perfect gentleman

Sunday, April 15, 2001
@ Ruta Maya posted: 2033 hrs

“Before you learn to rock…”
–Call and Response, “Rollerskate”
Lets play a game. It’s called “Discern the Inadequate.” What we’ll do is go back through all my relationships (which some of you will remember well) beginning with Jackie, the ex-wife, and find the one constant that causes their early demise. And I do mean early. We’re talking about abortive in the way your car will start for about three seconds before conking out on you. Just enough time to give you hope… and then it’s gone and you’re calling the mechanic.

– Jackie — marriage, divorce. There was obviously some over-reaction on her part, but she maintains that I said it was a mistake for us to get married. (I don’t remember that.) The timing of her dumping me works against her, though–three days after I separated from the Air Force; a few months before she enlisted in the Navy.

– One-night stand with the Lapsing Lesbian (whatever her name was) — Not a relationship. No secrets to be discovered there.

– Wendi — From Albany, New York. Ex-girlfriend of Evan. HighLife Erin said she was/is chemically-imbalanced. This may not be physiologically true, but she does have the symptoms. Also the symptoms of a complete user (and me as the faithful, gullible, hoping usee).

– Christian Chick Erin — Againt, doesn’t really count because I was more interested in being her friend. Age and experience differences an issue. Her parents dumped me.

– Jillian — The newest and best yet. Also from Albany and a friend of Evan. Maybe some extenuating circumstances of the financial persuasion in the “dumping” or “giving up.” Though HighLife Erin and others have tendered the opinion that another boy must be involved on her side. I don’t know. No longer moving to Austin and no longer cares to see me when I fly there in 26 days. Matter of fact, no longer speaking to me, it appears. No reason for this that I can see. I’m almost completely lost on her right now. I have no idea what exactly is going on… though I do know what isn’t going on.

I know these are rather abridged versions of each story, but I think we can all see the running theme, the one constant in all of them. Albany, relationship with Evan, and neuroses come in at a close second, but the one definite constant in each of these relationships–beginning, middle, and end–is me.
Now, the whopper: What is it that makes me so inadequate?
(By the way, Teri, you were right. Unfortunately.)

“Tell me why is it hard to make arrangements with yourself when you’re old enough to repay but young enough to sell?”
–Neil Young, “Tell My Why”
Now, lets not get more depressing that we already are. And, anyway, I mean all this in jest–to a point. Anyone–including the people on the list–with any insights should feel free to inform me of my inadequacies, though.

“You learn to rollerskate.”
–Call and Response, “Rollerskate”
It’s funny sitting here at Ruta Maya looking at all the places that played the set bringing Jillian and I together… the PlaySkool chair, the corner near the front where I first saw her, the lamp we sat under when she made fun of my painting for being “outside the box,” prompting me to paint a box around the figure.
Certainly I know that it’s really nothing to get worked up about. She’s over it–and she used the same logic I’ll end up using: We spent little time together (in the grand scheme)… she’s been 1800 miles away for the duration of the “serious” portion of our relationship… it’s just hard to let go of your dreams–for me anyway. Seems like life wouldn’t be much worth living if there weren’t some ideals and hopeless romanticism and fantasies of the future to hold onto and aim for.
It’d be much easier to give up on them and live (as she phrased it) an “emotionally flat” existence. It’d really cut down on the pain. But that seems too much like, well, not living, but going through the motions of it anyway. Maybe some sort of existential crisis.

“For this is wrong, if anything is wrong:
not to enlarge the freedom of a love
with all the inner freedom one can summon.
We need, in love, to practice only this:
letting each other go. For holding on
comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke, “Requiem for a Friend”
So I’m letting go. That’s what she wants. While I’m prepared to greet her with open arms, I can’t limit myself to waiting for that futile wish to come true. I wonder if she knows she’s passing up the best guy she’s likely ever to meet.

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