The Revolving Door
A Sibling Prelude
By Juliette Quercia
Should I be concerned about my sister, Justine, and her libertine adventures? Am I my sister’s keeper?
Justine describes “libertine” within a wide circumference. Although she vehemently eschews the idea of falling in love, Justine is a romantic. Justine is already in love but not with another human being - Justine is enamored with a notion.
A woman in love believes ardently in the worth and potential of her lover. She feels that the lover can do no wrong, commit no crime other than one - betrayal. The subject of the betrayal would have to be, of course, the woman in love. Justine is in love with the notion of a libertine existence. She commands us to see her in this light. I pray that her lover doesn’t betray her.
I am also not sure if Justine is making up stories about herself or if she is truly living the experiences that she tells me about – the same adventures that I scribe with such attention to detail and pass over to you, dear reader. This idea of “ethnographic research” that she uses to justify her libertine proclivities, for instance, may be an expansion on her own virtual reality. Justine has been introduced to a man whom she calls Il Professore. She tells me that she will head up a team of ethnographic researchers whose aim is to shed beams of light into the dusky public sex clubs in New York City. I have met some of her colleagues. They are well educated, seemingly emotionally adjusted, good looking and definitely clever people. There are more women than men on this team. I am unsure if Justine is going to use their stories alongside of her own ethnographic experiences to create an expanded profile of Justine or if the adventures that she will tell me this year will be the result of her own precarious leanings.
Justine, as I have mentioned, is in love with the idea of being a libertine - the greater the libertine lifestyle (her personal lover), the greater her love. She has been placing herself as the heroine and romantic lead in a play of her own creation. Justine truly adheres to the notion that the world’s a stage. She is curious with a righteousness that allows her access to the dark and dismal crannies of the stage of life. But what boogie man might be lying in wait for her there? Or boogie woman – a jealous wife or shocked prim reader? Or worse still, a boogie virus.
I have never doubted Justine’s intentions until I documented her adventures in “Quercia Stories.” Even though I sensed that her involvement with Her Editor might not be healthy, I stood by Justine out of a sheer loyal impetus to tell the truth of this small woman’s life. Justine is not fooling herself as she relates her story. Justine understands that hers is not a common path - that she is a freak. Should her libertine tales ever be published, her reputation could suffer. In real life, day to day, she presents a wholesome aspect to the world. She is open, generous, healthy to a fault and appears more youthful than her actual years because of her energetic presentation. Justine is the result of hard work. She exercises, eats carefully, reads inspirationally and refuses to expose her perception to diversions that are not central to her theme. She lives a stoic life. Her possessions are few for she has few material desires. She keeps one of each necessity and when that runs out she gets another. There is not a commercial label exposed in her home. Any object that is seen is seen because she intended it to be viewed as an object that either nourishes or informs. She keeps only art, a table and a bed in her home. She is rigid about order.
The one area that she allows herself freedom is with her libertine lifestyle. Here, Justine lifts her ladylike petticoats and throws them over her head with a wild abandon. She does this, she says, in order to know. She claims that by living a libertine life, she is exploring the limits of love and knowledge “in order to bring other women along.” Justine believes that she is sacrificing herself for the sake of understanding better both human nature and the specific position of women in the realm of love. It is this aspect of Justine’s ethnographic research that I have helped her to accomplish. I, her elder sister, am going to continue to write Justine’s stories, despite the question that I have as to whether I am helping her by doing so or assisting in her demise. This does not mean that I support her claims of righteousness. I suspect that she may be a little crazy with her self absorption. But, I adhere to the bravery of her search and I have no doubt that she intends well.
We are yin and yang. I am white (good, accepting, feminine) while she is black (bad, assertive, masculine.) Together we form a complete picture of the world
No-one can throw a visionary from their path. Justine is striding forward through her destiny. She is cutting a swath that leads to a private revelation that she is determined to share with the world. Whether the world wants to know the results of her ethnography, whether they can handle the results, whether they can put on “her knowledge with her power before her indifferent beak lets them drop” is inconsequential for Justine. She is at the front of her own private parade, marching along with her head held high, a bright baton like a royal specter proclaiming her right to be free and an endearing, welcoming smile pulling us all into her skewed world.
If Justine is willing to live this grand experiment, ethnographically researching the limits of love and knowledge, then I, Juliette Quercia, will support her. I will continue to listen to and record her tales of libertine experiences. I will accept the picture she is painting for me of her love, of her notion, of her brave, blind tapping while she lives completely.
“The Revolving Door” follows - as told to me by my sister, Justine Quercia.