Thursday, November 1, 2007

self imposition

I was outside earlier. Wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be, as cold as it looked. I went about my morning writing things that someone in another position, with a job description and skill set foreign to me, would use to fulfill their professional goals. When asked to write it, I was reluctant at first (more accurately, “WTF?”), but I have since dived in deep and see progress.

I have curtailed my interaction with the world so much that I barely look beyond a few feet of where I sit. Gauging my mood after I showered, I was comforted to have the outside pointed out to me and to see grey. I was surprised because I had no idea what the forecast was or is.

It’s been a period of 24 hours of observation for me. There is so much to learn when you sit a lot. Patterns of behavior are clear, and deviations are clearer. It is so easy to capture out-of-sight activities if you just pay attention. No question is ever asked without being formed with intent. Just pay attention, and the list of prompting reasons grows shorter and shorter. Then, humorously, that short list feeds back to the deviations. It's like plugging a power strip into itself - a cheap, endless supply of electricity (nee, amusement).

I am growing very comfortable with the thought of a minimalistic existence. Could just be a phase, as was the Irish-Whiskey Phase, the I’m-a-good-cook phase, and the Fuck-me?-Fuck-you!-No-on-second-thought-blow-me-douche-bag phase. The first was potentially dangerous; the second lost joy when I lost a portion of the audience; the third was fun but incredibly stupid. This potential phase feels more long term, terminally so.

I can see how everything plays out, how a complete existence tumbles into place. It is one that is alone, granted, but that does not also mean lonely. I have few contacts outside work, and am content with that. I know what it is like to be in and around people all the time, to go out to dinner and social events routinely, and to enjoy that rare one day or one evening at home. It holds no interest for me anymore. Nor, I suggest more importantly, do I want it to.

There are tugs within me. I like to see other people enjoy themselves, particularly people for whom I care. Historically, I was the guide, the one that had no reservations about ensuring (and, oftentimes, insuring) that an entertaining evening occurred. At times now, when others have their fun evening, a memory comes quickly, even instantaneously, as they walk through the door. I recall vividly being in my bedroom when I was perhaps 12 or 13. My father was going somewhere with us boys, and the night before I had said that I did not want to go. The next morning, I was awoken by the sound of his car leaving the drive. I went to the window and saw him looking over his shoulder as the car moved backward, my brother sitting in the front seat. In that instant I wanted desperately to join them, but I knew I could not. I was crestfallen. Sometimes now, when the social times are enjoyed by others, that emotion slaps back with all the reality of 35 years ago. But I know in my heart that I have to simply accommodate that tug. It is muscle memory in its rawest form. It will fade, as everything within me does.

I am not that person anymore, nor do I wish to be that person, nor would I find joy in fulfilling the role of that person. I can do it – I know that with certainty, and others would enjoy themselves greatly, and I would smile and relate how wonderful a time it was. Then I would shed that persona as a cloak. It would rest in my inner field’s closet, in a place of dishonor, until I was required to don it once more. I can pull it off without anyone catching on – I know, I’ve done it with increasing frequency for years.

So today I need to go out. Have a couple of errands. I will stay close to myself until the moments of interaction, and then I will burst onto the scene like some fucking superhero. It takes that sort of effort. It’s not Al Gore Phobia by any stretch. It’s just a desire to live within an ever-decreasing circle, both of people and space.

I slept well last night for the first time in a week. I awoke refreshed for the first time in a longer period.

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