Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Presence of Absence

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
I wish, I wish he'd go away...

When I came home last night at three,
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn't see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don't you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door...

Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn't there,
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away


-  Antigonish, Hughes Mearns

I'll go months and months feeling fine on my own, without a need for a man or romantic companionship of any kind.  And then something snaps in me and I voraciously consume whatever affection I can get from man after man, sometimes for weeks on end.  It seems natural that these hedonistic downward spirals are caused by loneliness, and a desire for connection.  And they are, to some extent.  A kind of distraction.  But they are not a distraction from emptiness, or from the feeling of being alone.  Not at all.  They are an attempt to mask the pain of the absence of the very real presence of an unknown person.  

Let me attempt to explain: I don't know his name, or his face, but I know him.  And his absence, despite his formlessness, is the excruciating pain that I attempt to block out.  I know on some visceral level that I am meant to be with this as yet-unmet person, to belong to him.  And I feel isolated, exiled, to not be permitted yet in his presence.  And because he's unknown to me at this moment, it's an impossible feeling for me to amend.  And so, I do any manner of self-destructive thing, to blot out the hurt of missing that far-off man.  

In some ways it would be easier to feel simply alone.  Loneliness is easily addressed in a variety of fashions - when you are lonely for no one in particular, any company can be sought and enjoyed.  The problem is, for me, there is only this specific company that will do to soothe the ache that I have - and how to obtain this remedy is still unknown to me.  Yes, in some ways to be alone would cause much less pain and a variety of individuals can fill up that kind of a void.  But to be abandoned by a heart you haven't met - well that's a peculiar, inoperable kind of pain.  The only way to soften the ache is to hope that the face that is still hazy will become clear, a name brought about from the silence, a long-held love finally consummated.  That, or to forget him altogether and revel in the relative abundance brought about by confirmed solitude.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Am I Being Played?

The other night I got a message from what I can only assume is a burner POF account.  It features two pictures of a model-worthy man, both professional shots.  In both he's topless to show off his ripped physique.  Candid shots, in one he is sitting, bronzed and beautiful on a beach, working on - I dunno, a ship model of some kind?  In the second, a black and white shot, he's putting a shirt on.  Like, these are serious model shots.  And there's no writing in the profile - only, "Under construction."  I feel like the photos were ripped from Google Images or something, not someone's candid shots.

Anyway, I got a message from him that said:

"You should meet a friend of mine that is here with me. :)
  He liked your profile, but he doesn't online date. 
 He is the perfect mix of what you are looking for, his number is…"

I stared at the email for a while, and then replied,

"What?! This isn't a real thing, is it?!"

He replied:

"LOL!  It's a real deal and thing! :)  Why not?  His name is Ben."

I replied,

"Well, if Ben wants to speak for himself, he can text me.  Here's my number."

About an hour later, I get a text from an unfamiliar number.

"Hey, this is Ben.  My friend talked to you on POF, right?"

Me:

"Yeah, he did!  I thought it was a set up."

Ben:

"I guess I'm supposed to send you a photo."

…and then texts me a photo of a super handsome dude in a suit  Definitely NOT a model shot but handsome as all get-out.

This does absolutely nothing to allay my fears that this is some weird kind of practical joke or set-up.

Anyway, this "Ben," texted me a few more times that night.   And we've exchanged a few texts, which have given me a general idea of this guy, in terms of where he lives and what he does, but no specifics that I can, say, verify using the handy Internets.  

He wants to meet up next week for a date.  I am still convinced this is going to backfire in some way that will be hilarious to everyone but me.  When did I get so gun-shy?