It began with a message from a cute girl, wondering if I was still around. She had visited my profile and was interested in chatting, even though I had abandoned the site months ago. So, I rejoined madness.com and responded to her inquiry, with renewed hope and excitement and vigor for that dating space.
It took three messages before she had moved on, and the conversation became quietly over, a feeble spark that never took to flame. Hope breathed for a spell, until the spell wore off.
And now I’m back, having paid for another month. I don’t usually hit dating sites during this time of year. The common patterns of people in the Midwest seem to be mostly hibernational. Dating and devoting time to maintaining relationships is difficult during a season that sometimes won’t let you even step outside. So, for four months out of the year, the passive/aggressive people of this place recess into cozy homes and checked-out lives for much of the winter.
But I am now a year older and I seem to have eclipsed into a different age bracket in the dating system. The available options for a secular SWM seem to be dominated by kid-focused moms and emotionally-wrecked midlifecrisisers. For someone without roots, there’s no natural connections to tap. I have no network. I have no “old friends”. I am ether.
Artemis, in flux.
Last year, I was called superfluous and arrogant by two different women–one, who I once cared about deeply, but knows nothing about me now; and the other, a fast-moving star in my orbit who never got to know me. Yet, those words still eat away at me and reverberate in my heart, with edges that cause thousands of little cuts. My Dad would tell me to “consider the source”, and my friend Dan would suggest “that it’s in the past, and I should let it go”.
How does one do that? How does one simply forget? I put no effort into hanging on, but I am still haunted by my past. It would stand to reason that the only thorough way to overwrite the pain of the past is to reset the present, but I seem to be caught in a continuous loop of relationship failure. I can’t make it work. I haven’t been able to make it work in over a decade now. It’s been so long since I’ve had a stable and meaningful relationship with another woman, that I don’t even remember what it’s like.
And even now, when things in my life are going in a very positive direction, I can’t seem to reconcile why it hasn’t worked for me. It is a riddle that I cannot solve, a lock that I cannot pick. I am baffled at my bad luck, driven batty by my inability to connect at a stronger level with someone.
I’m tired of metaphors. I’m drained by the drama and disheartening turns, and driven to sadness by a problem that I can’t project an answer for. These days, my world is amix with the fibers of heavy fabric, strands of disassociated hopes and dreams that won’t pass to dust. Caught in the cardinal tug of the person I should’ve been, and the person that I ended up being, I can’t seem to cut loose to just be.
I am still around. The flesh anyway. Everything else seems to change with these bitter winds.
I’m thinking I should hibernate too.