I am trying to let myself be sad. Sort of. I need to step back a few paces and explain. Last night was so lovely, falling asleep listening to the rain without any sort of music or technological device to keep my brain running until I don’t notice that sleep has overtaken me. And I woke up early and puttered about, admiring the world, and trying to affirm my place in it, awkward gosling that I am. Then, after a very good, mostly low-carb breakfast, we sort of wound up back at my parents’ house to await what we thought would be the soon arrival of my half-sister and niece and nephew. This didn’t happen until much later, so I had a very good, mostly low-carb lunch and helped them move around some furniture on the new hardwood floor my father installed. A few intermittent hailstorms barged in and flew out in fits of pique we’ll never be privy to. Finally, I gathered up the odd dresses my aunt had given me and my sister’s kimono and old cassette tapes we have no cassette player for and scurried home, rather determined to get some things in order here with the few hours I have left in the day.
And mostly, I have been able to do more than I expected or as much as I’d hoped. I’ve got a load of laundry in and my sheets are being washed. My sister’s made me more tea and I’m drinking it and liking it. It’s almost 8:00pm and I really have no interest in making dinner, even though It wouldn’t take much to put it together and I may still do it. Still need to get the bed remade and the clothes put away. Got to not start another load when I’m only half-committed to getting it to where it should properly go and not just in another mound next to the dirty pile it came from. Maybe get on the exercise bike as well. That would be a good plan. So yes, as part of this energetic thrust, I started deleting old emails. They say on Gmail that you never need to delete an email. But frankly, having 5,000 unread emails feels a bit excessive. So I’ve deleted junk all the way back to 2008 when I found some correspondence from a friend I stopped writing to after he sent me this amazing letter and cd and I realized in this letter, after confusing its contents entirely, that actually he told me he had fallen in love with someone else. And I wish so terribly not to be his wife or have his children as this woman has done, but yet to still be his friend because he was so kind to me and saw me in the best light I wish to be seen and I feel so bad about how I end things with people. But now, four years later, begging forgiveness seems more like manipulation. My heart was broken then. That’s why I stopped writing. I couldn’t figure out a way to keep writing without acknowledging how keenly I had found myself caring and there was no reason to do that because it would have changed nothing. Still, it’s a bit like Griffin and Sabine, only not so much at all.
So I read these letters and I feel a hard pull after all our conversations. My little sister explaining that I’m not in a relationship because I don’t date and she feels this is because I have these high expectations for men because “of the tv shows I watch.” Which is such a loaded statement that I do want to be an English major and unpack it and divorce it from this emotional bow that draws back when I think about it.
A. She’s not wrong. I do have these weird expectations, this faceless desire for a person to fill that they never will be able to meet in full. And the expectations shift all the time. I don’t have this strong sense of what another person can emotionally provide me with so all of it seems up for grabs. I want laughter, I want appreciation for my writing, I want
The sense of what they may require of me is equally vague. I go through phases, like most anyone does, of feeling like I could never handle someone’s constant hovering presence and like now, feeling absurdly invisible and available to just flood someone with adoration and attention. I know that relationships are projects, they’re work. But I know that I would want to learn about who this hypothetical person was for himself and not to try and match the characteristics of a vast legion of fictional men in my head that I’ve admired. I know that I would be so fucking curious to know who the hell he was that I’d lose them. Which possibly is part of the problem. Sad as it is. You can kind of trust the character of a character over a dude who turns up one day and says he wants to write you into his RPF. His literotica. There’s a lot more control there, but, that said, if there was someone who met the marks of single, friendly, male, interested in me as a human being…I know I’d throw myself into the deep end of the pool. Couldn’t help but.
B. I don’t date because the people who are available to date are gay, married, or completely bizarre. And I don’t mean that in some “they’re left-handed or can’t spell or didn’t know the Titanic was a real thing” bizarre, I mean, they are deviants or they’re so Type-A, let’s make sales calls and go climb mountains and make sales calls while up mountains that there’s no way that even if they DID think I was cute that it’d work. I get hopes up and I try not to prejudge, but I meet someone vaguely eligible so rarely in my realm that I think I’ve lost the ability to pick someone to even try to flirt with or befriend.
My friend I mentioned here in posts from 2010 called from Houston where he’s doing well but remaining.
D. I get so thrown out of whack by the socializing I do every day that I drive home just craving my fortress of solitude.
But then I hear a Vienna Teng song – an artist he introduced me to – and I feel a weird, unexplainable, unfounded hope. A pain and a hope in equal measure.