Lately, I’ve been noticing a consistent theme of a lot of men exhibiting a disparaging trend of aggressively developing or displaying affection for girls who are, first, not single, and second, not interested. Honestly, it; we, are giving all of us, especially those of us single, a bad rep. Emotions are hard to reign in, I know. I know this as well as anyone, but I also practice every means I have to contain them.
If anything, I guess that I am surprised that I am only just now realizing how prevalent this is. Men, are we not better than this? I’m probably coming off on some sort of high horse on this, but I think that I recently came unshackled from a lot of emotional restraints that had confined me to similar problems that I was generating. A rut will do that to you. That rut is now just a dot on the horizon as I’ve moved far past, and I guess it just discourages me.
I woke up Saturday, a little before noon, at a friends house. My neck was sore from sleeping on his couch with no pillow, and the fellow who had slept upright on the couch across had disappeared. I toiled around the house for a few minutes, and took in just how messy it was, downed several glasses of water in between relieving myself, then got up and went outside.
It was the best walk of my life. I strolled the streets of Nashville, combing the area that I called home for the first significant part of my adult years. If you could extract the notion of perfect weather from my brain and send the same synapses through your body and to your nerve endings, you’d feel what perfect weather feels like to me.
I thought I was in San Diego. I wasn’t. San Diego is where I am from. I was home. I was in Nashville. I’ve been back here for a few months now, and this must be what Clark Kent feels like after being imprisoned in a kryptonite laden cave. Removed from the forces that gradually siphon away his life, and re-enervated by solar energy. I’m a whole person again, or at least what I remember of myself being a whole person, and for the past three months I’ve been building on top of that. I’ve got a few years of ground to make up, and I’m trying to craft myself into what I think I should be at 26, while having to figure out some of who I should be.
I talked a lot about developing social anxiety last year, and probably the year before it. It’s expired. I find myself able to flourish in that (social) sphere, though still redeveloping somewhat. Rehab is an interesting thing, because when you’re ‘habbed’ you forget what being broken felt like entirely.
I’m still discouraged by things, though. I’m probably not giving myself enough time. I spend almost all of my free time in some sort of social endeavor, yet I still can’t get certain people to give me any time, and I repay the world by doing the same to some people. I don’t want to. I don’t know what troubles me more, the inability to make a connection with a woman, or the inability to foster new roots and turn them into new friendships.
In the first case, I am talking just friendships, though I wouldn’t bar any possibilities of anything more if the right person and circumstances presented themselves. I guess I am precluding several who I at least have decent openness with, which is nice because my world has become strangely male dominated over time, and it needs a female touch in the mix. I don’t know how that happens at this age, especially when it was never a problem post 15, but it has. It isn’t exactly what I need, though, because I just need a few girls I can hang out with sometimes, and share some base level companionship with. That, in my opinion, can’t be done with married or taken women because that arrangement only lends itself to group settings (as far as I am concerned/would feel comfortable with), which is no different than where I already am.
I didn’t expect to be stalled on this this far in to my current uprising in this epoch of my life.
The latter is probably even more discouraging. Let me give a context example; I have met a lot of new people through work. I have made a lot of friends there. Beyond that, since moving back on my own, I have done a lot of both of those things in all various nooks of life, but I’ve yet to completely land a new, deep connection. I am probably close on a couple, but it hasn’t been easy, and it is purely internally generated.
This has left me with a thin layer of fresh life, like tadpole eggs or something, just barely covering the surface on a thin, film layer of surface, but anything can poke through it and descend into a cold, dark, barren expanse below.
I have all of my old roots still there, and that’s great. Many are more prominent than ever, but many have dropped off; damaged by the environment, sometimes cut in half and detached from themselves, or twisted and contorted in wicked ways that weave these relationships into unrecognizable pairings of equally regarded impostors. These jacked up roots will likely never be the same, or recover. They hold on for dear life as long as they can, and one day they are just dried up pieces of deadwood; an artifact and a memory.
For instance, I really miss Molly. I feel like I never knew her anymore. Sometimes I see her, and we can still have a decent talk or two, but she is so alien and removed from me now. All I get from her are reminders of the life she found herself in over the past five years, how I wasn’t a part of it, and how the person I knew wasn’t either. We are either very close strangers, or polarly located kindred spirits. Either way, that is an example of a severed root that is bleeding up sap and life as the tie between the two slowly shrivels up, and I am left with yet another thing to feel sad about.
