Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fifty Per Hour

Well that was not what I expected.

It's only been an hour since I arrived, and I'm already going back into the wet and cold and starting my car.

At least it's still warm--the car--but I hadn't even seen tonight coming. All of my concerns came out, because Jan said she wasn't so sure about seeing me anymore since it felt like it was going nowhere. Of course I told her I was just trying to figure out what was hanging me up and that I wanted it to go somewhere, and that must have triggered some major insecurities, because I could almost see her snap.

The discussion just got uglier beyond that point, me trying to explain and her feeling hurt -- she was also trying to understand my side of it, but I could see it had hit her worse than she would admit. There was just no recovering from it.

Then, of course, she told me she 'sort of had her eye on someone else'. That's exactly what I was trying not to do myself! I guess I should wait on that in the future until I actually have a reason for it.

It's frustrating, and it always feels this way. If it's not flat out rejection, it's stagnation and the eventual spurning that accompanies that, along with a final rejection. Worse because you already feel invested in the person, and instead of a simple 'no' it's a whole discussion.

Maybe Joe has got it right, but I guess I'm not out of the game yet. Whether or not I have a chance with her, I think I'm done with Jan. Start fresh. No baggage.

My only other option would be to turn around and knock on her door again, tell her I'm through with my indecision, tell her I want to be with her without any reservations, I've made up my mind.

But I still have reservations!

That strategy works in the movies, anyway, but I doubt if it's often successful in reality. It has to be pulled off right, things between people have to be a certain way. Hell, even the way you get back to the girl's door probably makes a big difference. A buzzer and a 'hey it's me please let me back in' through a half-understood noisy intercom takes a lot of the punch out of that.

I've tried it.

I'm backing out the alley leading to the apartment building's tiny lot, and I know I'm done here. Won't be back.

It would be kind of pathetic to go crawling back now, anyway, and I've been there before. Granted, refusing to leave my first girlfriend's door until she had the building manager escort me out was pretty far down the scale of the pathetic. But this situation is a little different; I would only maintain some dignity by doing something besides slinking away or sitting in the hallway of my not-quite-girlfriend's apartment.

It just bothers me that things feel so incomplete, so very confusing, when they'd been clear-cut just hours before.

I'm more upset than I like to admit, got to pay attention to driving. Don't need to run over any pedestrians out for a late night milk run for the kiddies' morning cereal.

It's nothing to do with Jan, either. At least when there is a relationship, there's some grounds for being upset at a time like this. In this case, it's my own inability to start such a relationship that's got me angry.

Maybe, in dating, I could use a bit more high risk behavior. That's what got me into trouble in the past, but maybe I've let myself become too cautious after getting a couple of burns? Which clearly I survived intact, even if it had been awhile since I tried at all, before Jan.

And that was a text message from her.

She must know I'm driving still, it kind of annoys me, getting a text on the road. You can't read the damn thing without taking your eyes off the road! One of those high-risk behaviors that kills someone and inspires a law banning texting and driving.

Which I'm all for--I can't count the number of times I've had to deal with drivers on cell phones who were obviously not paying attention to speed limit, lane position, etc. And they weren't texting.

Undoubtedly electronics cause all kinds of stupid accidents that could otherwise be avoided.
but what kind of mentality does it take to think that you can take your eyes off the road in order to write a text message? At a stoplight I can understand maybe, but any other time...you've really got to have screwed up priorities to do that.

I don't think I care what Jan has to say, thinking about it. It's probably not worth taking my eyes off the road for, although reading a text is probably safe enough if you're careful. And now I'm on better roads, so it's not as dangerous as it would have been on the way down.

Maybe reading it at home will be too late. Not that I'm going back to her place for a romantic comedy resolution or anything.

I really wish--

Whoa there, just a second and someone tries to cut me off. This is dangerous business. Great. She wishes something, and I dropped the damn phone.

Now I'm curious and just picking the thing up will be dangerous! Maybe if I can...got it.

Keep your eyes on the road, eyes on the road...

The display needs to be turned back on...press a button...okay. Road clear, nobody doing anything crazy in the mirrors.

I really wish you hadn't left--

Dammit! Three more words and some idiot in a rice-burning crackerbox zooms past. Almost dropped the phone again because this guy cut it so close.


I really wish you hadn't left your jacket here.

Crap.

Here I was, only a few miles away, as close as I was likely to be for awhile, and I stormed out and left my jacket. So much for dignity. Although I had to wonder if it wasn't a good thing. That stupid romance movie scene appeals. How does a culture inject that into you? I rarely watch or think about such things...I guess it just appeals to the right emotions.

So, the debate: to go back, or not to go back? Either I go now, or come back some other time.

Granted, the jacket isn't all that important. I have others. But I might feel even less like coming back some other time. Or maybe time will make it a bit easier. It won't feel like I'm crawling back.

I just hope it doesn't seem like an excuse, but I'm sure it's obvious that I forgot it by mistake.

Time to pull over and think about it, I'm getting nowhere like this. Driving is like an excuse to not make a decision. Like I'm running away.

My thoughts are so muddled now, I don't even think I'm making any sense. I hate this feeling, it's like being a broken machine. A skipping turntable. Shouldn't a decision like this be obvious? I haven't gone very far and I don't know when I'll be down his way again.

Given what I've done in this sort of situation before, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. If I keep doing what I've always done I won't get anywhere, but it's not only that. It's sometimes as if life is trying to keep you down. It takes you and it breaks you, if you don't know what you're doing.

And who really does?

Sometimes it's a source of anger, the way people get brought down. Not just me, but seeing it happen to others. I think that bothers me even more than when it gets me. Seeing someone whose life experience has got them in a jam.

Sometimes it's less serious than others, but whether you're facing hard times in life or recovering from them, it's still nasty. Kind of tragic that people wind up doing double duty when life gets rough.

I've had a decent time of it, but there were a few years where I was so disinterested in women that it was getting unhealthy. And the thing is, I wasn't really in a healthy emotional state, so if I had tried it probably would have only made matters worse.

That's it, isn't it? The solution is to stop running and get back into living.

This jacket could just be responsible for turning things around.

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