constipated feelings and blind dates

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

I’ve never gotten along well with my feelings. They dance at the edge of my vision and tease me. At times, they disappear for months only to reappear at unexpected moments. My wintry logic is useless in understanding them. My trouble extends doubly to the expression of feelings. I am incapable of telling others how I feel. I can talk for hours about the minutiae of my day, but when it comes to a simple statement about a feeling, my tongue expands and constricts my throat. This constipation is lessened on paper, where I have time to shape the words and submit them in a brief moment of courage.

As an example, I’ve never told my mother that I love her, let alone how much I love her (if you don’t know her, she is the best mother, ever), and yet here I write it, with much less difficulty if no less conviction. These troubles I understand at a superficial level. I usually give a nod to my father’s death when I was a boy and leave it at that. I don’t try to analyze these difficulties, and I certainly don’t attempt to remedy them.

I’m writing this while deliciously depressed. I get like this sporadically, but when I do, it inspires me like nothing artificial can. I hate to admit it, but I like this feeling. Mainly I enjoy feeling something, anything. There was a long period in my life (from around thirteen to twenty-something) when I suppressed all feelings. Now, when I am able to conjure feelings, it feels good. This includes depression and sadness. Does reveling in these bad feelings make me a horrible creature? It probably does. But that doesn’t lessen my enjoyment when I sit down with a clarity that’s lacking during ordinary moments. Perhaps clarity is the wrong word here. It’s more a feeling of openness than clarity.

I claim to be a sensitive person. However much this seemed to surprise past (and current) girlfriends, I believe that this claim is accurate. When I do feel, it is at such intensity that it debilitates me. (This sounds a lot more profound than it actually is.) My failures with my feelings are as good a reason as any for why most of my relationships were failures. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a girl for more than a week. As Doolies has told me many times since reading through my musings, I’ve lived a rather pathetic life when it comes to relationships. (It’s hard to argue with her on that point.)

While writing this, my emotional state changed (more like dissipated). I had problems organizing and writing these thoughts, deleting and restarting many times. I came here with the best of intentions, awfully tired, but ready for a large caffeine intake. I accomplished this with a grande mocha, which was my first mistake. I drank it too quickly and now I’m feeling nauseous and tired, not the best way to attempt such a musing.

What makes it even worse is a distracting guy. He is on a first date, probably a blind first date. He talks too loudly and is too expressive. He’s discussed his past three dysfunctional girlfriends (a huge misstep on a first date) and hasn’t stopped talking for more than 30 seconds at a time. I can’t think with him there. It’s too cold to go outside and continue writing there. At first, I thought he would turn her off and she would leave. She made some motions toward the door, claiming some sort of Spanish class. But she’s stuck around now for more than half an hour. How can she stand it? From my eavesdropping (although, it’s not really eavesdropping since he talks loud enough for people driving in the street to hear him), I believe he’s unemployed, having recently been fired from his last job. He’s also interested in Spanish, but his seventh grade Spanish skills make him incapable of stringing Spanish words together to form coherent sentences. I’m sure you’re as fascinated as I am by this important information.

At times, I feel my voyeur skills are detrimental. When I’m near an annoying person, I am unable to ignore them. I imagine telepaths have the same problem. I don’t think I’d want to have the power to listen to what other people think. Besides the obvious fear of hearing the foolish thoughts of other people (just look at how demented and malformed my thoughts are), the inability to sit quietly and think my own thoughts would be unbearable. (As I’m sure you know by now, I like my own thoughts very much.)

With all of that said, what I really wanted to talk about today (before my cleverness and confessions drew me in a strange and rather unexpected direction) was Doolies. She has been depressed lately and I’m sure part of the reason is because of me. I’m beginning to understand that she wants more from me than I’m currently giving her. I care very much for her and it hurts me to see her that way.

I had other things that I wanted to say about (or more exactly, to) her, but thanks to caffeine mismanagement and a general wimpiness, I’m not going to say more. While most of my musings take a while to write, this one took a very long while. As I said before, when I’m talking about minutiae, I can’t type fast enough to keep up with all my clever asides. When it’s time to talk about something more serious, my joints tighten and drafting each sentence takes an eternity.

(As a happy conclusion, the blind date victim finally escaped and it is mostly quiet…with the exception of the two guys who just sat next to me. One is a high school student and the other is a University of Chicago alumnus who is interviewing him, probably as part of the admission process. Why won’t the voices stop?)