The Helpmate and the Puzzle of Me

August 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

The idea of “helpmate” has been introduced to me, and I wonder if that isn’t what I’m looking for. It isn’t, but it’s probably what I’d settle for. It would be nice to have someone around to ease the practical burdens of everday life, but that person would be a maid and a cook. What is a helpmate beyond that? There are other burdens to be made less burdensome. Can a helpmate also be the ear to listen, the hand to hold, the mouth to kiss? Emotion is missing from the word “helpmate,” a resignation to the practical side of a relationship wherein passion is designated little to no room. I’m not equipped, after all, to settle for a helpmate–too stubborn, too hopeful to give up on a birthright. I have given up on a lot of things I once thought I’d be or do, but those were pieces that didn’t fit into the puzzle of me. To make “helpmate” fit would require nothing less than the redesigning of the puzle, and that’s an idea whose time I hope never comes.


That Leaves Me with Whining

July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s always been about me. To you, it’s always been about you. What else? I’m not convinced there is a pure altruism or compassion. (I’d feel all the worse if there were.) I know people who are always giving, but I don’t envy or admire them. Is that why I don’t try harder to give? because I see how so much spent can be so little bought? There is only the asking. Call it a cynic’s view, but it’s what I see, and I don’t call myself a cynic. Who gives that doesn’t ask, however guiltily, for something in return? Why not just ask? It otherwise seems a passive aggression–or, rather, an aggressive passivity. People aren’t subtle. Hints are, at best, resented, but, most often, missed. Rejection is painful, so asking without asking is the safest–and least effective–way to go about getting what one wants. Each path requires a certain painful acceptance, of either ignore-ance or rejection. The path I chose was not the one whose negative outcome I was prepared to handle, and I’m not prepared any better now to take the same tack; but neither am I going to moon about with puppy-dog eyes hoping to be taken in. That leaves me with whining.

In There Somewhere Is Self-Forgiveness

May 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

Herself wasn’t what I had hoped, whatever that was. Hope jumped into the confusion and marshalled the minions to subdue reality while my mind replaced it. I wanted someone to care about me. She was not that someone, though I would not let myself believe it, as if she were my last hope, the last woman in the kingdom on whose foot to try the glass slipper. But I was a beastly prince. I had never invested so much of myself in another and never been returned a bigger fool. I couldn’t imagine a greater unfairness. I determined to exact justice from her and made myself the bigger fool and the most beastly prince until she left me with no one to hang my delusions upon. Sifting through them as through Charles Foster Kane’s treasures is a penance but moreso a responsibility–to myself if not to her. In there somewhere is self-forgiveness.

Feeling Sorry for It

April 20, 2012 § 8 Comments

Loneliness is best left alone. I was never lonelier than when I was married to someone who couldn’t understand me. I don’t blame the wife. I was barely accessible to myself, much less anyone else. I was lost trying to play the role of husband. As a father I stepped up, but it was difficult keeping on the brave, happy face for them. I am less lonely now, and I am free to honor my loneliness with attention unclouded by the responsibility of upholding a pretense. I don’t love my loneliness or clutch it to my breast, but I can’t hate it, either, as something to be excised like a tumor. It is a part of me, and I am bound to accepting and understanding it, not to ignoring it behind another pretense. Lonely is just one thing I am, and not, by far, the most important thing. As I hope with Herself, I count on coming to terms with it as the means of reducing it to insignificance. Being used to something is no reason to keep it. Growing up with someone doesn’t require me to be friends with them. Loneliness is no friend, but sometimes I can’t help feeling sorry for it.

My Level of Commitment

April 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

As I crawl from under the foot of the self-imposed tyranny of that so-called love and stand erect, I bear myself a bit more comfortably in going forward back into the fray. Flirting has become fun sport, yet remains so only so long as I do not consider the end to which it is often the means. I play much of that sport on the circulation desk at work, with any female patron that can raise my eyebrows. Encounters are usually brief, just long enough to play one point, which can be evenly volleyed to a satisfactory draw or double-faulted. Winning seems undesirable. What is to be won? What do I really want out of this? I want to know that I can hold serve and return one. I want to know that I’m attractive. I want to know that I can express my attraction to someone without eliciting fear or ridicule. I want more–companionship, compassion, sex–but am not confident in my ability to reciprocate. For now, the game’s the thing. It’s my level of commitment.

Who Can Read Them As I Do Now?

March 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

My other blogs don’t embarrass me. I don’t care how they affect my love life. Should I hesitate, in this googlized to give my last name to a prospective mate, knowing what she would find? Whatever labels interpretation applies to me, whether they stick or fall off is my call. I’ve just read the last post of A Bright, Ironic Hell. It astounds me. Yet I remember the day after the evening I published it and the laser glare Herself shot me at work when, from across the room, we first saw each other. What had I done? How had I offended her this time? I can’t wonder that over every word I wrote (or write), for her or anyone else. The blogs were always soliciting something–if not a Personals ad, at least a personal one: I set out not to showcase my outstanding features but to show all of them. I was after empathy. I was looking for someone who understood–a friend. I thought that might be her. Relative to now and the companionship I seek, the blogs stand as a test of compassion and understanding: Who can read them feeling neither piteous nor superior? Who can read them as I do now?

My Importance to Nil

January 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

With all the respect I’ve lost, I still like my job.  I know where I stand there, but that’s in a humble place, and it’s uncomfortable. I don’t want to live in that shame anymore–at least not all of it. I will be a while sloughing it off. I get cynical and aloof, but I’m just feeling lonely. Self-pity, envy, missed opportunities for compassion: I lie low then. That’s most of the time. The rest of the time, I’m nice, almost talkative. I can reach out a little ways. Whichever person I am on a given day, I like what I do, assisting the free dissemination of information to people who still read. My employer does not have that same commitment. I hope I am gone before the county has completed turning its library system into a chain of bookstores and proportionally reducing my salary to a wage and  my importance to nil.

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