It's been bugging me that I haven't updated my blogs in a few days, and by days I mean weeks, so I decided I would at least put something here to tide you all over, since the idea of this blog was to put things I've already written on display for all to see. So here is something from July of 2002. I think it only fair to mention that some of the dialogue contained in the second section was inspired by (and lifted pretty much verbatim from) a conversation I was having with my friend Bridget at a Bar-B-Que Party in the park earlier that day. And to almost no one's surprise, it all goes back to my life seemingly revolving around "High Fidelity." Note to those who haven't heard the news -- I quit working at Tower Records in November. I no longer work at a record store. Oh, and thanks to Matt Dallow for saying that had it come out first, my book (the one I'm working on now) would have been better at being "High Fidelity" than anything Nick Hornby could write.
...Much like the fictional Rob Gordon (who may as well be my alter-ego, be it slightly older and less mature, but pretty much the same character as myself) put it, for the longest time I thought it was about what you like, not necessarily what you’re like. Thusly, I found that I kept throwing in my lot with women I had no business being with in the long run for various reasons, but especially due to their personalities being so destructive to my own. Recently, it has come to my attention that I’ve had it backwards this whole time. Especially after the Naomi disaster. Dating an 18 year-old. What was I thinking? Maybe we could have been good friends, but focusing so much attention on her was just a bad idea. I really should have known better. Too cool for school, barely capable of dealing with emotion. Just because she liked all the same things. I made her out to be so great because of what she liked. Meanwhile, the one thing she didn't seem to like was being involved with me. Oh, how we overlook minor details, eh? Nevertheless, I’m a better, more equipped person after the whole ordeal. And yes, I had fun. I wouldn’t take back most of it, but I’m not going to repeat it anytime soon.
“I think men like to have a string of relationships, to give themselves something to refer to...almost like accomplishments...”
“I don’t think so...well, not everyone. I don’t like having to refer to moments in time by who I was with, but sometimes, the events or episodes you’re relating leave little choice but to mention the person who was with you at the time, and hiding it with euphemisms, or playing with pronouns, saying “my friend” or whatever just doesn’t help the flow of the narrative.”
“I just don’t want to be a part of someone’s back-catalogue, like a record or something. I think it’s degrading and insulting.”
“I completely agree with you, but I just hate the process of meeting people and dating and stuff. I just want to find someone I am comfortable with and hang out. I’m not sure I really need anything more than that right now.”
I like being alone sometimes, and I like not answering to anyone, not having to make decisions for two people all the time. I just finally got used to sleeping alone, I think...Unless the reason I never go to bed early enough is because I am still afraid to sleep alone. And I can’t just get used to that again if it just going to be an ephemeral experience like the last time. I need the feeling of semi-permanence - something I can settle into, rather than a flash-in-the-pan.
I am not good at letting go, and I get too quickly attached. Not a good combination, I know. I’m loyal, like a stupid puppy that you can slap around a lot and it will still lick your face. It takes a while before I wake up and smell the rotting corpse of long-dead romance. I don’t have casual relationships or one-night stands. I don’t know how. I can’t meet that many people to simply use them once and discard quickly.
I like to surround myself with people who are like me, in varying degrees. I’ve met people who are nice enough, but unless we share common musical or cinematic tastes, I feel distant. I also need physical contact to feel close. I am very big on hugs from everyone. That’s just my nature. I’m a hugger. And a damn good one, so I’ve been told. Just give me a smile and a hug and talk to me about music and I will probably take a bullet for you.
Why is it all so complicated? Why do we get so wrapped up in emotions anyway? They don’t make sense. Our brains and our bodies share the same house, but they disagree on everything. I can talk to someone, feel like I’ve known her all my life, develop affections for her, think that it is mutual, but then a completely different story gets read back to me.
Do I make it all up in my mind? Or do I take one moment and try to use that to define the present? Is it real for that moment, but only that moment? Is an event defined only by that moment in which it occurred? Does it not carry forward to other moments? Am I the only one who carries a torch for repeating emotions from moments passed? Do passed emotions stay only in the past, or do they still hold validity in the present? Do they just vanish when that moment is gone, or do they linger?
All things begin, thus they must end, as long as the middle is worth the time you spend miserable. I never knew her mind from day one, never understood what I was to her. The field of play seemed to constantly change, I never got a firm grasp of the rules...kind of like playing a new game with a little kid who constantly cheats, knowing full well what an easy target you are.
All the times she said I was lacking confidence was all because she kept changing the game. When I realized how I felt for her, I only wanted her to feel the same. But she didn’t or she wouldn’t and it just made me feel really dumb. I don’t think I will ever say those words again unless the other person says them first.
There are so many questions I can’t ask her that my mind wants me to. But I know she will never talk to me if and when I do. I don’t know why that bothers me so much. I know I would be better off if we both stayed out of touch. But I am drawn to her like a moth to a lamp, I’ll get stuck to her and then I’ll burn.
I know torturing myself won’t help heal my heart, I knew it wasn’t going to work from the start. The more I tried to fight, the more I started to fall. And now I’m Timmy O’Toole at the bottom of the well. Like the Bart who cried wolf, if I was being truthful how could you tell?
I can’t turn off my feelings with a flick of the switch. How does that work? Did it just seem like a good idea at the time, and now it doesn’t? If it wasn’t a mistake, why does it upset her? If the feelings were real, what kind of feelings were they really? For a moment, I felt close to her. For another moment, I thought I was important to her. The next moment, she acted like I was nothing. Nothing can erase that, not even the memory of the other moments. I still am kissing her and feeling her supposedly genuine affections in a nonlinear form of time, like Billy Pilgrim with Montana Wildhack in the zoo on Tralfamadore while being on top of the stairs in Ilium, New York; I simultaneously feel her scorn and derision - telling me that talking about emotions is self-indulgent and for the weak-minded. These moments all coexist now, I cannot enjoy or feel the hurt of one or the other at will. I feel it all at once, and it ties me in knots sometimes, and it scares me, and keeps me from wanting to share any more moments with anyone.
This mood I’m in is all my own doing. It’s not about her, it’s not about anyone; how can it be? Other people can sometimes affect our moods, but how seriously can they affect our well-being? To what degree is it normal? How much is too much? When does it teeter on the brink of obsession?
And if it is because of her, isn’t that indicative of a larger problem within? Besides, I always get like this. Obviously, it’s some sort of internal turmoil; the rest is either catalyst, coincidence, or something in-between. But it’s easy to blame it on external forces. I’m not going to this time. No, really.