Saturday, July 16, 2011

Treasure in the Trash Can

Hope may spring eternal, but once it collides with a brick wall, you still have to wipe up the blood, snot and tears.  It's not just Abilene Steve - although I have to admit that's a large part of it.  It's about accepting the fact that I will remain single the rest of my life, and as long as people live these days, that's a very long time.

I could understand it better if people weren't always telling me how beautiful I am.  Even that old grouch Woody Konopeli says I'm a beautiful woman.  I'm not rich or thin, but in real life, not many people are.  I have achieved a certain independence financially which is as much as anyone can realistically expect in this economic reality.  And as for being thin, in my experience most men don't complain about my belly once they get an eyeful of the tits.  I expect there are plenty of men who are more into butts or legs or whatever - but they'd have been chasing somebody else to begin with.  Or maybe once there's real pussy involved, men are so focused on that, they forget about details like muscle tone and Cesarean scars especially since, if a woman has a Cesarean scar, her vagina muscles are usually as tight as any twenty year-old's.

It's a fucked up feeling to look at yourself as a commodity, but we live in a patriarchy after all, and it's not like women don't objectify and commodify their potential partners.  It's particularly fucked up to look at yourself as a commodity, and see that as far as commodities go you're very marketable, but in the end, you find yourself in the trash can with the McDonald's wrappers and coffee grounds.

I can easily get myself up and dust myself off, but I'm not starting all over again with men anymore. Abilene Steve was very kind about putting me out with the trash, but when someone told you that you're a treasure, it's very confusing to find yourself covered in coffee grounds, metaphorically.  I know he was entirely sincere when he said it.  That's why I believed he really thought I was a treasure.  I always thought I was a treasure, and it was nice to finally have confirmation that another person thought so too, besides my Granny the Ho who is graveyard dead.

He says that he's in a dark, foul mood which is possible since he comes from that Scots-Irish tradition that indulges in "black moods" and long, brooding walks across the moors.  Generally, these moods also involve heavy drinking - but not always.  I don't remember Heathcliff drinking heavily in Wuthering Heights.

Everyone gets depressed sometimes, and Abilene Steve turned 65 ten days ago.  From what I hear, the 65th birthday can be extra tough because you've entered Bucket List territory no matter who you are.  For his birthday, Abilene Steve went to visit some friends from his salad days, and they all wandered around one of those outdoor music festivals that go on for days and stretch across acres and acres of Midwestern Parkland.  Nothing like a bunch of sweaty, young dancers to remind you of your own encroaching mortality, but from the little he has written to me, I gather he was more disturbed by the lovely, orderly lives his friends had built for themselves in lovely, orderly homes in lovely, orderly suburbs.  All that lovely stuff left him feeling out of place and clueless, and I'm sure that him being a widower makes it worse than if he had a bitchy ex-wife in the background.  So now he's been in deep dark mood that makes him bad company, and that deep dark mood means he's not into talking to me. (Note: I'd consider it a kindness if any men out there who are reading his and saying, "yup, that's about the size of it" would tell me to relax).

I have all this information because a few nights ago, I wrote him an email saying that I really enjoyed being with him, but I had the impression that he's not interested in pursuing anything further.  I said I hoped he changed his mind some day - and that was it.  His response left me feeling hopeful. When it turned out I'll be in seeing a play in Poughkeepsie on Sunday, I wrote to suggest we get together.  Abilene Steve lives about an hour north of there, so I  proposed a simple dinner and then I'd get a train back into the city.  Unless he wanted to see the play too - which would be fun since it's a parody of Alfred Hitchcock.

But he said no.  The No itself was bad enough, but he said it in such a way that made me feel exceedingly rejected because the email started out with, "You're very sweet," and went on to say he already had stuff to do on Sunday.  Once I heard that, I started thinking that the encouraging words from before were really a variation on that old refrain, "It's not you, it's me."

Suddenly, I am a one night stand again - even though it was two nights, if you count the night he stayed over here after that reunion of the last surviving VJs.  I can see how a man could get swallowed up by Depression after an evening in a noisy restaurant in Times Square with the remnants of MTV's original crew.  As it happens, Abilene Steve was one of the cameramen on the original MTV crew a million years ago.  I thought it was cool, especially since he could have helped me learn more about making those little videos for Worldwide Hippies.  But he's evidently more into being Depressed Dinosaur than talking to me.

In a way, I get it.  He's been back from the birthday jamboree for ten days.  To me that's a lifetime, but when you've been traveling and having an existential crisis, time gets away from you.  He'd also cracked a tooth in the meantime, and I figure a cracked tooth is good for a Three Day Pass from communicating with friends since that kind of emergency will fuck up your schedule.

I'm trying to be reasonable and understanding, here, but it's hard when I log into Match dot com and see he's been active within twenty four hours.  So every day that he's too depressed to talk to me, he's well enough to check out what's happening on Match dot com.  Maybe he's doing exactly the same thing I'm doing on Match which is clicking on my Daily 6 out of simple curiosity and looking to see when he logged in last since I'm only interested in him anyway.  Sadly, I've grasped at straws before especially when I really, really wished that something were true.

What's true is that this treasure is in the trash can.

Like I said, I can pick myself up and dust myself off - but when I start all over again this time, it's with the realization that I'll be on my own until the end of my days.  For someone as naturally nurturing as I am, that's a little tricky.  I can always nurture my own self in addition to all the kids in my classroom, and there's Velvet, of course, who may or may not be going back to Tree Hugger.  The Dean hasn't said that Velvet has been readmitted yet, so the immediate future is uncertain in that department.

I enjoy my own company, and my life is filled with stimulating people and activities, dear friends and close family, and of course, we can't forget The Resistance and my own writing.  All in all, I'm content.

I really did wish for a boyfriend, though.  Just a night here and there. And I still believe in Fairies. I just I can't seem to clap anymore.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

If Abilene Steve has deep dark moods, you are lucky to have dodged that bullet, I'd say. Look for somebody upbeat.

Gail said...

I don't like Abilene Steve. I like you a lot so I figure the guy that is right for you best be a guy that folks who like you can also like him otherwise, well, that's it.
Love you girl

PENolan said...

It's nice to have a support team - but I still really like him. I just think he's a mess right now. I wish one of the men who often read but never comment - especially the ones who are about Abilene's age - would tell me that turning 65 is brutal and not to worry, he'll snap out of it.

Actually, I wish one of his own friends would shake him and say, "Snap out of it, Man. You're chance for Lovely and Orderly is standing right there. And she's a red head!"

I'm about two seconds away from getting on a train and going up there to shake him myself. I know he's a good man or I would have never let him drive me home that first night. I may believe in Fairies, but I not a dope.

Punch said...

Sorry about your sadness. I turned 65 about two years ago. I did not think a thing about it.


If it rhymes it rhymes
If it don't it don't
If it will it will
If it won't it won't.

PENolan said...

Thanks, Punch. Why does that verse remind me of Alice in Wonderland?

Susan Tiner said...

I'm sorry Tricia. Maybe you should drive up there.

PENolan said...

I sent my car back home to Texas with my dad. I could get on a train, though, and I just might. I've been stuck in a black hole a few times myself, and sometimes you just need somebody to jump in and pull you out.

Anonymous said...

Abilene Steve reminds me of the Nice man. These guys run hot and cold, one minute it is adoration the next it is rejection. I am beginning to believe that there is such a thing as Male Menopause. These guys are bitchier than a cat in heat!


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