Projecting Like Chris Kraus

07 Projecting Like Chris Kraus

The latest instalment of, ‘My Therapist Gave Me An Assignment: Write about Your Ex’

Most of my free time has been spent thinking about ‘him’. Firstly, I’d like to think this is partly because I had been doing freelance work for a while and the vast amount of free time allowed for him and my negative thoughts to exacerbate my brain. Another part of me thinks that because I haven’t had the urge to purge and serial date to divert my attention from what is to what could be, I am left with my memories on replay. If I have any talent at all it is replaying these memories synchronously as I project my feelings onto my ex, who I no longer speak to. In summation, I feel like Chris in Chris Kraus’ “I Love Dick”. Leslie Jamison describes “I Love Dick” in The New Yorker:

“I Love Dick” is a ‘novel’ about a woman named Chris Kraus and her unrequited, increasingly obsessive love for a cultural critic named Dick. Kraus keeps writing to Dick, keeps calling Dick, even makes her husband a collaborator in her pursuit of Dick, and all the while keeps getting rebuffed by him. She brings us deep into the folds of her relentless pursuit—‘marching boldly into self-abasement’, in the words of her friend, the poet Eileen Myles. She gives us female desire without shame or passivity, and follows abjection ‘into something bright and exalted, like presence’.”

The best part about Chris’s obsession with Dick is that she manages to get out of a creative rut and begin to make new work all because of this one­ sided relationship she has formulated in her mind about Dick. If you didn’t see where I was going with this, that’s where I’m at. Because of the incessant projecting, I’ve managed to write, sketch, and print every day. So while another girl has the pleasure in fucking the man that I love, I am here writing and drawing about it. At this point in time, I could care less where the motive to do any of this sparks from, just so long as I am finding “healthy” and productive ways to capitalize on it. Because of this, I’ve managed to find my self­ deprecating voice. It was always there more or less, but now it’s a lot more forward and frank. I started out as sort of an Alice Kleig in “Welcome to Me”, collecting my benefits and basking in this obsession and embarrassment of me thinking, wanting, and loving this person that I no longer have a relationship with, to using it to my advantage. So what I think I’m saying is that this is a blessing in disguise?

Words and illustration by Megan Tatem

keep up with the series here

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