Sunday, May 22, 2011

Here's to Stillness

I have much less to blog about now that life is becoming, thank goodness, less "interesting" -- as in the old Eastern curse "May you live in interesting times." Even though my disease sometimes causes me to dread what may be lurking, unknown, in the months ahead, it feels good to metaphorically bury the last twelve months. I'm going to try not to look back on it for at least a while.

This means my blog posts will most likely grow fewer and farther between as my focus shifts somewhat to things like reading and working on the new website. I'll still be here when I feel like Mister Ed and have something to say, but I'm not going to add to the internet's White Noise by just typing in search of a subject.

But I'll make an exception today.


The rain this week didn't just slant the skies with non-stop gloom: it created jungles of grass in the yards along W_______ Avenue, and probably frustrated the hell out of homeowners who care about this sort of thing. I hadn't mowed my yard in two weeks, so I can sense my neighbors seething and obsessing about the grass -- The grass! The GRASS!! It's two inches high! Must -- mow -- NOW!

Whatever the reason, on this Sunday morning when it would have been my pleasure to sleep in, instead the pent-up compulsion to mow that must have been building up in my neighbors over the past few days caused them to fire up their mowers on both sides of me at the ungodly hour of 8:30 in the morning, which in turn caused me to drag myself, rumpled and fuzzy-headed, to the computer and fire off an Indignant, venting post.

With no other option, I fed my cats and surrendered to the suburban mores and went out there to tackle my own lawn.

It seems so awkward and phony to smile widely, wave loudly back at my neighbors just because that's what they do to me. Especially when I am thinking such dark thoughts about them and their lawnmowers, usually something about throwing them under one. It's a part of the life-long game of "Let's Pretend" that I've had to play.

Another thing: Both couples on the two sides of me seem to spend a lot of time sitting on their porches or standing in their yards, talking to each other.

It seems to me that, if this is normal, it's probably the reason why I've never been able to sustain a relationship.

What can they find to say to each other? What can they be talking about for an hour? What language are they speaking?

I've always been pretty quiet and in my relationships I have been the listener. I never know what to say; if I do I never feel at ease saying it. First, I have to determine what she's really saying, or, if her words are clear to me, what she really means. Then I have to decide how I feel about it. Then I have to think about how to frame it back into understandable words. This can take a while. Sometimes, she has gotten indignant by then, and is saying something like, "Why can't you tell me what you're thinking?"

Well, I'm trying, but you're making it harder by stressing me out with your impatience for a quick response.

Oftentimes, whether I am with women or with my small circle of friends, the conversation moves on without me. I'm always finding the perfect words when the time for them has come and gone.

Shortly before she dumped me, my next-to-last girlfriend Lorna complained to me about our relationship. I could see that she was really upset, but I didn't know what to say to her about it. She said, "All we ever do is go to the movies and have sex!" -- as if that was a bad thing.

To me, she was describing the perfect relationship!

Looking at the normal couples that now bookend me on two sides, I begin to understand for the first time. Oh -- you have to be relaxed with each other, and you have to talk.

But those are the two things that I'm desperately bad at.

Looks like it's me and the quats, and my books and DVDs, for the indefinite future.

-- Freder.

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