Monday, 21 January 2013

I Could Have Screwed Up Royally...But I Didn't

So where are we, now that we're back where we started?

I'm one of the people who lives for sensations and pleasures, and I was somehow smart enough in my teenage years, reading Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas as it came out in Rolling Stone, to realise that if I let myself go to those sensations, if I ever found a drug that got me out of it, then I was not coming back again. I channeled it into the abstract thought of philosophy and mathematics, and taught myself to appreciate jazz and composed music. That's where I get my kicks. I understood somehow, from somewhere, about "the pram in the hallway", long before reading the book. I knew from when I was five or six that I never was going to get married, and I have never changed my mind. I have wanted to get laid, I have wanted a girlfriend, I have wanted a "relationship", but never in the depths of any misery did I ever want to be married. I could cite my Chinese horoscope, which has a strong Rat influence: we Rats never get into anything we can't get out of. Or I could just accept that I'm an addict with the sense and luck to stay away from the really destructive addictions.

Like many young men, but not the majority of them, I had a long and painful dry spell when I should have been getting laid regularly. This gave me a bitter view of the world: women were the enemy, because they had what I wanted and wouldn't let me at it. At some point this passed, and I think it was in my late twenties, when I started working and did get laid now and again. It didn't take a lot to make me feel way better. Then all the other stuff happened. I knew the girls wanted some kind of relationship that I wasn't able to provide, and because I didn't understand much about myself, I thought that was my failing. I was "wrong". And that was where we came in.

I could have screwed up my life a dozen ways and royally each one. I could be twice-divorced with three estranged kids: two from the first marriage, one from the second. I could be a suffering alcoholic - though I would be long dead by now. I could have been a drug addict - and even longer dead. I could have picked up the gambling bug, but the last races I went to, one horse didn't make it out of the stall, and one lost a shoe on the way down to the stall. I stopped after that. I would have needed a big win to get hooked, and I never had one. I've survived some nasty bouts of unemployment that sent my career back to zero when I was forty and then fifty. I climbed back out and have had my nose above water for a while now. I've even survived a car crash that other people thought would have killed the occupants.

I used to think I messed-up my career, and while I made some dumb moves in my first job, but after that, I didn't. I know now that strong corporate careers need a lot of energy and people skills, as well as a capacity to do stuff now that you believe may not pass the Regulator in the future. I don't have that energy, and I don't have that temperament. For many years my intellectual thinking was confused, first by hormones and then by booze. It was only when I got sober and calmed down that I began to be able to think clearly. In a great many ways, I am in better shape now than I was when I was thirty. Just not as pretty.

It is, all in all, a freaking miracle I am still standing at all, let alone standing as tall as I am. When my energy levels are up, I can carry on with life and feel okay. I look confident, I don't feel down, but look at what I do, at how I live, and you will see that really I scuttle from home to work to gym to home and that's basically it. I haven't approached a woman in years, nor tried to find another job, nor, well, anything outside the scuttle-path. Either I've decided to retire early, or something is still wrong, or it's just plain time I got off the bench.

This has been one looonnnnggg investigation of the idea that "something is still wrong". I mean, of course, on one level, there is something wrong. I'm an addict, alcoholic and ACoA, and I'm pretty sure others would add other non-flattering adjectives. I am not going to do trust, fun, intimacyTM, authority figures or relaxing, and I am going to take myself too seriously (whatever that means). I was never going to be a great father, nor anyone's loving husband. I get bored way, way too quickly for that. I can't be anyone's rescuer or amateur therapist, and I'm no-one's mentor or guide. I'm not that promotable, and I have no desire to slave-drive younger people (aka a "motivational manager") or sell clients something they don't really need (aka "consultancy").

Well, this is "wrong" to a gold-digger / husband-seeker / status-groupie / princess / career-girl / entitled-wall-slammer-in-denial. It's also not what the older woman wanting a substitute father for the kids / replacement husband / fund to pay off the debts (all aka "someone to share my life with") is after either. And in London, those groups make a lot of the female population. Fine, at my age and hormone level I can live without them. The task is to find a woman who isn't one of them, ask her to join me for coffee so we can engage in mutual inspection and see if we can keep a reasonable conversation going for twenty minutes. If so, I'll follow up with an actual date. And I'm talking 30-45 here (probably 35-45, the 30-35 is aspirational). How do I have the temerity to aim there? 

So there's this twenty-seven year old at work I have a crush on. (I always have a crush on one of the girls at work. It occupies those feelings with someone unavailable. It reminds me I'm alive.) Except she doesn't yet realise she's attracted back (Girls! Sooooo in touch with their feeeelings). Her friend can see the attraction, and has made indirect jokes about it a couple of times. I am not going to make a move, because work, and because I don't want to deal with someone who can't recognise her own feelings, and who is just a little bit of a princess. The point is, those girls don't see me as their kindly Uncle. They see me as a viable man. Otherwise I would have heard "Eeeeugh" noises.

So it's about getting my Game going. 

No comments:

Post a Comment