I was thinking about Kara’s parents today. Especially her mom. Pam. I miss Pam. I thought a lot about how she got to where she is, well, where she was when I last knew them; in life, that is. All the way from Kara’s age when we dated to now. I’m sure I crafted an entire lifetime of fiction in a few sparks of thought. Who knows. I miss that whole family, really, but it isn’t my business to miss them, so I spent a solid 15 minutes missing them, then I let go and watched the stone sink back to the dark expanse. I just hope they’re all doing well.
This latest part of the year has reintroduced me to something that I hadn’t truly experienced since Kara; a serious crush on someone. It was kind of like taking a stopped heart, and kicking it into one really large, hearty beat that primed most of the body with a new wave of blood, yet stopped just short of the very extremities and then slowly receded back inward.
Another pulse of blood here and there as the beats kept continuing and I rediscovered what these intoxicating feelings, well, felt like. For a while, I was absolutely invigorated by the idea.
For no reason at all, I felt this huge, enthralling, all-encompassing feeling rush through me in a wash anytime I saw this girl. Anytime I thought of her I felt that heart beat just a little bit stronger than all the other constrictions. This was like static electricity having the same effect on me that the electric chair had to Ernest when he went to jail. I had to enjoy it was all it was. I knew better than to put any stock into it, but my, oh my, I definitely enjoyed having that crush. Admiration is a nice thing, and nobody really even has any idea about it. My sleight of hand game is unruly.
Of course, I was smart to put no stock into it. As with most things, this one has a boyfriend, too, which I guess is a little better than the typical married or engaged combo that is most often encountered with girls I at least could entertain the concept of being interested in.
I described it to a friend as point of contact. It isn’t necessarily the first time you see someone, but it is certainly the first time you notice them; the first time you really take in their existence, and it vexes you like some sick, pleasurable curse; a plague. And for reasons beyond anything you can explain, you feel this tremendous inclination. I think it is the closest humans will get to experiencing gravity on a planetary and solar orbit scale. Yeah, I am attracted to, well, really, most of you women out there it seems. And there are a lot that I really enjoy a lot, and could probably have some genuinely good times with. Fewer still, are the ones who have enough and are able to grow on me enough that I could see myself fostering a serious bond with, but rarest of all, are the special ones who make me an absolute mess from that initial, inexplicable point of contact.
Over four years. It was over four years between experiencing that.
I’m thinking I must be too picky.
With that said, it is kind of a sorrowful tune in the regard that it is just another sick false alarm, but I am more of the mind to focus on the truth that maybe I have reached the point where I can move on and unshrivel from what I became once more.
A lot of these thoughts I’ve been unscrambling are very good things, holistically, but a lot of them are kind of sad in the end. They’re good thoughts, though, and I have no shame about that.
I have a memory. It is a dual memory, actually, but I’m only tapping into one right now. I am riding in the car with my mom. It was our ’89 Maroon Mazda 626. We’d come down this hill onto kind of a weird 3 way intersection in San Diego and join the main contingency of traffic on the road that this hill ended at. There was a 7-11 nearby. It was always in the 70’s, and we came here often. A lot of times my memory recalls the days as being gray. I think throughout all the times of riding in that car and reaching that intersection as a child, I eventually pieced together a complete thought. That was my mom. She was my family. That was our car. This is where we had to go when we left our house to get somewhere. The rest of the world had to also. This was where I lived. It was home. This was my life. I was living this life. One day, I’ll be one of those people driving by in their car while we wait to turn. One day, I’ll know a woman who has a kid, like me, sitting in the back seat, watching his mom look at oncoming traffic, and he would be my child. I could imagine what the next minute, next day, next year would be like. I could imagine it in infinite numbers of ways, but I could not envision what happened next.
I walked that Saturday and I was lost somewhere in time. I spent moments as the 3,4, and 5 year old boy in the car. I spent moments being the man he might have imagined becoming for just a hair’s breadth of a moment. I felt happy to be where I was. I felt sad to be apart from my family. I felt a little lonely. I felt loved and respected. I felt happy to be alive. I felt like I never wanted that day to end. I concurrently felt all kinds of good and bad, and even when my feet felt the familiar inconvenience of aching, or when I missed a girl who hardly has any bearing on my life, or even during the times on that walk when I thought nothing at all–
I just felt good.
That was the best walk I ever had.