So, yeah… I’m a little down lately.
This is either coincident with… or perhaps a result of …I learned recently that Laura has …weird issues with committment. Such that she is not sure she could be monogamous … or even go so far as to say that she will try to be ‘faithful’ to me. …And that there may be a measure of a shallow judgemental nature to her… by which I do not quite measure up.
Or maybe it’s this cold, confusing me by making me feel bad in a way that feels emotional.
Or maybe it’s because of my recent birthday… which actually went a lot better than I expected, overall… I mean, I got a lovely dinner, two cakes, a gift from Laura, a backwards sort of gift from Zoe that was just what I wanted, and these pants I’m wearing… but my whole life I’ve been not expecting to live past 50, and now I’m over half-way there, and … what is my life worth, after all these 25 years? I joke sometimes that I like to make people “suffer and cry” … that’s actually supposed to be Modern Evil’s “mission statement”: “Make people suffer and cry.” But I look back on my life, on the people whose lives I’ve intersected with, and rather than a net gain, I see a lot of suffering, confusion, and tears. And that’s just in the people around me. I’ve been trying to do better the last few years, to have a positive impact on the lives of the people I care about, to form worthwhile, lasting relationships with new people… but it’s devolved, I think. I don’t want to change the world, but I don’t want to be a total drain. And sure, I’ve got that novel written, but I think people are afraid to give me feedback on it, or … don’t know what to say at all. It isn’t a novel like anything I’ve ever seen, and apparently not like anything anyone else has seen, either. Who knows if people want to read something so different from what they’re familiar with? And I’ve sold a couple of paintings, but here’s my dark secret: I’ve never sold a painting (for money) to anyone I haven’t either been to bed with or who hasn’t expressed interest in same. It isn’t just my friends buying them (though it is just my friends expressing interest in them), it’s ex-lovers and potential lovers buying them. (I mentioned this to someone else lately, and their response was that I must be really good in bed. I guess. But I don’t really want to have to bed people to sell my art.)
It’s after ten now, and I feel like I should be downstairs, like maybe grandfather is getting angry… except I can’t remember ever seeing him angry, and I expect he’ll be calm and friendly whenever I get downstairs… but with a list of things for me to do.
My neck hurts. I think I slept on it wrong a couple of nights ago, and it’s been in pain since. Apparently there’s a glut of massage therapists in the Rim Country… but it doesn’t bring their prices down.
But mostly, I think it’s Laura. Not that she’s done something wrong, but that I hoped for too much, and I’m dealing now with my dashed hopes. I’m trying to deal, anyway. I’m trying to deal with convincing my mind and my heart that “pen pals” is the right phrase do describe us, nothing more. To figure out what that means. Mutual like, mutual lust, one-sided love, and … no committment, no expectations beyond the next letter or email, and apparently I was the only one who hoped that something more would or could grow out of this, to take us beyond pen pals. It’s my fault. I read too much into her words. I guess that’s one of the problems with letters is that I can read them again and again and again and think for hours and days and weeks about what she meant when she wrote this or that, and sometimes it doesn’t take long to see something that isn’t there… like when she says she doesn’t want someone else, she wants me… I accidentally read that to mean that out of her own desire she would automatically not pursue someone else… but I guess it must mean something else.
And part of my reaction has been that I no longer want to feel the way I do for her, I no longer want to feel like MY DESIRE has created committment in me to her, I no longer want to feel like I want more from our relationship than words on the page or the screen, I no longer want to feel like I shouldn’t go after someone else, bed someone new, I no longer know what to do… All of a sudden I don’t want to write to her anymore… I can write all of this here, publicly, but I can’t get myself to write it down on paper for her, or even in an email to her… perhaps because I don’t have a conclusion, because I am conflicted. There is something left … something, perhaps quite worthwile, which can occur between the two of us… on paper, in words, without committment of any kind or monogamy … friendship, I guess… but it’s so much less than I wanted, it’s so much less than my love wanted to grow to be, and I just have to figure out if it’s something I want, and if it is, what that means I ought to do, or if maybe I should just step back for six to eight years and see what’s going on with her then… and how that relates to … whatever it is I think I want by then, six or eight years from now.
You know, when I’m 2/3 of the way through the life I expect to lead.