I am emotionally exhausted. Really. No sleep can seem to catch me up to the normalcy of what was once my optimistic and romantic self. I've had this sort of insomnia for years. Once in awhile I review my recent cynical musings with a sense of self-reproach. Where on earth did I go? I. Miss. Me.
It's not work. I like work. I like the people at work, I like what I do at work, and I love the fact that I have work, period. I'm lucky.
I think last night it hit me when I was having my second date with the bar passee, and he wanted to be earnest. I know the importance of being earnest (har har), but it's a quality I am largely lacking right now. Or rather, if I am earnest, it's about not wanting to be earnest at all. Or maybe not ever. Of all the things that have ever gotten me in trouble, being earnest is probably at the top of the list.
It's such a shame. I really liked this guy. I liked his wit, his choice in wine, his sense of humor, his love for his eccentrically named animals. I liked the way he was also amused by being caught kissing by my mother. I liked the fact I can tell him ridiculous things about myself, and he knew not to take me too seriously.
But my fatal flaw was never taking him too seriously, when seriously he wanted to be taken. My problem is that I can't take anything seriously right now. The world has grown from a state of somewhat disheveled to downright chaotic, and my only reaction to it is to laugh and laugh hard. I can't stop laughing. I laugh at funerals a lot. I run out like I am sobbing, shut myself in a toilet stall and laugh hysterically into a roll of toilet paper. I try hard to justify this behavior by telling myself that whoever is dead would've wanted me to be on that linoleum floor laughing. But then I think, "well, they can't want anything now because they're dead." And so I laugh some more.
It's tragic. He wanted to talk seriously. I stalled by being a smartass. I didn't understand how we went from fun quips to philosophy, social commentary, and his occassional contempt for people who go to mass because they miss the whole point of worshipping things outside a church's walls. I was okay with the philosophy and social commentary because neither of these are exactly shining areas for me anyway. But, sometimes I go to mass because even though I've stopped believing in God, I do believe in sharing a feeling of hope with other people. And I like incense.
However, I don't like when people start telling other people how to believe. You know, it's an ugly beauty, but in this country you have the right to be racist, sexist, a bigot, or follow any religion you choose, indoor or out. You don't have to be respected because of your positions, but if you're not breaking the law because of them, who the hell cares? I'm so tired of people preaching to me about politics and how stupid the little man is. What people don't realize is that this type of preaching is never going to change people's minds. And that trying to force people to think your way sounds a hell of a lot like mind control.
And so I ranted. I don't know where it came from. It had been a long day and the bleu cheese in our tray was somewhat disappointing.
Perhaps I was kind of an asshole. Perhaps he was oversensitive. But I hurt him because I misunderstood him. And then I got angry at him for being hurt by that, and angry that I was in the position of a petulant child who was saying she was sorry when she wasn’t. Because I wasn’t even sure of what I had done. At that point I said I was tired and left. I didn’t wait for him. It was cold outside, and my car was parked far away.
I went home and cried in my bathtub at the way any relationship’s doom is so inevitable.
This morning he sent me a long passage from a French philosopher summing up what it was he wanted to say. And I saw that we had actually agreed.
I hit reply and wrote “Thanks for that.”
I’m still not sure if those words were gratitude or sarcasm.
Maybe now I never will.
Addendum to the Road Not Taken (Ghosts)
11 hours ago