Thu, 03 Mar 2005top
red shifting galaxies
I came home today all-of-the-sudden completely fried. I'm working in yet another different place, and once again went through the rigors of the First Day™ The day went surprisingly, swimmingly well (as they say.) But as soon as I got home, I crashed on the couch and curled up into a fetal position.
I've been envious of babies lately. Although I must admit it must be really irritating to be a newborn still in the hospital. Every day they rip you away from your mother, unwrap you from your swaddling and strip off your clothing, and then apply a cold, unyielding stethoscope diaphragm to your chest, poke their fingers in your belly, grab your legs and try to dislocate your hips, flip you around, and twirl you in mid-air before finally putting you back. But even still.
Some days in the NICU actually made me want to have a kid. (Not a premie, mind you, but you get what you get.) But I think it was merely a manifestation of my desire to still be a kid.
Spending time with all those mothers and babies made me think that that relationship is probably one of the purest expression of love, in those first few hours and days after birth. That you will never be loved that well again in your entire life.
As they say: we enter life bloody, cold, wet, drowning in our own fluids, screaming in terror and in pain. And then things get worse.
I am ever the optimist.
Unfortunately, the side effect of hanging out with all those stupid babies is that it made me reflect on the fact that I won't ever be able to have one unless I can convince a woman to have one with me.
Which brings me to the topic at hand.
Yeah, I've been trying to avoid these thoughts, and I've been, up until recently, pretty content with being alone and beholden to no one. My sojourn alone up the Pacific Coast was really soul-cleansing, and I doubt it would've had that power if I'd had had anyone come along with me.
But, to steal another turn of phrase, reality continues to ruin my life.
I suppose I've never really gotten my mind out of these morbid thought. Consider the way I continued to ruminate about the disasters of the past. The Central Coast is rife with some brief but vivid memories, making me think of a life that I was destined not to have. I feel really silly for having so many vain hopes, so long ago. And I suppose that every time I fall into this black mood, I'm simply trying to stop myself from being that silly again.
I must say, though, that I have simply been around too many attractive women, hovering in that savage land of the Damned known as the Friend Zone™. It is, I suppose, ultimately an illness. A psychosis. A phobia that I can't seem to overcome. While the Friend Zone is not where I'd want to stay forever, as B would agree, it's familiar and it's safe.
"Familiar and safe" is simply a euphemism for "graveyard of souls."
So there is the woman who I know would freak out if she knew I felt that way about her. The woman who sees me as a brother, the ultimate Kiss of Death. The woman whom I've barely met who is guaranteed to be out of my reach in due time and is probably out of my reach anyway. The woman who I shared a grueling and torturous month with, as professional colleagues, with all the distance that this implies.
I suppose what this really reflects is the failure of my imagination. If my psyche were not so mutilated, I doubt I would be this hopeless. As long as you're alive, there's hope, and yet I can't seem to drill this simple concept into my head.
In an anti-solepsistic twist on things, I feel like everyone has a chance but me.
Shit. I am just asking for the Darwinistic cleaver machine to mow me down. Unfit to propagate.
Anyway. The reason I bring all of this up is that I randomly thought of an arcane metaphor for all this.
They are like stars. I mean, I don't know, did you ever think, as a kid, that you could just reach up into the sky and pluck out a star? Like a firefly or a spark? The ancients thought that they were jewels embedded on the dome of the firmament, not ordinarily reachable by humans, but only just barely out of reach. Certainly within the demense of heroes and gods. But then Galileo and Copernicus and Kepler and Newton threw that all out the window, and the stars were no longer in our neighborhood, becoming the background upon which the solipsistic dance of the planets occurred. Then Edwin Hubble, via Albert Einstein, discovers the ultimate shocker. The germinal seed of the Total Perspective Vortex. We are specks of dust living on a rock orbiting an unremarkable yellow star, one pinprick of light amidst the trillions of scattered balls of gas that illuminate the darkness. One indistinguishable speck embedded within a single pinwheel of gas and dust floating amidst an infinite sea of other pinwheels and dust blobs.
All of the sudden, the stars are ludicrously distant, the nearest one probably unreachable for another fifty generations at the least, if we don't manage to blow ourselves up.
And still their light shines upon us, glimmering, shimmering beautifully, unaware that they are gazed upon with awe by a little dust mote like me.
This is how I sometimes feel about women and relationships. To put it more succintly, as M once did: so close, and yet so far away.
Ah well. Better luck next lifetime, I suppose.