Back Into My Hair Shirt

November 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Self-created penance—guilt: Is it all that’s in the way? The plunge is a scary thing, but if I get too comfortable alone—well, I can’t imagine that. And that’s the problem: I enjoy my time at home, but staying there is too easy, and my life is not wholly contained in my apartment. What portion’s on the outside? More every day. What it looks like, I haven’t the foggiest. I thought I would feel differently, but desperation and impatience, even together, can’t calm the fear of actually going on a date. When do I say “I don’t have a car?” When does it become dishonest not to? When you know it’s a dealbreaker and could thin the herd to you by saying it. Just another excuse to fall back on Herself and into my hair shirt.

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The Loner’s Half-Life

November 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

(To the tune of Depeche Mode’s Violator)

In lieu of companionship: domestication. Finding comfort at home. Sanctuary is comforting, is there when you get home. Nothing you talk to there talks back, though–not intelligibly. TV is not a conversation. Neither is a cat. Chocolate’s not sex (depending on the brand and the cacao content). But we make do. The job doesn’t come through: Come home and eat whatever the hell you feel like, catch The Simpsons instead of the news, try to laugh till bedtime, and hope to fall asleep before getting horny and/or lonely–unconscious before you remember what’s missing: A lifestyle that’s almost a life.

“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?

Does It Matter What We Are?

October 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

What is a man anymore? Is he anything at all irrelative to a woman? If humans actually are driven to mate by biological imperative, then why do I care so much to attract women beyond child-bearing years when I can still father children? Is the man who does not identify himself relative to a woman a narcissist? Is the man who does needy? Is it the woman’s definition of him that makes the man? How does she define him as good enough for her? Can she? Does she want to bother anymore? Should he care? Can he be fully realized without her? or she without him? Is a declaration of independence anything more than a capitulation to solitude? a determined resignation to loneliness? “Man”? “Woman”? Does it matter what we are?

He’s Looking Elsewhere

September 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Whatever I am as a man, I am as me. I am not a member of that collective snottily labeled “Men!” No man is. There is no playing field leveled by applying that label, just sexist ignorance in a smaller jackboot. It’s easy to judge by the standards I had no choice but to learn growing up. Falling short of your standards does not make me the standard of your failed relationships with men. If you expect anything of me, expect the good. Cynicism, that snide insecurity, is a shield from fear and a shelter for loneliness. Can you really believe all men are alike? Then stop hoping to get the one you want. He’s looking elsewhere.

Might As Well Be Me

August 3, 2012 § 3 Comments

As long as I can’t live with myself, I will be lonely. My own company is more than tolerable, but impatience craves others, to either fill that gap between me or mask it like a tiger trap. The craving demands more effort than I am willing to put out for it. Or I’d rather just hang out with myself. I wouldn’t mind you coming over, but it will take an invitation to get me out. I have more fun in my own habitat. Lonely is not something I have to be anymore than unhappy. Easily said. Who doesn’t know that? Knowing is worth very little to the heart. The dumbest thing I did was to think when I was in love. Nothing could have confused me more thoroughly. I didn’t trust thought, but I had no instinct in love, so I couldn’t trust that, either. I don’t doubt that I was in love, though I’d never known love, but it was motivated by loneliness. I wanted to be not-alone before I wanted love. As long as I don’t love myself I’ll be looking for soemone to do it for me. It might as well be me.

In My Pajamas

May 15, 2012 § 4 Comments

Getting to know myself has required a lot of time alone, but I have no intention of becoming hermetically sealed in my apartment. I bore myself sometimes. After the movies, books, music, and writing, there’s still no one there to talk to about them. I talk to myself, but I always know what I’m going to say. So I go to Carytown. It’s crowded, as a city street should be, with lots of shops from which I might actually buy something, but I’m just looking for conversation. I never know if I’m going to get it, but I know early on which it’s going to be. The first person I have opportunity to talk to is the bellwether. The sooner I get out after my morning coffee, the better chance I have to ignore my shyness. The conversation doesn’t start if I don’t initiate it. Some days I just can’t do that. It seems that on those days no one talks to me, either. Is it just that kind of world? or do I look like I don’t want to interact? Give me a couple more choices. On those days I want to think that if I stay out there a little while longer something will happen, but all that happens is I get home much later than I intended, feeling I’ve wasted the day, made no progress at all in my socialization, and dug myself a little deeper into my loneliness. Sounds like something I could have done at home in my pajamas.

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