Talking about love, sex, and dating with friends and coworkers yesterday reminded me that I don’t or can’t, or no one will, or something. I’m pretty much ok with myself if I forget about that. However, even the best avoidance skills fail me at times.
In 1983 or so I stepped on a really big banana peel and I’ve spent the next 20 years sliding in a gigantic tragicomic pratfall. A side effect of this picaresque journey through humiliation (college dropout, major depression, therapy therapy therapy, little pink pills) is that I didn’t date much at all, never got into the swing of things, and by the time I realized this was important I’d got old. So now I’m 38, my generation has passed me by, and all my female friends are 10 years younger than me and don’t want to hear it. (Understandable, but painful each time it happens.) Plus I got overweight along the way somehow without noticing, and frankly this doesn’t help.
I present myself as a sad figure of fun, the paunchy middle-aged man with the soul of a frightened 15-year-old, wishing the girls would like him.
On the patio of my coffeehouse hangout there’s a group of older single men who are often there, sitting together. They ogle the pretty young girls, smoke, and talk about old guy stuff like Cars the Way they Used to Be, and money, and war, and bitterness. I’m about five years away from joining them.
At this point I’ll need a heavy distraction, because denial can only go so far without help. Since I don’t need the legal hassles of heroin or hashish, and tobacco isn’t strong enough, I think I’ll go with alcohol. I figure I’ll start doing a fifth a day on my 40th birthday and just roll with it.
How long will I last after that, I wonder? It doesn’t seem particularly important at this point.
It’s strange, being rich in a rich country, blessed with “advantages” most never see, with good friends and good health, and one little bit of it is broken and I can’t stand it and want to smash the whole life up and start over.