Sunday 26 October 2008

The Problem And The Conclusions

OK, gateway gone through.
Kind of.
Its gone through, yes, but at this point I'm none the wiser.

So. I thought I'd tackle the problem objectively with some form of empirical reasoning.

The first question then; Are you actually in love with her?

Now that's a valid question. Valid because I have a long list of short term infatuations behind me which have never lasted very long. Between one and three months, usually. Sometimes they have been mutual infatuations of the kind that some people refer to as relationships. But let's be honest, I've only ever been in love once before, though I have told myself (and them, usually right at the moment of mutual physical connection, and usually it's been this rash lack of control has led to problems). Because these infatuations don't last long. The novelty wears off. The fact is, there are about two billion adult females in the world so it's quite hard to retain my attention for long. I really seem to have some little voice in my brain says, ok, that's another one done, one billion nine hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred and whatever figure it is, still to go.

So I have often pondered if there is some kind of empirical way I would know if I was in love. Because pretty much most women are CAPABLE of making me feel strong feelings of some kind. I'm like that. I go through life thinking 'This could be the one' and its usually the latest one. And there have been times when I've juggled more than one woman at a time and over the course of the same day, my mind has hopped between each of them thinking 'It IS her'. Yes, I suppose it was cheating, but the reality is I felt at the time that I was in love, but couldn't make my mind up who that was with.

Now the fact is these rather vapid and transient sentiments largely dependant on who happened to be playing with my hair at the time, in no sense compare to what I feel now. They just don't. This is different, because I've felt this way a long time. Well over three months. And it hasn't been because she's been playing with my hair. There are tonnes of women out there for the taking and none of them are capable of stopping me thinking of her and there is nothing they could do would make me think 'Maybe it's her'. That's the difference. Whether or not she wants my attention, she has it and doesn't lose it. That's the difference. Its real because I'm powerless to divert it elsewhere, real because it isn't conditional on her continually petting me, agreeing with me, pandering to my every whim. Its real because I love the person she is and not the fact she happens to be making me feel good at that particular minute time.

Because that's all I've ever loved before, really. 'I love you' has meant 'I like feeling the way you're making me feel right now. While you carry on making me feel like this, you're the most important thing in my world. Though in fifteen minutes, the most important thing will probably be the football'.

But she takes precedence over everything. And I think the real giveaway is my total willingness to just consider what she wants. I think I do put her happiness above my own. I think it can only REALLY be love if you love them, regardless of whether or not you yourself can ever be their route to happiness.

Next Question. And one I've really been trying to objectively quantify. Why? Why do I love her?

Now this is a puzzling one. In one sense, it's bloody easy. No one makes me feel like she does. No one ever could. I genuinely feel that although we seem so very different, were not. Two jigsaw puzzle pieces LOOK different, but they're still meant to be fitted together. That's how she makes me feel.

But I have tried to analyse this. Of course I have. You must have realised by now, I analyse everything I do. I have definitely tried to work out WHY she seems to fit. Why do I waste my time on this, you ask?
Well, because I could be objectively wrong. I am not going to trust in an emotional feeling if there is no logic to back it up. I dont believe that just because someone falls in love with someone it's always a good thing. You CAN love someone and be wrong in doing so, I believe that.

I suppose the reason why this question matters is that on the face of it, it might seem illogical.
When I was about twenty two-ish, I had a complicated scoring system for women. Most blokes adopt a score out of ten system for assessing women. Mine was out of twenty and it wasn't one based on guesstimates either. Specific points were allocated for specific qualities. The qualities I THOUGHT I was looking for. And yes, points were alocated on the basis of things such as ethnicity (darker girls scored higher), figure, etc. Two of the points were allocated on the basis of temperament, I remember that much, with shy girls getting the full two and pushy mouthy types getting none.

I can't remember how the system worked, but I do know I had it and I do know that though the system got forgotten about, basically the things in it I was looking for didn't.

In essence, I guess it was a trophy collectors approach. If it had meant anything, I wouldn't have fallen in love with her. Not one of those things I allocated points for matter. I don't know what score she would have got under that system. Nor does it matter. It would have been a middle ranking score.
And yet she's beautiful. She really is. I can't take my eyes off her.

So my scoring system was- wrong. It didn't even tell ME what I was looking for. Or maybe it did. Just what I was looking for wasn't actually what I SHOULD have been looking for.

I think the truth is, I'm realising something about aesthetic beauty. I've noticed that you can think someone to be reasonably attractive to begin with, but as you get to know them, you start to notice how UGLY they are. Having an ugly personality means that people start to notice the bits of your features which physically show that. And eventually, if someone is ugly inside and that is how you see them, they seem physically repulsive to you on the outside too.

Her inner beauty shines through. How could I not look at her and find her the most beautiful woman alive? She is.

Beautiful because she's real. Beautiful because she ISN'T that vision I used to concoct in my head of the perfect woman. Beautiful because she's what the woman I actually love actually looks like.

