Caring as a zero-sum game: so much in common — but nothing to write about

September 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have written a long email to Atlanta — it was something about a displaced, fallen, exiled man of letters — a topic which was much on my mind at the time, something she wrote about triggered my reflections on the topic, and so I wrote her a long email.  She wrote a short reply saying she must digest it before she responds.  A month went by and I got another 5 lines saying she enjoyed my email but has been busy and would I please write more.

This is from someone who had asked me to correspond arguing we had so much in common.  So much in common — but nothing to write about, apparently.

I replied that no, I would not write more, unless I got a letter from her showing me she’s putting some effort into the correspondence.

Her behavior is of course typical:  I can never have a decent reply to anything thoughtful I write.  Is it — the longing to have something out of a relationship combined with unwillingness to put anything into it?  Caring as a zero-sum game?  You win if you persuade the other person to write but you do not yourself?

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