Things ended because we had a lot of problems coming to a slow boil all at once, it isn’t really that either of us did something wrong, but one of the major catalysts that hurled us toward the exit was that I, given a penchant for blowing things outta proportion, started stressing about this past Saturday, the one before Halloween, because in the days leading up to it she was making plans to go out and party until far and late with a close friend and I, by stark contrast, would be doing my usual thing of staying at home, maybe just watchinga movie or reading, but I’d also be stewing, knowing she was out, I’d be resentful of her (senselessly) and hating myself – hating, specifically, the fact that I’m not even 30 and yet I have virtually zero appetite for adventure. It feels almost like something missing from my internal
coding. A malfunction.
And so the contrast of what we’d be doing on that Saturday before Halloween just seemed symbolic of where we were going overall in our lives.
Cormac McCarthy’s got this passage in All the Pretty Horses that goes
“He remembered Alejandra and the sadness he’d first seen in the slope of her shoulders which he’d presumed to understand and of which he knew nothing and he felt a loneliness he’d not known since he was a child and he felt wholly alien to the world although he loved it still. He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought the world’s heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world’s pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be extracted for the vision of a single flower.”
Kinda heavy and dramatic, I know, and I’m probably quoting more of that passage than I need to, but that “headlong deficit” of “diverging equity” is what Rosie and I had over the past couple months: she was ascending faster and faster toward the world of people and movement and life in the city while I, with my cheap beer and movies, plummeted toward the opposite: turned more hermetic, more agitated about inconveniences, more focused on my Project and – if I can say this with astraight face – more concerned about my “career”. I was open to maybe step out for a drink now and then but otherwise just wanted to sit in cafes and focus on my work.
So anyway. All week I was dreading Saturday, the idea of being alone and knowing she was out enjoying the kinda thing she probably couldn’t have enjoyed with a Cloud of Alex overhead, and then, suddenly, Pavel (the colleague I often mention, who writes for Punch Drunk Movies and Jitney) invites me to his house, along with our mutual friend J., for an evening barbeque. J. says he’s gonna drive me. And so he picks me up at 6:30, we get to Pavel’s at around 7, and then the three of us sit up talking, over burgers and twentysomething beers, until 2 a.m. Just right there in the same seats, without moving, for five hours: laughing, arguing, confiding. J. doesn’t drink much at all and drives me home at 2:30 and I’m in bed by 3 a.m. – which still feels kinda weak, since I can’t help comparing my own evening to those of my acquaintances on social media who –according to the photos – were out partying ‘til dawn and beyond; but, on the bright side, I really had a
blast with my friends! Best night of my week (or best night since the previous Saturday, when R. and I went on our first evening meal in forever, at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and afterward initiated a brief but pleasant reconciliation, torrentially affectionate, endlessly chatty – a night for the books).
More importantly, I was lamenting that I wasn’t cool enough to go bar hopping even though I’d just been bar-hopping the night before, from about 6 p.m. to midnight. I was doing it by myself, granted, so I probably didn’t have a fraction of the fun I might have had if I’d gone with a friend or significant other, but I found the bars on Friday night to be mostly just noise and bustle and the weird kind of crowded hyperactivity that makes an environment feel lonelier than a desert. At least in the desert you can think.
I don’t have the money to really make a parade of a latenight bar scene, nor the personality to let the tides of the night carry me along from one group to the next, bar to bar, making friends and dancing and being a lively young person. I just start thinking about home and responsibilities, and I go into these asinine cost-benefit analyses like, “Is it a better use of my time to stand here at this bar talking about oral sex and The Exorcist with a person I’ll probably never see again, getting drunker and drunker, or should I be at home checking another three-hour movie off the List?”And if you ask me right now, deep down, which of those two things I would rather be doing, as opposed to what I believe is a better use of my time, I couldn’t give you a concrete answer. Each sounds like bliss.
And if you ask me right now, deep down, which of those two things I would rather be doing, as opposed to what I believe is a better use of my time, I couldn’t give you a concrete answer. Each sounds like bliss.
So I’m lamenting that I’m pretty fucking lame but, at the same time, can’t deny how much fun I have if I’m sitting around being lame with the right kindsa people.