Saturday, October 17, 2009

Late Night Listening XXXIII: I Should Have Forgotten by Now, but I Haven't

I'm going to indulge in some self-absorption tonight, sort of a Post Secret confessional, extended dance mix version.

Let's set the mood by pulling out a copy of a forgotten 90s hit...

... my mind goes back to 18 years ago...

October 1991
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

... a Thursday night, just before the midterm break at Universitas Dominae Nostrae a Lacu... a gathering at my apartment. A couple days before, I had disclosed to you and another classmate that I had not yet had my "first time"... While we were alone on the balcony, you spoke to me with an admiring voice and riveting eye contact. You took my hands, holding a glass of wine, into yours and told me that you'd be honored to be my first. We never found the time or place to give you a chance to live up to those words, but we did dance to this song at the senior bar later that night.

I will never know the motivations behind that conversation. By your own admission in a conversation a couple weeks later, I would learn that the statements were just "mental gymnastics". The time in between, I experienced feelings of confusion and euphoria... things a man at the age of 22 should not have felt. For the first time in my life, I thought someone had found me to be truly desirable. I thought, spoke, and wrote things that were truly foolish. Indeed, I was your fool for a night.

If I could set the time machine and find myself on 10/16/1991, I would slap myself silly and say, "Don't go on that balcony tomorrow night. Go out, drink, try to have fun, get a cab. Just stay away from her."

(recovers composure)

I hate that this specter lurks in the reaches of my memory. It's a petty grudge, certainly not worth carrying for all of these years. Most people get past these things and wind up forgetting they ever happened.

Over our time up there, she went on to shack up with another classmate for a couple of years. I know from Google that after earning her doctorate she married another grad student who would earn his pay writing about politics, sociology, and food. I think she's since divorced and remarried, living out in the Mountain timezone. I doubt if she remembers me at all.

At the core, it really isn't about her. It's about a set of beliefs about myself that I have struggled so hard to bury, but they keep resurfacing, like a band of tireless zombies. I am not good looking... I am uninteresting... I lack some unnamed essence that makes women crave men... I cannot satisfy a woman...

To my credit the list used to be much longer, laden with lots of negatives about my potential as a professional. My latest job has taken me past those feelings. I am a much more productive and skilled person as a result.

I sometimes buy myself respite with mental affirmations or rationalizations... I'm unique... I don't think like most, so I won't be compatible with most... I need to live somewhere else... I need to be at peace with myself before I can relate to others. I need time to heal from the changes I've been through... There so many suffering so much worse... Other times, the loneliness overwhelms me, and I wallow in self pity.

So tonight, I fess up to this intermittent replay of insecurity and resentment, hoping that by committing it to text, giving it form, it will be exorcised from my soul and imprisoned in these paragraphs. Rather than seeking to remind myself of past injustices visited upon me, I should live in the here-and-now, doing my part to be loving and just to others.
blog comments powered by Disqus