not spoken to Arthur in more than a decade; it shall remain that way.
  • Annabeth: I suppose, that, in a way, we are not friends. We have never been friends. We are acquaintances who often run into each other and talk briefly at professional happy hours. We speak only in pleasantries. But she is my muse. We went to both undergrad and law school together; we once matched on a dating app in the early 2010s (when I used them while cheating on my wife). I think she did not know the profile was me — you could not see my face on it. Only my body (good looking back then, in a suit) and job (investment banker) were available to her. I used a fake name too. I often wonder if she knew it was me and did all of this intentionally. I hope so. I wish so. She, like me, is a devotee of the Right Thing. She has never said this, but I can tell. We would see each other studying late at night; we both were on Law Review and would work on cite-checking near each other in the Review’s office in the library (only separated by three or four desks). I have never seen her partying; I believe she has few (if any) friends, like me. I know her academics are beyond compare; she works at a very successful law firm that requires very good grades. I have never been obsessed with her, but during the failing years of my marriage I would often dream of situations where my wife passed on and I was freed to roam about — a widower, not a divorcee, meaning I was sympathetic instead of loathsome — and would eventually speak to Annabeth after meeting her at a bar. She would confess a hidden, long-standing love for me. We would be together and share all of our interests with each other. We would have and raise children who went to Harvard, like mine should have. I have not spoken to her since we exchanged a brief greeting at the last Yale Law alumni event (six months ago). When I think of my interest in her, I feel a sense that I am utterly depraved but also capable of being completely fulfilled one day. It is intoxicating.
  • There are also other friends. But I will not elaborate on them or their identities; they are unimportant to this story. Brian and Arthur are, too for whatever it is worth. This is a story about me, being crazy, and Annabeth. Maybe me being crazy at Annabeth.

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Pastor, Former Award-winning Psychoanalyst, Founding Member of Slayer. Indicted three times; acquitted three times. Go Blue!

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Pastor, Former Award-winning Psychoanalyst, Founding Member of Slayer. Indicted three times; acquitted three times. Go Blue!

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