There’s this girl who makes me feel alone. It is the most wonderful thing in the world, and the most terrible.
Looking back, as just knowing her makes me do, it seems there has often been a girl who filled the same role. Sadly, there was a long time when this was just sad and it is sad to look at. Let’s start there.
I hate the fact that talking about her in the abstract does not protect her identity in the least, but that does not mean I have no right to speak of her, so I am sorry ahead of time. I am also sorry for you, if you think speaking like this is unmanly, because well, you obviously don’t understand what a man is capable of.
When I met her, I was alone. It wasn’t until we were lying on adjacent couches holding hands that I felt absolutely alone. It was an amazing thing to feel suddenly aware that the only thing that held me to this earth was a soft hand. The thing is, our relationship, many years later, left me with a different way of feeling alone. I felt like I was in a relationship that kept me cut off from the world because I was constantly terrified of being judged by the rest of the world. I felt like I had to make sure the outside of this box looked great. It got to the point where my friends who could look inside, and there were very few, wondered why I was so insane. I was so invested and terrified what others would think if I let the box fall apart. That is no reason to hold your own prison together.
Now, let me temper that by saying that even up to the end, there were moments of true joy and happiness and she is not a horrible and terrible person and jailor.
Before her, there was another girl. She made a joke on a radio headset once and I was in love. I pretended that it wasn’t that simple and if she reads this, this would be the first time she heard that that was it. After that, I pursued a relationship that lasted a few years and it was wonderful until I felt alone at an important and incredibly difficult moment.
Now, I know a couple of girls who make me feel alone. Actually, I guess there are several. One more than the others. Much more. It’s never going to go anywhere, but it is a sweet torture. Even if everything else in the universe aligned, I know that our lives just don’t fit together. Neither do our personalities. Neither do our goals. But wow. Every time I deal with her, it brings me back to that couch and holding a girl’s hand for 8 hours of pretending to try and sleep while hoping and knowing there was no way I would.
Yeah, it is horrible and wonderful. I look forward to every moment together slightly more than I dread it. It is a new kind of alone. Love begins and ends with loneliness. And although I know we’ll never find an amazing middle, I am kind of loving this horrible “beginning.” It is like a striptease, but infinitely more intimate.
BRB… when I figure out why I am even telling you this.
<30 minutes later>
We had a conversation once about how strip clubs are sad places. I disagreed with that idea, because I’ve talked to girls who genuinely feel it is empowering and about how the stripper is in control and a million other things. When I was younger I always thought it was sad, but these girls changed my mind. After this conversation, I realized that the sadness in strip clubs was in the men who seek connection at the end of a dollar. I guess that is what makes this relevant. I guess that is why I write this.
Jeannette, you were right. It is sad. And that is why I guess it’s really never been my scene. Last time I was there, I sat with this girl and talked about her son for a couple of hours. He’s 10 and her eyes light up when she talks about him. And we talked about you, and this was only shortly after I met you. Apparently my eyes lit up too. So yeah, it is generally sad, but I guess you can really connect with people anywhere.