…and I know what all of them mean. That’s a bit upsetting, frankly. They all mean “Boy, you’ve had too many relationships that didn’t work out, or at least not enough that did.”
It’s a world of thresholds, of lines-in-the-sand, of straws-that-break-the-camel’s-back. Some live their entire lives just against the line; they fade away without ever having crossed it or realizing that they almost led a different life; they fade away happy. Others seem to cross these thresholds over and over again, never able to find that equilibrium beneath which lies quotidia and everyday contentment.
I wish I could find my way to that other place, but so far, no luck.
I often wonder what has become of some of my exes. I haven’t kept in contact with all of them. Okay, I haven’t kept in contact with most of them. I once thought Je— was so naive; apart from being hurt by her, I lost all respect for her after she (I thought) utterly threw away years of hard relationship-work. Now, having done something similar myself, I suppose I have some of it back.
And I wonder: having held the scale, closed her eyes, and jumped, did everything work out for her? Regrets? Is she happily married somewhere now with a life her friends envy, or does she sit down and wonder what might have been different?
There are already too many such puzzles in my life, they make me dizzy if I even start to think about them. E— was shocked when I told her I was the marrying type. I am. Anyone who reads my blog knows that since 1999 the most important conceptual problem in my life has been the lack of a nuclear family to call my own. I feel the lack in my bones.
Everything else has just been a sideshow—the things I do in the meantime. Trouble is, that’s where I make all my progress. The sideshow is a great success. The personal life? Not so much. Treading water. Repeating mistakes? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think it’s a matter of the circumstances of modernity and the character of my generation.
I miss my wife, whoever she is or would be, wherever she is or might be. Find me already, dammit, I’m lonely out here and building a career for no reason!