Edmund Cardoni


Bryon has a glib understanding of himself that most women find irresistible. He understands with considerable glibness a self most women find hard to resist. They find themselves unable to resist his understanding of this self, of this other they find so irresistible, and even less able to resist the glibness of this understanding. Bryon understands their irresistible attraction to his glibness, and is irresistibly attracted to the understanding with which most women try to resist it. He understands, too, their irresistible attraction to his understanding, glib as it is, and he is even more attracted to the glibness with which most women try to hide it. Most women find their understanding of his glibness a finer attribute in themselves than the glibness they find in him, but find their inability to resist this glibness less fine than his understanding. He finds his understanding glib, and any understanding of his understanding unfounded, but glibness in resistance to his glibness is to him irresistible. His glibness is a match for most women's understanding, his understanding a match for most women's glibness, his glib understanding more than a match for most women's power to resist.

Bryon resists any unglib understanding of that part of himself that isn't glib. Women, in their glibness, find this part of him irresistible and, in their understanding, find his resistance understandable. As long as they understand this resistance to be a glib resistance, they find the resistance irresistible. But as soon as his resistance is understood to be mere understanding, they find it merely understandable, and no longer irresistible. And Bryon understands this, at first unglibly, then almost immediately glibly again. His glibness thus restored, they find him once more irresistible.

It is not as simple as it appears, however.

There is, after all, most women's glib understanding of themselves to contend with. Bryon understands this glibness to be a false glibness hiding a true but resistible understanding. Not only their own, but his glibness, too, resists not only his but also their understanding. Resists it in the sense that it eludes it, and also in the sense that it finds it unattractive, or if attractive in some sense then resistibly so. Ideally, glibness will encounter glibness and understanding understanding, or glibness will confront glibness and understanding sound the depths of understanding, or else glibness will resist glibness and understanding elude understanding. But more often glibness tends to resist understanding, understanding fails to penetrate glibness, and glibness finds understanding resistible, which are all of course ways of saying the same thing. It follows from such glib understanding, whether of glibness or of understanding, that glibness becomes understanding, and understanding glibness. Bryon understands this. It is part of the glibness by which he understands himself.

Originally published in Eat It Alive, Volume 3, Issue 4, 1981.

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