Nothing about our humanity is mechanical. Really. We often mistake the results we get from the normally practical matters of life as the sole testament of our growth, when they should be appreciated more as intentional by-products. Aside from these, the actual practice of experience and living is as non-linear as we are. Even if sometimes we wish it wasn't and most of our stickier issues could be done away via flow chart.
With my Virgo Rising, trust me I love me a good logic based flow chart. Instead, we journey up or down spherically, constantly revisiting points we thought we'd addressed before.
If we're doing something right, we get to view it with a different perspective, proof that even if nothing about the confounding situation or person had changed, we thankfully have. Either through acquiring the courage, experience or both to submit ourselves to it absent of willful control. In fact, despite the need for it.
Take Gustave Flaubert's Age of the Captain where he proposes the conundrum, "A ship sails the ocean. It left Boston with a cargo of wool. It grosses 200 tons. It is bound for Le Havre. The mainmast is broken, the cabin boy is on deck, there are 12 passengers aboard, the wind is blowing East-North-East, the clock points to a quarter past three in the afternoon. It is the month of May. How old is the captain?"
Whatever your facial expression is when you read that, pretty much summarizes the feeling doesn't it?
I'm sure if Gustave's sister to whom he addressed it to could've written back a WTF, she would've. It all seems so random, so unrelated and so frustratingly unresolvable.
I'd started writing this on a Friday night after a few weeks of not saying anything to B as well as not really being interested in discussing him at length with anybody. Except with the Pegasus who'd replied to my email in one of her usual fly-by-writes. Always mobile, I imagine her sweeping in her words by stroke of a wing. I'd never asked her for a catalogue of her experiences to justify whatever advise or thought she'd shared with me thus far, I didn't need to. She has a comfort with uncertainty only possessed by those who've surpassed endurance and found liberation in truth, hard as it may be at times. And more importantly, like me she was engaged in the Art of Innocence. Which contrary to belief, may be cultivated even after being lost.
"B," she wrote, "may perhaps be forgiven because of youth." She observed how frustrating it can be that men don't seem to want regularity, or to invest in planning far enough to assure the satisfaction of sex, perhaps on a weekly basis at the very least. She'd gone on to talk about a myriad of other topics, still lively even while she herself confessed to the undertow of sadness amidst a Southern Hemisphere winter.
Here we both were, on flip sides of the world. I soaking sun in my summer, I watch my hands brown and small-wristed dancing over the keys and she, wrapped up in her fur lined anorak, light haired and sparkle eyed, her thinning spirits lit by the stark landscape cold usually brings. We find our mirrors everywhere.
Carmen San Diego once asked me if it was challenge that drew me to B, because he was young and uncertain. Was it Ego, Carmen asked me. I'd laughed out a No. It never even occurred to me. I think if challenge was my goal, I'd go for someone far more complicated and B isn't. But it was now, after reading a few lines so broadly referencing sex that I came to understand what it was. And I have to admit, it dumbfounds me.
I live a life of words most of the time. Most of my experiences, all the highs and the lows have been measured and quantified in words. The letters woven together cup-like holding thought, emotion and memories. From arguments I’ve had with past lovers, negotiations I’ve tried to navigate personal or otherwise, to painstakingly sieving the truth from the lies during Sewerage. All my beginnings and all my endings can be found scattered in copious journals I’ve kept, an attempt during terrible times to remind myself I’ve not lost my mind. And now some of it is here.
I have lived and loved, fallen and faltered upon words. It must seem strange for someone who writes to say this - after all words should be my constant comfort. Yet they are not. I am forever grateful for words. They're always there to convey but not to Be. Whether palliative or freeing, hurtful or comforting, they cannot substitute for living. I have at times found them in the way, like fences keeping me from who or what I long for, or from some indelible personal truth too easily invalidated unless said. Unless put into words. If you can’t say it, then it doesn’t exist. Or does it?
It does. Words only represent. Stand in for that something we are, feel or think. Tools to elucidate on substance. Words are the bridge, but not the crossing over.
Anyone can read my words, but who would understand my silence?
There is no formula to solve this. Only the everlasting mystery of how we end up wanting to be with people, who either in likeness or difference lead us to be more of ourselves. Sometimes that happens through encouragement, sometimes through patient allowing and sometimes through outright opposition. But make no mistake, we enter relationships as individuals and we will leave it the same way. It's the being in it that makes for the crucible.
As much as I'd love to hear more from B, I feel quite accepting of who he is. He'll change because he's young, but even if he weren't, I wouldn't want to force him to.
I'd left something with him he reminded me to get and all I could say was keep it. "Just keep it, it's yours now xxx," I texted. Such few lines to contain an attempt at goodbye. At the time, the prospect of even seeing him under such utilitarian a pretext was just.. too much.
B was having none of it. "No," he corrected me, "You'll get it." I forget sometimes that leaving shouldn't always be the default solution to everything. So I'd gone for the next best thing by being silent.
I really couldn't bear to think about it, because now, things were moving in a way I couldn’t articulate and shouldn’t even try to. As I'd written the Pegasus, "I ain't interpreting his silence a thousand and one ways." On some level you know none of it is personal, just someone being so self-centered and wrapped up in their world that it doesn't have anything to do with you.
Therefore, I savored the stillness. How couldn't I? When I live in a sun-kissed place that's finally fulfilling its promise of warmth after a spring that hesitated. I'd spent the weeks busy at work, writing, adroitly dodging Kentucky and arguing with Mr. X about his identity. There's much in the world to disperse one's self to, even if the one most heartfelt corner feels a touch abandoned.
But now, knowing this makes me sick with its brightness.
I thought of B with a startling lack of need, which made me cry even more. I have the benefit of a little wisdom and a little age to understand this. If I could need him, then I could do something about this, make it about myself - analyze dependencies. Something. But because I don't, I know there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about it except be myself. There are no messages I wish to send to precipitate a meeting, nothing amusing or witty I can think of to say, there is no strategem.
In fact, it would be better I think, if we just slide into the quiet with no fuss or discussion, the way countless fairy tale princesses fall into that grateful sleep, unaware and unburdened. Immaculate in their repose, dignity forever preserved. Beautiful under glass and always thought of fondly.
Oh, I would want that, so SO badly I sobbed. I'd finally managed to get snot free and sat myself up gingerly, bolstered by cushions, legs dangling off the side of the over-stuffed couch and carefully typed the words, "Today is a day of tears and water.." when just as I choke back another tear, I hear my phone go off for the third time.
Of course, it’s B. Asking and asking and asking about me.