Though I have said often enough that I wish nothing so much as to
be alone, I am also, like anyone else, a creature of many contradictory
moods. There are moments when I tire of my quest for singularity
of expression, when I grow weary from the lack of any company but my
own. At such moments I think that, though it is true that we
are each of us separate beings, divided from each other by a chasm of
unknowing that can never be wholly overcome, it need not necessarily
follow that our only recourse is to remove ourselves from society.
Often of late I have found myself wishing that I could learn to be a
simpler sort of person, could learn how to live a simpler, a more
"normal" sort of life. I've wished that I could learn
to enjoy all the things that other people enjoy, that I could find
myself a group of friends to hang out with, to do things, have fun,
with. More than anything I've wished to find a lover.
The shared talk and laughter, the touch of another body, the feel of
flesh on flesh, the slow intertwining of mutually engendered experience
might, I thought, prove the best way in which to explore what the
human condition is all about.
I have been on the lookout for a lover everywhere. Every time
I have gone to the grocery store, to the drug store, to the library,
to the bank, I've searched for him; each day when I've gone into work
I've waited and watched for him to walk through the door. But I
have not found him. Perhaps our paths crossed and I simply didn't
notice. Or perhaps the man of my dreams successfully managed at
some point to catch my eye, but did so at that one moment when I was
least expecting it, was least prepared; and I was so startled, so
disarmed by the chance, so dismayed by the timing of it, that the
moment just . . . slipped away. Sometimes opportunity comes with
such an unnerving suddenness, and disappears again with such unreasonable
rapidity, that I am unable to take advantage of it. Frustrated
desire is my reward. Ironically, frustration only fuels my desire
to ever greater heights, and over the course of weeks and months the
disappointment left in its wake has become a burden that leaves me
chronically irritated, depleted of hope, and exhausted by a sense of
futility. In the end I find that life is too fickle in its
external machinations to ever yield much satisfaction. The
threshold of my exploration, I decide yet again, must not lay in that
direction after all, but can be discovered only via the exploration of
my inner being. Of course, it may be that my inability to connect
with other people merely betrays some basic developmental lack: I
don't know. I cannot know, really. I am simply, for
better or worse, what I am. But I've allowed my desire, my need,
for a lover to slowly dissipate.
This "dissipation" of desire seems to be a hallmark of my
life just now. My need for friendship has also dissipated.
When I examine my life more closely, I find that there is no one I know
with whom I'd want to be on more intimate terms than I already am.
I find that I really do not desire social intercourse, nor any of the
defining characteristics society might give me were I to seek to
become more closely integrated with it. What I want instead, it
seems, is to go back to my beginnings, to return to that mental quest
I first embarked upon when I was a mere child. All I wanted to
know then was: Who am I, what am I, all external shaping
forces aside? I begin to long now for nothing more – and
nothing less – than a meeting with my own true self, and to ponder
on how I might best bring this about. What method I will devise
to accomplish this I do not, unfortunately, yet know.
Meanwhile, autumn has arrived here in my small town. Autumn is
the briefest and yet the most changeable of seasons – because it is
the season of goodbyes, I suppose. Yet it is also the season of my
birth. Every year at this time I feel freshly invigorated by the
briskness of the air, and a kind of rapture overtakes me at the
sight of the fiery hues of the autumn leaves. Like a phoenix
rising once more from the flames, autumn puts me in the mood to shake
off my old life and discover myself anew. Casting aside as much
as I can of what has grown false in me, I am left to wonder what sort
of seeds I might gather for the coming year, and whether or not they will
be able to survive the bitter cold of the winter ahead. And if
those seeds do in fact grow, I wonder: What kind of new self
is it that will appear?
Autumnal winds blowing, harsh and cold;
a young man, asleep, rolls over in bed.
What dream dares him dream alone?
His back is impenetrable – but not his ass