Plagued with Urgent Melancholy
01 October 2010 at 4:44 pm
God, I'm always so relieved when I react appropriately. When I cry when I'm supposed to, when I laugh or "mm-hmm" or tsk in the right place. When I give advice when it is solicited and listen when it is not.
Like when Geo and I got drunk one night and watched opera on YouTube (oh, the magic of the internet, available to quench any desire from the comfort of my lonely home), and tears slipped down my face right when they were supposed to, and Geo looked at me and knew I got it. It was like a test of companionship, and I passed.
I didn't fare so well when Lela yelled at me one night for calling her, essentially, a self-righteous bitch in a public forum. She screamed and she cried, and I was frozen, and though my stomach was plaiting itself into knots of regret, I couldn't find the right level of reaction for the situation. I apologized, but it came across as disingenuous, and I never saw her again, this girl who was a self-righteous bitch, but also one who cared about me, and who, for the record, was correct.
Like when I broke up with the ex-boy the first time and cried and couldn't stop. I'd been worried I wouldn't cry, that I didn't care, that I was just pretending. It was like a test of our connection, and he passed.
Breaking up with Aaron -- that was a numbness I would associate with starvation, with deprivation; a survival technique. Eventually, the mind gives up wanting what the body craves. I disappeared. There were no tears; just a hunger for adventure I satiated first with foolish romance, then with rejecting everything as I had been. That is not a normal reaction, but neither was his; we were so awful to and for each other.
Do we all do this, or is it more natural for other people, or am I just trying to cram myself into a role so I won't create a vulnerability when exposing my visceral reaction?
I try to think about where I feel normal, in what situations I find myself when conversations flow without staccato interruptions and eye contact is a natural form of intimacy, not a terrifying peak into potential, where I'm not constantly on edge waiting for some sort of clue as to how to respond, studying the conversation instead of having it. That place is rare, but possible; I have had true friends.
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