Lazy Luddite Log


The Living City

It is twelve months since I returned from Canberra to Melbourne and as much as I came home I have also experienced a life that is subtly yet significantly different.

On returning from my only de-facto relationship I got two kinds of messages from Melbourne friends. One was "we are sad for you but happy to have you back". That was lovely. The other message was "you gave it your best shot". I think that is right but consider its implications.

I had the best chance I ever had to make a partnership work. I was given a wonderful opportunity by a fantastic person. However I fell short of expectations once more and (I felt) one time too many. A friend came to the Bush Capital to drive me back to Melbourne and I must have been shitty company because that long night was possibly the worst of my life. I stared at the terminally boring Hume and could see nothing in store for me but another day and another and another...

* * * * *

I think I was a bit blank like that for three months on returning home. I normally go happily to things but in that timeframe wanted to stay in and had to deliberately force a happy facade and attend more from commitment than desire. I knew that eventually I would improve and wanted to get back into my life.

I went to a wedding very tentatively because of all it represented. Fortunately my friends do things the way they want and this ‘pirate’ wedding reminded me that things can happen at a speed of our choosing. Well if we happen to find others that agree with us on the pace of commitment anyway. You can only determine your own actions in life and sometimes you have to re-assess how you do that.

* * * * *

Following those three months I was more well-adjusted and in a condition to develop interest in others. Just feeling that in yourself (let alone expressing it) is a good thing. However such feelings combined with the Canberra experience provoked plenty of introspection.

I pondered what kinds of human interaction work for me. One is keeping my own company which I enjoy and can fill with assorted past-times. I started with the intention of focusing on me but somehow other humans played a much bigger part. Friends have always been important and the extent to which I engaged with the minds of others was both energizing and exhausting. Communication takes work but is worth it.

* * * * *

Then there are the assorted human interactions we deem 'relationships'. That I was in an exploratory mood was evident to a few others. Someone put me on the spot in a small group conversation by asking me if I was considering Polyamory. At the time I made some melancholic comment that maybe nothing will work for me. I can do it more justice now with the following statement:

“It depends.”

That may seem like a nothing response but I will tell you my thinking. The differences that exist between any two relationships are greater than between any two models of relationship. This is because a person is far more complex than the cultural constructs we invent and it is the person or persons you relate to that matter. So whatever intimate interactions I have cannot be described till they are negotiated because they are a product of the unique humans involved.

Who can predict what is on my horizon? There are too many factors involved including my own preferences. For one thing affinity is an ingredient of attraction for me and that limits those I find interesting. Personal circumstances will limit things even further. And then what if there is more than one person left in this dwindling number? Shall I make overtures concurrently and risk seeming like a cad? The things we do for both sentiment and sensation! Sometimes it all seems like too much to bother with.

* * * * *

Things have gotten better since that long dark night on the Hume Highway - possibly I am just better adjusted to a lack-of-predictability in life. I have left the freeway and am now in a city block with many criss-crossing streets and laneways. Sometimes I will walk and at other times I will choose to stand still. Sometimes I will wander and at other times I will ask for directions - everybody needs help sometimes. Whatever happens is okay as long as friends continue to communicate with and embrace me (literally and figuratively) and I hope I deserve that. Anything more is a bonus.

Cross-posted here.

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  • Most of the interesting conversation arising from this post is over at the LJ cross-posting (as usual). However I will throw a few things in here.

    I got a private message from one friend giving me some lovely advise - basically say that "people are always worth the bother". And also that sometimes in the Living City others cross your path even if you decide to stand still for a while.

    The other thing is to say that the tone of my message is a more optimistic one I suspect than what I put under "The most private thing I am willing to admit" in this OKCupid profile:

    By Blogger Daniel, At 14 April, 2011  

  • 11 years ago i asked you out and either you didn't get it or you thought I was ugly.

    I went to the Monash MURPS or whatever it was called. I had a crush on you for months.

    If you went for it - you would have had the best sex of your life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 26 April, 2011  

  • It is very likely I was just oblivious. I can be and was much moreso back then.

    Or even if I was aware I may have just been too timid to respond. There are definitely way more factors in all this than just looks.

    I think these sorts of one-way communications happen all the time. It is a common problem and I think you may have inspired me to do a new blog entry on crushes.

    As for sex - well - I admire your confidence at your own ability to deliver good sex but I think that is the product of particular _combinations_ of lovers rather than the ability of one person to make it good. In other words I will never know. Which is okay as what I _have_ known I have enjoyed.

    Anyway I hope the last decade has been a full one for you and you have met others who notice overtures better than I did.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 27 April, 2011  

  • Well I learnt my lesson after that, and was much more clear when I made similar overtures!

    Last decade has been fantastic. Only wish I could have shared some of it with you!

    Looking forward to your next post.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 27 April, 2011  

  • Wow, you have an internet stalker who is hiding their identity!

    - AJ

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 28 April, 2011  

  • I know right! The vibe has shifted however from spooky to almost sweet. Well I think so anyway but then I'm a sucker for compliments.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 29 April, 2011  

  • I read your "Crush" post. Pretty good.

    I feel mortified at the thought of being "spooky". I was just reminiscing, because it was a significant turning point for me.

    Being anon is unattractive, so I will bid you farewell.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 29 April, 2011  

  • Words like "ugly" contributed to the original rather challenging tone but I am happy we had a constructive exchange. And thanks for reading.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 30 April, 2011  

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