JDJ married young and didn’t know how to say, after 14 years together, that something wasn’t working. So JDJ had checked out of her marriage even before meeting Gideon, a guitar teacher/rock-and-roll star/sex on legs/ wake-up call that JDJ didn’t know she needed. Or, didn’t know how badly she wanted until she was having sex with Gideon in bathrooms, alleys, bars, and clubs; snorting coke with rolled dollar bills; and attempting to front the band, Throes Like a Girl. This world in which she found herself was everything her marriage wasn’t: intoxicating, exciting, and fulfilling.
ll while working soul-sucking jobs (during the time period this memoir covers, JDJ works at three places, each shittier than one before it) and maintaining the fractured status quo with her husband, Andrew, who lets Hurricane JDJ blow in and out of their apartments (Manhattan, first, and then a loft in Williamsburg), come home at all hours (when she bothered going home), and slip particle by particle away, until all that remains is their comfortable and predictable sides of the bed.
Except JDJ doesn’t think she’s 100% to blame for her having an affair. Andrew long ago stopped trying. He’s become complacent. He doesn’t question her flimsy excuses, and doesn’t fight for what even he recognizes is a marriage broken beyond belief (he tells her, at one point, that he thought she was going through something and decided to give her space). So, yeah. The affair is mostly Andrew’s fault.
JDJ’s logic, however, flawed, makes sense given her frame of mind.
For more than two years she lived her double life, until a well-timed lunch with a friend (grilled cheese, tomato soup, Klonopin); a series of increasingly horrific events; and, of all things, a nail file ended the beginning JDJ hadn’t realized she so badly craved.
Eat, Pray, Love? Not for this girl. Sex, Drugs, Rock-and-Roll, the holy trinity of excess in which JDJ found a hiding place, a dead end, and the moment after which nothing could be the same.
So yes, JDJ did some Very Bad Things (in so many places that her sex life reads like a Zagat’s Guide of New York City). Read Klonopin Lunch and you’ll likely root for Andrew to find out and give JDJ the comeuppance she deserves.
But a Very Bad Girl? Not so much. No matter how hard, and for how long, she tried.