Tuesday, June 26, 2007

All of Our Mantras

Well… thank God that's over.

There are things I need to survive. First and foremost… coffee… then water… then food. I will go in search of all three right now. Because nothing else can happen before coffee happens.

This terminal looks familiar. It's likely that I've spent too much time here before. You know those maps people put on their Myspace pages? The ones that color code the states and/or countries the person has been to? Those are fun. I'd like a map with every major airport on it. And every time I fly someplace new, I can add a little neon-colored plane graphic to the map. Because eventually -- I have a feeling -- I will (potentially… against my better judgment) fly to every single airport in the world. And I think the people need to know.

The Accidental Petty Thief
In some ways, I lucked out here. I stood in line at a food station in the terminal for the coffee/water/food requirements, when I spied a Dunkin Donuts kiosk not 10 yards away. In that moment of sheer joy at the prospect of feeling like I'm already a little closer to home, I beeline-d my way from the food station to the Dunkin Donuts kiosk, forgetting that I had already picked up the water… and, for safe keeping… put it in my purse.

Luckily, as one might suspect, petty theft is not a difficult crime to execute unnoticed. After getting coffee, I returned to the original line for water/food, and realized, when I looked in my purse, that I had stolen the bottle. I glanced around to make sure no one was watching me, took it out of my purse, and paid for it. I am now the proud/legitimate owner of one over-priced bottle of Crystal Geyser.


When I was younger and only mildly jaded, I thought air travel was magical. It was so romantic with all of the people and the possibilities of who might be waiting for you on the other end of that long walk from the airplane to the terminal.

Now, it's a hassle. Now, when I go to the airport, I am forced to be a contestant in a sick game of Me Vs. The World where every elderly woman, wheelchair, disgruntled airport employee, family of four (or five or six), stroller, slow moving tourist, and/or broken escalator/moving walkway/plane is placed in my way as a obstacle I must navigate around, or – on the particularly bad days – through.

But today, things appear (this, I believe is called being “cautiously optimistic”) to be going smoothly. I actually managed to be picked up on standby and will now arrive in Chicago before noon on a flight where I am given a better seat, in a row that I don't have to share with anyone, and miraculously, I am left alone to listen to my iPod and write… furiously.

Speaking of…

An explanation for my friends and readers, perhaps? Ya'll deserve it. I mean, I write something so terribly esoteric (not to mention melodramatic) and people wonder what the hell is going on with me. For the one or two of you out there who didn't either inspire it or hear it directly from me… shall we?

Ah yes. The "cat" story… reality is fluid, isn’t it? But (BUT!) barring the possibility that the experience was actually a hallucination brought on by a case of the acid flashbacks, it really happened. All of it. Just like that. The beginning, the end… and yes… the cat. I still don't know how it got into my kitchen… unless I have a hole in my screen door (which I plan to check as soon as this plane lands, I get my luggage, a cab, and dropped off at home). Still, do cats often make the effort to climb through holes in screen doors? Maybe on the occasion that I am in need of a MUSE. Thanks Cat.

And yes, it was a metaphor. Reality, once in a great while, is well timed. However, until I was on the plane en route to our nation's cap-e-tal, I didn't realize the gravity of the moment and what -- if I chose to write it that way -- it could mean. But I may have unintentionally misrepresented the situation. It was about "breaking up" (for lack of a better term, or perhaps more accurately, "getting dumped"), but the story of the cat illustrated acceptance and understanding what is best for your's truly.

Anyway... there's no need to be cryptic...

The short of it: Wednesday night, a week ago, the guy I had been seeing for a couple months-ish told me (and I very loosely quote), "I don't like you as much as I thought I would."

Bam. Just like that. Regardless of the circumstances, right or wrong, left or right, up or down, for better or worse, if that ain't a kick in the self-esteem, I don't what is.

But, you know how it goes, distance… perspective… everything happens for a reason…blah blah blah… etc., ad nauseam.

And so...

I enjoy, sometimes, making self-deprecating jokes about my modus operandi when it comes to relationships with "men." I say things like, "If I don't continuously make mistakes, how will I learn lessons that I can later ignore?" And then I think myself to be terribly clever and witty.

But, I suppose, in reality, it’s not true anymore. I am smarter than I used to be. I have learned – and internalized – a thing or two since I was younger. And, I believe I may be starting to determine the difference between mistakes and just "who I am." It occurs to me now, that I am a girl who cannot hide it when her feelings are hurt, and will not stop herself before she says every last thought that is going through her head (for better or worse). Maybe I am simply not capable of “being cool.” And maybe, as long as I accept it, that's O.K.

However, I have learned that most guys who wander in and out of my life will have little bearing on it. I embrace the fact that relationships can serve as a means to an end other than marriage or some type serious commitment. When I was younger, I was always on the look out for the next boyfriend… a soul mate, "the one," a future [ex] husband. No more. And yes, I am cynical, but we already knew that. Now, I expect very little from men (and yet, am still surprised when I get even less!).

Back to this particular “situation…” well, sort of… the problem with being a girl (particularly a girl of the philosophizing brand) is that regardless of time spent or seriousness of the relationship… I will look for answers to questions that I know I will never get from the other person. I accept that, but in the meantime, I will inevitably spend a few days sorting through the mental mess du jour with my friends, getting various perspectives, connecting dots, coming up with the answers on my own. And now, the only question remains is this: Am I right?

Unfortunately, I’m guessing the answer is probably not. Women tend to attach more meaning and importance to moments and linguistics than men could ever conceive of and so, I move on.

But then I realized today, on the plane en route to Chicago, what I find to be so spectacularly disappointing about this particular boy and this “relationship of sorts.” In him, I saw myself. I am -- talented or not -- a creative at heart, so very lost and unsure of this inchoate thing that I have here. And so I move in a direction away from it or worse still, no direction at all. It’s not so much failure as it is the conscious decision to never really try.

I know I'm going a bit over the psychoanalytical deep end here, but I guess I figured, when I projected myself on to him, if I could witness and/or encourage his success, then maybe my own was still possible. For whatever reason, I found it much easier to believe in him than in me. But, on the flip side, I also truly thought that he deserved to be believed in (and to a point... to be honest... I still do). And I hoped that he wouldn't let me down. Ah well. So it goes.

Of course, therein lies the inherent and infinite problem with this brand of trying to "save" someone else in order to save yourself… people rarely change. A person has to want change for him or herself before it can even begin to be possible (change for someone else is all glamour… an illusion at best). Once the effort that goes along with the excitement of meeting someone new subsides, we are forced to wrestle with reality. And sometimes, some people don't want you to fight for them anyway.

Now, I suppose, we've reached an ending not far from where we began. And, I've probably spouted off enough psychobabble for a month or so of trying.

I wonder what happens next.


Dena said...

Wow - Now is the time to lift my jaw off the floor. . . and I really think that is all I can say about that.

Dont be a stranger - My new Blogging Friend!

heidikins said...

Quite fantastic piece of psycho-babble, if I do say so myself. And I firmly believe that while women may overanalyze things and read more into them than was intended - that doesn't necessarily mean we are wrong. It is possible that we are capable of understanding men, people and life in general to a higher degree....

What the hell? Ok, not true - we are all full of psychobabble. Hang in there


S said...

Let's also remember that sometimes (if not often), MEN don't understand men. So even if there is honest, forthcoming statements coming from him, dissecting and analyzing anything else is very much a matter of speculation.