I wretch on the beach with my eyes closed tight, not shuddering out of fear or depthful imagining of some wavecrashing Zen. No, I turn at the sight of couples locked in passionate lipstuff on the sand, partially-clothed, in happy, gleeful, blissful oblivion. It is like watching softcore, frustratingly-controlled porn, and only works to reinforce my loneliness. Accidental voyeurism seems to push me into a dark places often these days. I avert my eyes from intimate scenes in television and movies, steer clear of romantic songs on the radio or in my personal music list. In fact, I even find myself redirecting from eye contact. I don’t think in terms of dates anymore, nor in companionship. Marriage. Girlfriend. Fuckbuddy.
No state seems reachable for me anymore.
No matter what I do, this path seems beset. People ask me bluntly why I’m single, and the answer is complicated, a mix of the years of sifting through various places and spaces and circles and orbits, to my uncommon physical appearance and philosophical leanings, to my strugglesome history. The simple answer is “I don’t how NOT TO.”
My fate angled into a direct collision course with Jupiter, and the massive cyclops sent me chaotically spinning into netherspheres. A shattering of life structure and hopes and dreams and normalcy was unavoidable. This xenomorphous aftermath is what I was gifted.
Strong asteroids have better control over their trajectory, firmer hulls can cut cleanly through ocean waves. I coast and float, observe and redirect. This is how the drift has always been, ever since the early days of running from German girls in Waldenbuch. I learned it from soccer. Run to the open space, that’s where the pass will lay, if the midfielder’s leg works. Swim to open water, away from the sharktoothed shore.
This frustration affords me great material, but a poor mast of memories. Today, a good friend of mine for many years dropped me as a friend on Facebook. I pretend like it doesn’t matter, but her support of my art and my struggle was something that was a steady force in my world over the last five years. I suppose I took her stable friendship for granted, as the artist tends to–I can seem aloof because I am focused more on production than connectedness. I may have not been equally as supportive of her world, as she was of mine. Ultimately, I don’t know why she dropped me as a friend. Her path is the common, cowardly one that is dominant in my universe:
Abandon ship, and leave no trace.
I then came across another person, one who was greatly supportive of my work and stance, that left Facebook altogether. And then I came across more people that had severed connections with me, or blocked me altogether. Or people that just shacked back up with exes, and decided that I no longer fit in their world, as they had once soon intended. Some were either women that didn’t work out or felt spurned by Chris, when they approached Artemis with interest, or people that don’t agree with my Secular Humanist message.
Either way, I’ve begun to wonder if I know what it is to be a friend. Or if friendship changes dramatically with age, with the years tending to pair up people for the long walk to the tombstone door. Pairs tend to gravitate toward pairs. Just as planets develop, with foundational elements gravitating toward each other and coalescing into a strong core, layer upon layer firming and cooling into integrity.
Asteroids are not so lucky, and are sent careening into the empty space, hoping to eventually find a place to rest. Artemis has become my cloaking device in the empty space, the vast passage between the past and the future, the vacant middle of nowhere. Here, I tell stories to myself, cling to those attentions that are still watching and listening, and hope that elements will continue to stick around for the works I have yet to offer.
Or am I hiding behind a cloak of my conviction? Am I the contradiction, living too aggressively and selfishly to be attractive to the orbits where I want to take up revolutionary residence?
I wish I knew. These star charts seem foreign now. The night skies empty and glowless. Perhaps I’ve wrapped myself so thoroughly in my own creative avarice that I no longer know passion, know happy, know human, know how to operate the light inside this cloaking device.