“Perhaps I’m not meant to have any worldly goods. Perhaps they are blocking my spiritual progress and my lighter self continually chooses situations where I will be free of material burdens. It’s a comforting thought, slightly better than being a sucker…Judith’s bottom. I treasure it” (Winterson 76).
This quote comes just after the narrator had recounted the story of one of their ex-girlfriends, Judith, who once locked the narrator outside in the cold and then burned their clothes. The narrator has hypothesized that maybe the reason that they are often found caught in situations such as this one – facing ex-girlfriends who have turned hostile – is not a result of any fault of the narrator, but instead, anything but that. In this case, it’s that the universe has decided that the narrator is not meant to possess worldly goods, and their subconscious is what is creating these situations, ones in which it knows the narrator will end up losing something.
This way of thinking reoccurs quote frequently throughout the novel – not necessarily in terms of analyzing the reasons for which the narrator is losing their possessions, but in terms of the narrator placing the blame and searching for answers elsewhere. The narrator tries to look at the big picture, the “other” reason or explanation, when there may not even be one. Between the girlfriends (and girlfriends who are already married, specifically), the narrator is constantly waiting on heartbreak and is constantly waiting on change. It is the mark of an exhausted person who has grown tired of looking within themselves and has grown tired of trying to fix what drives them to always end up in situations that are prone to ending in disaster.
Much of the grappling for some external explanation is done in specific reference to love and time, which really lays bare some of the narrator’s inner demons; they are a hopeless romantic who still searches for hope, but they are afraid of commitment and are reluctant to show vulnerability, which is why they are always searching for another way of explaining their situation.