I Prefer Erosion

November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Love again. On and off again. The pendulum swings. Is it possible? or not? Companion? or lover? Yes. After that, what? I fear fixation. How can I not show what I want? Why should I not? To preclude rejection. Rejection is a negative expectation and self-fulfilling. I don’t trust my skin; most of the callous has worn off. For all I know, I’m ready, but for the confidence. Want, hope, fear. Do I deserve it? My call. Am I not perfect yet? I’m short two things I know yet can’t admit: The brick and mortar of delusion would crumble. I prefer erosion.

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She Can’t Be Touched

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

There is comfort in not caring about what I can do nothing to change, affect or effect, as long as I’m not just giving up. Bitterness is the shell of giving up, the indifference, purgatory; acceptance the truth, if not exactly the heaven. Foreground and background transpose: Importance rack-focuses. The shift is motivated by both fear and weariness: I fear what people think of me for belaboring my emotions over a relationship that never was; and I am weary of caring about it. So though I do, still, think of Herself, I let no one know. Keeping it to myself will make it unreal even to me one day. The woman I wanted her to be will be a woman unto herself, a fictional character I can understand. But as complete as she may become, she will only be so as a construct of my imagination; however nuanced her psychology or complex her emotions, she is yet not three-dimensional and never can be. She can’t be touched.

“Yeah–Right!”

October 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

Is my gaze on a woman tyrannical? Knowing what I mean by it, I shouldn’t have to ask the question, but I ask because I am not, apparently, allowed to judge. Am I looking upon her with appreciation or aggression? Perception trumps intent. What she sees is what I intend. I’d better not look. I’d better not even want to look. Who knows into what depths my lascivious intentions can be followed. Perception is the tyranny here in the Blame Age. My gaze injects her with fear. My gait, my stance–my very being!–how menacing they must be! How dare I! What am I? Some kind of monster? I’m sorry for both of us. I’ll retire to my manacles in the garret and allow you the run of the castle. Which one of us will be lonelier?

He Doesn’t Stand a Chance

September 11, 2012 § 2 Comments

Did you ever call a peacock narcissistic? mutter “Creep!” as you showed your back to him? There is no difference between narcissism and the mating dance. He’s got to be seen or, one less species to ward. If the aloof loner gets all the action (and, believe me, he doesn’t) then we’re making for a wussy society. If the hen ignores the cock, she has her reasons–is she less than impressed with his display, doesn’t understand his dance, or just plain doesn’t notice–whose loss is it? My feathers were camo to Herself. I still don’t know what could have gotten her attention. Why I didn’t move on to the next hen, I know too well. I have been called a creep, and it hurts. And it hurts to hear other men described that way. Men who were, to the woman so naming them, simply out of their league; who are doing what society and women expect them to do without instruction. Who the hell knows what dance to dance or what feathers to wear? Under these circumstances, it’s a cinch to fail and unfair to be judged. That man is a creep because you are afraid of him. He is what you have made him. He doesn’t stand a chance.

Fear of Too Late

May 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Caution is pregnant with danger. To fear is to validate menace. I’m afraid of much of myself. Among the many things of which I’m capable are plenty of which I wish I weren’t. Diligence is exhausting. In the big world these are not bad things that I’m trying not to do, but in the context of me I can’t afford to do them. I know where Herself lives, and it’s not far. Often, I conjure reasons to go there, but I have rules: I will do nothing that deliberately puts me in a position to encounter her. Her home is not “on the way” to anywhere else, and I cannot contrive it to be. Those are the laws and I’m the sheriff, but I’m also Ernest T. Bass. Once, and for a long time, there was no sheriff, and the laws were written in the sand. I’m grateful for the progress, just not the responsibility. I’m up to it but disappointed I have to do it. Still: progress. And it gets easier. I don’t forget that there is nothing to be gained, but I often choose not to believe it until it’s almost too late. I’m afraid of being too late.

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.

The Wisdom to Understand It

March 16, 2012 § 5 Comments

The distance between me and my daughters will grow. I would at least like to think that it is not so broad as it could easily have been by now. Children grow up. They leave to have lives of their own. Yet something else for me to accept. I will, but hardly without envy of boyfriends and husbands. Often, I turn conversations with them to musing on our mutual future: I’m eager for their emancipation into adulthood, if for selfish reasons, such as the freedom to spend more time with me. But they could spend it with others as easily. My fear is of not being the first choice, but certainly I will be that more than once. Abandonment looms threateningly even now, and I’m afraid I’ve conveyed that in our conversations, laid a foundation for guilt to be built upon. I don’t want their pity any more than anyone else’s. I’m preparing myself for being alone, but I don’t intend to press the issue. They will leave for other lives and leave me to a new one of my own. That that new life could be as rewarding without (or with less of) them is hard to believe, but I do believe there’s time to get used to the idea and to grow the wisdom to understand it.

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