I’m in a mood.
First, some context.
It’s been an odd week. After having started with a great weekend, just about everything and everyone fell through on me over the last five days. Tuesday was especially hard; I tried contacting several friends, and got nothing but empty silence in return, except from Andrew — with whom I had dinner on Wednesday, as well as some drinks, later, with him and one of his new acquaintances.
Tony? Voice-mail tag. Rick? Plans canceled. Dave? Well ….
Even Dave saddened me; we had a short call on Monday, followed by me calling and getting no response on Tuesday, followed by a terse e-mail from him on Wednesday, followed by a text summons from Mary on Thursday to meet him, her, and Matt at The Apartment for a nightcap. Which was fun, although I really felt bad for how exhausted he seemed from working like a mad demon on crack. Followed, tonight, by … a non-committal text from Dave (in response to a query from me) and a last-minute, late-evening summons back to the bar from Mary. Which, this time, I demurred, much to my very deep regret.
So … so, what, exactly?
The second trip to Las Vegas yet again serves as a convenient temporal marker, a reference point of sorts that has no intrinsic causative power yet looms foreboding like Sr. Mary Joseph with her ruler and frown. This time, the subject being divided is my social calendar.
Prior to mid-May, my personal life was rather anemic. Oh, sure, I had friends whom I saw on occasion, but “social Jason” was released from captivity perhaps four to six times per month, on average, and usually in a scheduled and structured manner with Tony, or Tony/Emilie/Jon, or Rick — rarely with a group, and never with “strangers.” And for a long time, I thought this was quite sufficient.
But the more I saw of Andrew after returning from Las Vegas, and then meeting Dave and his circle of friends, the more I came to realize that I actually enjoy human company. A lot.
Strange, isn’t it? I pride myself in spotting in others the various ways in which their behaviors betray an inconsistency in apparent self-image, yet I have been so ungodly blind to my own glaring incongruencies for so long. I have viewed myself as reserved — a loner of sorts, who relishes solitude and emotional tranquility and disdains too-frequent human company — and as possessed of a logical, even stoic, disposition.
Except that I’m not, really.
I crave human company; now that I have a better sense of what it’s like to be actively social, I get lonely at the drop of a hat. Or a non-returned phone call. Now that I’m seeing Dave, and have a deeper experience with the simple joy of proximity and touch, I find I can’t keep my hands off of him — which makes us one of “those” couples at the bar. You know; the sort that you’re not sure whether you should gawk at or avert your gaze, and you might even snicker openly about, yet you secretly wished you had the balls to do what they’re doing?
My logical brain says, “Hey, cool it. Take what you can get and don’t be too needy, or too paranoid-introspective.” Or, as my friend Jen said on Thursday, “Quit acting like a 12-year-old girl.” Truth be told, I know the logical brain is correct. I know that my friends — far from abandoning me! — love me and bear me absolutely no ill will. I know that Dave is running himself ragged and barely has time to sleep, let alone to babysit me. And my logical brain takes comfort in this, and says that things are looking good. Very good.
But I’ll be damned if my emotional response has been utterly non-compliant with the dictates of reason. So, I’ve been stressing about being alone (for only three of the last seven evenings) and missing Dave (who already gives me more time than he can afford despite his work schedule). I know I’m being foolish. It is what it is. Human company, long denied, becomes powerfully seductive, even addictive, to those who’ve carefully rationed their personal time over many years. Now that I’ve mainlined humanity, I find myself jonesing for more, playing the addict still working out a tolerance level in a world filled with fast-talking pushers and a pervasive emo soundtrack.
It’s odd, really. I can’t recall a time in my life when my reason couldn’t keep my emotions under sufficiently tight control. But lately, things have been more interesting. Obviously, having a significant social circle in Grand Rapids is a major contributor; I wonder whether the ongoing hormonal changes I’ve been experiencing after my weight loss isn’t also playing a role in this. And dating (#1) a man, and (#2) the most perfect man in the world, might factor somewhere. Perhaps.
Anyway, I still have the soundtrack to Ken Burns’s The Civil War in the Jeep’s CD player. I kept playing “Weeping, Sad and Lonely” over and over and over again — not because of the title, but because of the haunting melody. But the title struck my fancy, so I’ve appropriated it for this reflection.
Told you I was in a mood.