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Here he was, sitting Indian style on his attic apartment carpet, crying like a baby. Another love affair dosed like kids at an open fire hydrant during a heat wave. He had finally believed that someone loved him for nothing more than himself… and she reneged. When he suddenly showed up at the limo office where she worked and confronted the punk he knew she was screwing, it all hit him like the proverbial ‘ Ton of bricks’. The kid, because that’s what this guy was to him anyway, stood there and swore he hadn’t seen Suzi all morning. But he knew how easy it is to lie… especially for and by her. He didn’t have to search the back room- he knew she was hiding there. When he returned home the first thing he did after he wiped away  tears which just would not stop, was to call her mother. The old lady never seemed to give him a chance with her daughter. She had refused to ever allow him in their house, even after the husband had finally moved out. The mother answered the phone, and this time, actually one of the first times she ever talked with him, she was nice. ” I finally realize that you never really knew that she was still married… all these many months. She had me lie for her whenever she went out with you and I babysat her children. Her husband worked nights and I just covered for her all this time.” He told her what just occurred with the new guy she was apparently with. The mother just sighed and again apologized for allowing the lying to continue. ” He didn’t move out until a few months ago. I realize now that you were as fooled as him. I am so sorry!” He began to cry again and told the mother that right now he felt like a man who returned home to find his whole family shot gunned to death. Little did he or the mother know that from this point on the obsession would begin.

Crying over a lost love was not new to him. It seemed to be his MO. His Freudian psychoanalyst had explained to him where this all came from- his mother! He recalled how his parents told him about the incident from his crib. He must have been what,  a year old maybe, and they had his crib in their bedroom, to keep a better eye on him during the night. They told him that he stood up one night and tossed his baby bottle while they were asleep, hitting his father. Talk about Oedipus! Then he recalled to the shrink how, as a little boy, he remembered watching his mother attach her nylon stockings to her garter belt.  Years later he found out that he had tossed her jewelry, along with her fancy diamond engagement ring, out the bedroom window and into the backyard. Freud could have a field day with him!

The previous love affair before this one lasted maybe six months. It was filled with passion for just about every moment… at least for him. HIs two sons really liked Noreen. Boy, was she beautiful! She was about seven years younger than his thirty three and had this really fancy apartment in Ft Lee , New Jersey. He would float from his apartment in Elmont, Long Island, the forty five minutes it took him each time. They would make love as soon as he arrived, until of course her Ex rang her phone. Why did she have to answer each time? She said she felt sorry for the fact that she ended it recently after being with the guy for a few years. It never fit well with him , her excuse. Of course, he found out later that the guy had lots of money and the apartment was actually HIS. So much for her empathy. Anyhow, months later, when she pulled the plug on their affair, it hurt deeply, especially since he always sent flowers to her office.. He wrote her the most beautiful poems too. Right up until the end he thought he had found his new wife. The divorce had left him feeling empty, especially for his two boys, who actually wanted their dad to remarry. Noreen was never married and said she never wanted children, but seemed very happy with his boys whenever she accompanied  him to pick them up. But it was now over, and he found himself crying too much. So much so that being bloodshot all the time had damaged his eyes,  causing him to see a specialist.

His latest ex flame, Suzi, looked just like Suzanne Sommers, platinum blonde and all. During the year that their affair lasted he was always hesitant to get too serious. He finally found out that she was married, though he bought the alibi that she was now separated. It was her mother ( she explained) who would not allow him to visit their home.. or even call!  Yet, after  his experience with Noreen he wanted to move slowly. It was Suzi who practically sold him on the notion that they were perfect together. They both had two kids, separated ( so she said) and were great in bed… really great! She would go with him to visit his parents way out on Long Island and go out to dinner with him and his boys. She even would bring around her little two year old daughter to his business office. She even had the audacity ( now looking back) to go with him and his sons on a week’s vacation in Virginia Beach… with her daughter. It was easy for someone who could lie like her. She simply told her daughter that he was really named Mousy, which is what she and her friends called their girlfriend Theresa. It worked for her whenever she took the little girl with her. The daughter just told the father that ‘ Mommy was with Mousy’. Meanwhile, Suzi really sold herself to him. He recalled the night she was over for their usual three hour love marathon in his apartment. She implored him to admit that he loved her. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t, because he still thought of her as someone he liked a lot… but LOVE was too strong a feeling now. Suzi got pissed! She got on top of him as they lay together on the carpet, and would not let him get up. ” Tell me you love me. I know it and you know it! Why won’t you say it?” She was serious! He believed it at the time that this woman really wanted HIM!

Of course,  the ‘ Shit hitting the fan’ happened in late February. That Saturday night she had actually come with him, bringing her six year old son along to his friend’s house party in Brooklyn.  Up until this point in their relationship she never had him meet her son… never!, Because he was putting so much pressure on her, saying things like ” If your husband is really moved out, why can’t I now meet your son?” She took the risk ( looking back of course) and brought the boy along. The boy was the same age as  his oldest son, seven years old, and the kids had a great time. That was Saturday night. In the interim before all this, he felt bad each time she cried to him that her mother was keeping them apart. She needed her own place, but of course she had no bread. So, he wrote her a check for $600 to cover two month’s rent ( remember, this was almost 40 years ago) and insisted she take it. She didn’t want to accept it, and now , looking back, he knew why. You see, she had NO intentions of ever moving out… period!

After the initial pain and trauma of losing her took some time to calm him down a bit, he still wanted her… more now than ever before. He began to call her mother, who now became HIS confidant. He found out that the flame with the other guy had fizzled out. Also, he was told by the old lady that the husband was never coming back, and had filed for divorce. He knew, intuitively, that he should have found the strength to move on, but he couldn’t. He pined for her.. day after day and night after night. It became so severe that he had NO desire to meet other women. Yes, he would go out with one of his buddies to singles bars and meet women. Even the time he met this really sweet woman from California, here on Long Island for business. They hit it off and she stayed at his place for the weekend. Yet, when he drove her to the airport he knew that he would most likely never see her again. He didn’t. It just did not register; HIs heart chakra held Suzi’s memories only… NO room for anyone else’s.

To be obsessed over someone can do more psychological damage than can be imagined. The plethora of poems written to her filled her mailbox. The many flowers she received could fill her backyard garden. He just could not stop himself. HIs therapist gave him many fine insights. One thing that set in over time was ” Now you are totally free. That means you can meet someone new, someone more loving and more honest. You are now a ‘ free agent’.” This all took him perhaps three years to finally ‘ Get it!’ When he accidentally ran into her at a grocery store, what she informed him of really helped to wake him up. ” I’m pregnant.” By whom, he asked? ” Oh, I met this nice guy, much younger than me, but that’ s OK. He asked me to marry him , but I have had enough of that, so he agreed to help me with the expenses for the baby.” He finally looked not just at her, but through her. Then, after perhaps a year, Suzi began to reach out to him. Once, when she called him , he heard her voice and it did weaken his resolve to ‘ Stay away’. He asked her to accompany him to his gym and they could work out together. She agreed and met him in front of his apartment. After the workout he politely asked her up for a cup of tea. As she sat on the same couch that a few years earlier they rolled around in passionately, he gazed at her. Nothing! There was nothing about her that would induce him to take that plunge. Suzi was no fool. She could see from his demeanor in that parlor that he no longer was interested. They politely said goodbye… and he never saw or heard from her again.

The Obsession was finally over!

PA Farruggio
September 2021