As unaccountable as feeling, as inevitable, inconvenient and beautiful as tumultuous weather, a circumstance has arisen in which I am envied by a woman far more successful than I.
The Woman Who Envies Me, or let us call her WWEM for short, like a radio station, decided at some point that my life, my spirit, I don’t know what, I don’t know what, I don’t know, my circumstances, were, in their beauty, a source of personal torment to her, a sign of the complete arbitrariness of the universe in the handing out of sweet things, and began to torment me mercilessly, even as she tormented herself, with outbursts in my direction. As we were frequently thrown into artistic situations together, working on the same movie, being in the same play (both of us are comedians and actors), she would never come to the workplace intending to torment me. Rather she would be overtaken by this feeling of envy, never the master of it. Envy has no master! It operates with a terrible independence, diminishing the spirit even as it enlarges and bloats the sense of self! Once, during a rehearsal, the WWEM shrieked, without warning to herself or to me that anything was coming:
O who do you think you are! With all that! With all that! Just because you went to some Ivy League school! You think you’re all that!
I was obliged to point out to her that it was she who had attended an Ivy League university; I had been a high school flunkie who barely got into any college, and would be shaking a cup in front of the F train were it not that my father had been a professor at a college that felt more or less obligated to admit me.
Another time, having attended a solo show of mine at a New York theater, she followed me around the lobby of the theater after the show whispering frantically in my ear, wherever I walked:
fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you
The woman in question is a known screenwriter and actor, a mother, a wife, the author of two successful books, a person of financial means and connections, and enjoys excellent health.
Except for her envy.
The beauty of this story, the lesson for me, lies in its mystery. It is quite clear that she envies me desperately (the symptoms are all there; I recognize them from my own inner life). If I could find her in a moment of quiescent spirit, I could try to ask her why. There is no doubt in my mind that the answer would educate me deeply. No doubt whatsoever.
An anonymous writer received honorable mention in the Out of The Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest at red Ravine for the short story Envy.
Congratulations, Anonymous, from Out of The Blue Films, Inc. and red Ravine!
red Ravine is not liable for any actions by Out of The Blue Films, Inc., nor the Film. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for any outcomes from the contest.