And how can I not look at every other woman in the world and think 'Yes, you might think you look good, but you don't. To really look good, you have to be her. And only she can do that'.

I don't know why I love her, I don't. I was trying to figure this out today, as it happens. Because I sure as hell do love her. I was trying to put my finger on that particular quality. And than I kind of realised, it's not a specific quality, it's the lot. The quality is being her. It's kind of unique, therefore only she has it.

It is as simple as that.

And so. The third and most important question. What to do about it?

Now this still isn't an easy one. I've written volumes on this already. And it must be clear that my opinion on this oscillates like wild fire. As you might expect. Because let's be honest, it still isn't something I can get my head round. Believe it or not, I'm scared shitless and feel like a teenager again. And yet in other ways I feel safe. Calm. Like it's all going to be Ok. And I oscillate between those two positions.

I'm sure I must confuse the poor girl something rotten. Because some days I believe that it's a good thing she doesn't love me, that it serves a higher purpose in providing me with a source for inspiration, that she is part muse, part religious icon, kind of like Dante's Beatrice was to him. Other days I want so badly to be with her, I'd move her in like a shot. Some days I go to the pub and find myself thinking 'Maybe you should just bed someone else', other days I think 'I don't want to bed anyone else, it feels wrong'. Some days I want her to find happiness with other men, other days I find myself fighting hard to suppress a huge jealousy at the concept. Some days the feelings I have about her are such that the idea of sleeping with her seems blasphemous. Some days- like now- I really hate the fact I'm about to get into a bed that she isn't in.

And every so often I find myself tapping my fingers on the desk thinking 'Should you just cut all ties and remove her from your life, for your own sanity? Because it's not going to get any better. You perpetually think you can't love her any more than you do, and next week somehow you do.'

And let's just be honest, all the crap I talk about all the things standing in the way at my end, they're just reasons I've invented, really. They're real, but only because I structure things that way. I've designed a relationship proof life, one where I am protected against relationships. One where I have my best mates running round organising my life for me, even to the degree they open my mail for me, because I've been superstitious about opening mail for years. Yes, my own mail is something I delegate to others.

The truth is, the whole concept scares me. What most people dream of, is the scariest concept I can imagine, if I'm honest. It scares me that there could be someone who has that amount of access to you, that lives in your home, shares your bed, always knows where you are, knows whats in your bank account, knows all your opinions, knows when you're happy, knows when you're sad, knows you inside out. Someone as close to you as your best mates, closer in fact and a lover as well. Oh, I've told myself forever that's what I've wanted, but since I cleverly structured my life to avoid it actually happening, I could live that fantasy. Reality is, as people have often said to me 'If it ever came along, you'd run. Run like the wind'.

I've never really confronted this fear. Because I've never wanted to. And I've lashed out at people in the past if they've tried to cross my boundaries. I guess it's hard for people to see them. I probably come across as quite boundary free. But of course, you'd be wrong. Little things, like my flat. Two of my mates have keys and can come in when they want, whether I'm there or not. If you're anyone else, I may invite you back, if I'm in the mood, or you may come round by prior appointment, but I never EVER answer the doorbell. Not unless I'm expecting it to ring and not unless it rings at the EXACT TIME I'm expecting it to ring.

And although I've lived here eighteen months now, I've never invited a family member round. I've admitted a family member twice, my mate admitted one once when I was absent, and I've conversed with family members on the doorstep, but by and large I won't meet with family members in my own personal space.

And yet at the same time, I never shut my bedroom door. Ever. Never did when D lived here, never do when mates stay over. I'm not private in that way.

I have a life set up, with people acting as minders, social secretaries and personal assistants in so many ways. And I'm frightened to move away from that. Frightened to move away from a lifestyle where I hold the keys to everything, but I'm surrounded by people who basically guard my life for me.

I've never really wanted anything else.

It scares me that I want her this much. It scares me that I really want to overthrow this entire system and bring her into my life to a degree that the existing set up doesn't allow for. The existing set up is arranged to ONLY really allow for short term flings that don't in any way affect the bigger picture. And a huge part of me thinks this instinct I have now is like touching the iron to see if your finger gets burnt.

Because it isn't that I'm tired of being alone, I'm never alone not really. It's just I always miss her. I want her to be around as much as she can be. I want to do the things that other people do, the stuff I used to HATE doing with partners, I want to do all that stuff with her. The normal stuff.

I want to go out to work and earn money for OUR future, not just my beer fund.

And this is it, this is the stuff that's really scaring me. That I feel like this. That I want this so badly, that I just want to be able to wake up every morning and look into her eyes and see that soft smile.

I've smoked half my life- literally- thirty a day. And I've never wanted to give up. Every tax increase has only made me think 'To quit now means you invested thousands of pounds in something you quit'. The 'Smoking kills' messages have always had the reverse effect on me. Made it seem something worth doing. Only those who fear dieing don't smoke. I've never wanted to be old. But now I want to quit smoking. Because she doesn't smoke and I want to grow old with her without her having to live in a home where tobacco is always in the air.

