Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Last man standing

It wasn't anything special that happened. No bright light. No parting of the clouds. As he was going to bed on a random Monday night, he realized he was alone. Not just that, he realized he was the last one of his peers to be alone. Spread across hemispheres, continents and timezones, all of his friends had found someone, most were married, many even had children.

When he thought about it, it wasn't really an age thing. It was more the sense of being an outlier, of feeling betrayed. It took him surprisingly long to realize that just because his friends acted in the same way he did when they met, didn't mean they always acted that way. What to him was a natural meeting between friends with similar lifestyles was, to them, a short but sweet excursion from real life into ages past, where bottles and babes had a completely different meaning, and pregnancies were something to be feared, not celebrated.

Did it even matter why? There had always been competing impulses in him. The Peter Pan desire to never grow up and always have fun against the Ted Moseby-ish yearning for true love. The extremely high expectations of others paired with a completely hedonistic view of his own life. The belief that finding a romantic partner was the most important thing in the world coupled with an absolute refusal to change any aspect of his life to find said partner. A firm belief in making things happen side-by-side with an expectation that destiny would take care of things. The deep spirituality and religious feeling alongside a belligerently post-modern view of life. Any and all of these could be true, along with many other, simpler explanations - you're fat, you're balding, you're never around, you're not brave, you drink too much.

The truth is that why was not the right question. The right question was what, if anything, to do about it? What was the best move at that moment? Even before that, the question was "What did he want?" What was the scenario that he thought would make him happy? The answer to this was tricky, like that joke where a guy finds a magic lamp with a genie and wishes to have his dick go all the way to the floor, so the genie cuts his legs off. He had to be careful what he wished for. He thought about it long and hard, and came up with something he liked:

"Love on its own time"

OK, so that was nice, not cynical, not desperate, the right measure of yearning and acceptance. But then what? What to do in the meantime? How to get ready for this? How does one prepare for love?

"Así que uno planta su propio jardín
    y decora su propia alma, en lugar
    de esperar a que alguien le traiga flores." - Borges

"So one plants one's own garden,
and decorates one's own soul, instead
of waiting for someone else to bring one flowers" - Borges.