Monday, December 06, 2004

You'll see... you'll see...

General stream-of-consciousness rant-type-blog: Go.

I keep having U2 lyrics fly through my head. It's almost non-stop. I'll catch myself humming the same thing over and over. So I just gave in and stuck the disc in. My copy of the disc. I burned two copies of the album, one for work, one for car. The original (of the species) is safely tucked away on the CD shelf.

At the moment I'm almost glad of the ubiquitous self-song-bombing. Cleanses the palate. I just finished listening to the "High Fidelity" soundtrack. I should know better. I don't know what possessed me to pull it out for work. (But then again, I think i might.) I have stopped casually listening to it. I don't think this was an intentional choice, but rather a subconscious choice recognized in retrospect. A choice I think I will keep making. Listen to that album just makes me feel all... And who needs that? No one. So no more.

Memory flash: Sitting in Denny's listening to a borrowed copy of the High Fidelity soundtrack on a cheap walkman-type cd player. Sitting across from Carter. He grabs the player, changes the tune to track 7, the Sheila Nichols song. He says to me, exhaling his camel smoke, "this is my favorite song on the soundtrack." I listen for about a minute and a half, to be polite, as he watches me, gauging my reaction. When his attention turns to something else, I change the track back. I didn't like the song as much as the rest of the album, at that time; as it turns out, I would grow to like it later. A few minutes later, he realizes what I've done and says, with a look of shock and offense, "Dude." "What?" I reply. "It's cool, but I wanted to listen to the other one." He just shakes his head at me and takes another drag.

I want to make this exchange mean something deeper. But I don't think it does.

So yeah, I'm getting "the Rob Gordons" again. (A music/memory version of the "mean reds", if you like.) I don't think it's the soundtrack that started it.

I find that I'm abstractly jealous of strangers.

I also find that I am both happy for and unhappy with friends that are getting married. I think the "happy for them" part is slightly stronger, by a 5% margin perhaps. It's not that I don't want them to get married; it's more like I don't want me to not get married.

I've told some of you my bell-curve singleness rant. For the rest, here it is. In college, the number of single friends I had was like the center of the bell curve. Somewhere along the way, we crossed that magical center line, and since then the number of single friends has grown alarmingly shorter. People dating, people marrying. People having kids, for crap's sakes. And as time elapses, we move farther and farther toward the right end of the chart. Past the first standard deviation, past the second, deep into that high-nineties percentile. Now I always counted on a few brave souls I knew to be single forever; I expected it. It gave everything else a sense of normalcy. At least I wasn't the only one right? But now, but now. Time has passed. We have reached the third SD and I find that it's me--I'm the lone outlier of my particular circle. Huzzah.

I don't begrudge your happiness, my friends. Wait. Strike that. I do begrudge it, a little, but not because you don't deserve it. You do. You deserve all the happiness you can madly grasp. And I really am happy for you... mostly. But I reserve the right to hold back a sliver of my joy, a sliver of my heart, to envy you and maybe to hold it against you, for leaving me out here on the fringe.


(Gear shift. Grind it 'til you find it.)

Since the unfortunate coupling of my dear friend T with Miss Like-like, I have twice crossed paths with girls who elicited the mental query: "What about her?" The first, I described in a rather charming story several posts ago. The second, I spent some time with at a group lunch yesterday. Curious thing: we were at her friend's house, and both sets of parents (hers and her friend's) were there. So she (this new girl) introduced me to her parents, whom I talked to on and off throughout the afternoon. They asked me what I did for a living. We talked some Garrison Keillor (they were very pleased that I was familiar with him). At one point, they tried to make her little brother leave the couch so I could sit there (incidentally, next to their daughter), instead of on a side-chair. I demurred, insisting that he remain in his spot. Mother and daughter would mouth comments to each other across the room, on more than one occasion, and one or both would catch my eye and smile.

I could just be imagining it all, but I felt like I was being auditioned. Or ambushed.

There's nothing wrong with her, she seems nice enough. I just don't know her that well.

I don't know. Bizarro.


I have to remind myself that the flashy single life I always imagined doesn't exist. That "Friends" defied all rationale logic and possibility. That I am normal.

I have to remind myself. Because sometimes I forget.

I have to put my aches and pains to bed now. I have to dull my lost anger with the power of will alone, so I can get back to work.

Forget, forget, forget.

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