Larry apologized profusely. I wrote back explaining why I felt it necessary to describe him to himself in such terms. I asked him not to lie to me anymore and I aske him not to pretend he didn't realize he had so many girlfriends. And then I said I needed out of the trip to Peru. He had already refunded the money Bee and Sri gave him, and I really didn't want to spend a week with him.
His argument was that since I wasn't sleeping with him, I shouldn't expect to get out of going or get my money back. That's right, people: Larry expected me to incur a financial loss because I was NOT SLEEPING WITH HIM.
During what I now refer to as "The Bitchening," Larry was slapped in the face twice, spit on once, completely abandoned by at least half of his friends (a pretty low figure, all things considered) and twice threatened with violence. During this time, I was on the sidelines, trying to decide whether to lose the money, or go to Peru anyway.
Before I chose one way or another, I asked Larry to meet me at the river and discuss. He was very angry that I should require this of him, but he agreed, and I explained to him why he should let me out of the trip. He agreed with me 100% but told me that just because he should did not mean that he was going to. If I didn't go, he would lose money on the trip. So I was either going or taking the loss. But most of that four hour conversation was not about that at all. The money, while annoying, bothered me a lot less than my 100% conviction that he would do this again. I won't explain all that was said on that subject except to say that Larry and I carefully reviewed the diagnostic criteria for both anti-social personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, and he agreed that he is at least anti-social, which in his vocabulary is "hopelessly fucked in the head." He refused to get help, and told me that he could control his behavior, thank you very much and that - I am not kidding - there was no use trying to get better because eveyone knows that anti-socials don't get well; they just learn how not to get caught. When we said goodbye, he hugged me and said, "You are right about one thing, though. I am never going to be happy." Then he went right back to scratching his skin half off and womanizing.
I went to Peru. I was saddened, but not particularly shocked, to see that he was "secretly" sleeping with one of the girls on the trip. Everyone, even those who did not know the story, knew something was terribly wrong. At least once a day someone came up to me and said, "I am sorry about you and Larry." And then I would have to explain that I had never dated him, stopping short of saying that the whole reason I was there was BECAUSE I was never dating him. Larry and I didn't speak the entire time except for once, after the hardest part of the climb when he was openly surprised to see me summit first. And then all he said was "nice job." He couldn't even look at me.
When we got back to the states, he sent me that email, the one that basically said, "I can't be around you." Well, duh.
Recently, Bibi and Sri went to a party and Larry was there. Sri, being Sri (gosh I love Sri) decided to spit in his face and slap him. I am told it was quite a scene and that people were openly pointing and laughing. At Larry. I am told that he is regularly laughed at, right to his face, in places where his reputation precedes him. I wish this gave me some kind of pleasure, but it doesn't, not really.
A few days later, Larry made a phone call to Bibi, from a pay phone, so she would answer. He said he just wanted to say he was sorry. They were on the phone for ten minutes and all he could manage to say is "I am sorry" over and over. Bibi said Ok. and Larry said I am sorry, and they repeated this exchange about 15 times before Bibi got tired of it and hung up on him.
Bibi, Sri, and I still get a lot of news from the Larry sector. Pax, for example, has stood by Larry because, as she says, "he's done too much for me. I can't walk out on him." It is from Pax that we learned girl number nine, the one who had been with him for three years, the one who was suicidal after she found out, took him back. They were seen together recently in her neighborhood, which, by the way, is mine. The relationship is not public, but girl nine does not require that. All she requires is Larry. Well, girl nine, I think we can safely say you can have him, if you are willing to share. A whole lot.
I know you all would really like to know what Larry looks like, so I'll close with a picture. When I took this, I thought I was taking a picture of a sand dune in Morocco. Then I saw... just there in the middle... a blip there on the horizon.
I zoomed. This is what I saw:
I promised to tell the story of Larry way back in June, when I first started writing. I had two readers at the time and both wanted to know why I was so pissed off at some guy named Larry. It took me six months to get around to it, but now I've told. I am sure it doesn't need saying that I wish there were some other ending, but that's the real bother with Larry, WPITW - it's absolutely hopeless, and the only thing one can do is walk away.
Everybody ready to move on? Yes?
Let's do that then.
Happy Wednesday, and thank you, more than ever, for reading.