And I'm really scared by all this.

Really scared that there actually does exist a person I never want to contemplate being without. That there exists someone who I couldn't not let in all the way. For me to say I could is just not true. I couldn't. I'd fight it, I'd panic, it wouldn't be easy for me to deal with it, it isn't easy now, but it's still true I want to spend my life with her. Even though my head tells me I shouldn't want to want that. But my heart wants to want that.

I want her to make the choice that's going to be hardest for me to deal with. My heart actually wants what I know would be a total shock to the system, a total life change, something that will at times leave me feeling lost, scared, vulnerable and afraid.

And the crazy thing is, I'm so scared by all this I just want someone to hold me and caress me and tell me it will all be ok. And who is it I instinctively think of holding me? Her.

Someone needs to invent a cure for stuff like this.

I'm going to bed now, without her. Though I'm not. There are four pillows in the bed, and I pretend one of them is her.

I don't have any answers. I don't. What will be, will be.


Anonymous said...

"transient sentiments largely dependant on who happened to be playing with my hair at the time"
Great line.

Very descriptive and sounds like love to me. Enjoy it. Make her enjoy it too. Good luck to you both.

Anonymous said...

I want to say if you have to ask then its not love - but I dont believe that in this case after all you have written I would say it very well could be the very thing you may fear the most.

Love is a scary thing when it is unexpected.

Anonymous said...

you remind me of stan rogers when he sang this:

Where the earth shows its bones of wind-broken stone
And the sea and the sky are one
I'm caught out of time, my blood sings with wine
And I'm running naked in the sun
There's God in the trees, I'm weak in the knees
And the sky is a painful blue
I'd like to look around, but Honey, all I see is you.

The summer city lights will soften the night
Til you'd think that the air is clear
And I'm sitting with friends, where forty-five cents
Will buy another glass of beer
He's got something to say, but I'm so far away
That I don't know who I'm talking to
Cause you just walked in the door, and Honey, all I see is you

And I just want to hold you closer than I've ever held anyone before
You say you've been twice a wife and you're through with life
Ah, but Honey, what the hell's it for?
After twenty-three years you'd think I could find
A way to let you know somehow
That I want to see your smiling face forty-five years from now.

So alone in the lights on stage every night
I've been reaching out to find a friend
Who knows all the words, sings so she's heard
And knows how all the stories end
Maybe after the show she'll ask me to go
Home with her for a drink or two
Now her smile lights her eyes, but Honey, all I see is you

And I just want to hold you closer than I've ever held anyone before
You say you've been twice a wife and you're through with life
Ah, but Honey, what the hell's it for?
After twenty-three years you'd think I could find
A way to let you know somehow
That I want to see your smiling face forty-five years from now.

Sadly Stan died young. if you got a reason to live long, that's a beautiful thing. enjoy it all.

Anonymous said...

Im with Benji on this... you are in love right?

Anonymous said...

What is Love?

Ah, remember that song from about ten years ago on the dance floors? Will anyone really be able to answer it? How do we know what we feel is actually what we feel and why is it so transient?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me you are having trouble reconciling your newfound true love with your ideas about free love and "open" relationships. Now why do you think that is? Because they don't work with true love, that's why. People do not want to sleep with others if they truly love one person and they surely don't want them to do it either.

Anonymous said...

I think JMB has just about summed it up there!

Anonymous said...

Lad Litter- I nwish :)

It's one of these doomed things. It's a pain in the arse quite frankly, but I sometimes think there is a law of the universe that people like me only fall hook, line and snker when it's unrequited.

Still, there will always be people to play with my hair, methinks.

Cat- It kind of is, yes.

I don't trust anything that can't be objectively quantified.

It is quite scary, scary that someone has that power over you.

Unexpected, it was. I wouldn't have seen it coming.

Benji- Yes, it does feel like that :)

As for enjoying it, well, it's kind of more the pleasure of contemplation than consummation.

But that can be a pleasure in itself.

Mutley- It would seem so. Not really something that suits me is it?

Kate- I have to say, I really haven't a clue. I don't like not having a clue. Usually I like thing s to be definite and make sense. Or at least be able to devise a theory that satisfies me.

Generally, my infatuations/dalliances are highly transient. I think I can explain that bit :)

Why this unrequited fixation isn't makes less sense.

jmb- Yes, but I keep feeling guilty about having these little moments of jealousy. Not a good thing, methinks.
And it also wouldn't be strictly true to say that there aren't moments whichever girl I'm talking to isn't the only thing on my mind. Whether thats because this is unfulfilled, I can't say.

The exact situation is that I no longer really like telling her about my interactions with other women. Because I feel a bit guilty. Though I shouldn't. We're not an item.

CherryPie- It doesn't stop me being one rather confused and disoriented little Crushed on the subject :)

This sort of thing is SO not me.

I suspect it will be the one I remember on my deathbed. Unfulfilled as it will have been.