And so, here it is the third week of this, the cruelest month. I sense the brewing and babbling of lilacs, and the unfulfilled promise of desire. Fruit trees are bursting forth with flowering new life, my steps lighten slightly, and my eyes are certainly quicker than my brain (something not exclusive to spring months). Romantic hope springing eternal, however, has previously set me up for disappointment. Just recently I’ve felt especially burned by my own desire and expectation. True, my choices have been... um... questionable at best – to keep doing the same thing and expect different results could be called insane – but I can’t help thinking that something may change, or that I’ve changed, so the results of such folly should at least vary.
I’ve been having an intermittent, ongoing sexual encounter with someone for a while; a dashing, tall and muscular chap with an awkwardly handsome nose, and a seemingly inexhaustible libido. We’ve met maybe once a month or so for the past year. That we’re sexually compatible is irrefutable, and the last few times we’ve been together there has been easy, fun and playful talk. For me, as far as casual sex things go, this should be considered highly successful. But, as rousing and enthusiastic as our meetings have been, I’ve been finding myself hoping that there might be more to explore with this fellow - perhaps something not so casual. Regrettably, the last time we connected, he made it clear (not in so many words) that things are just fine the way they are, and that he’s really not open for anything more emotionally investigative. Alas, a disappointment to be sure. But as fragmentary and emotionally frustrating as our intermittent romps may be, their excitement and animal passion are just too much for me to discard completely at this time.
Acknowledging this lack of emotional involvement has prompted me to turn my attention to the idea of dating rather than hook-ups. Now as one who has never had any success in this arena, the prospect is startling. The stakes are so much higher! If a hook-up goes wrong, you can just stop and say, “Ya’ know, this isn’t really working for me” and then you each go your own way, usually with no hard feelings. But dating? Oh boy, I just don’t feel like I’m prepared for that kind of potentially devastating rejection - all before there’s even been any evidence of a payoff. I realize that this is probably a very modern-male perspective, but considering that our society has been frantically rolling forward on the model of some kind of quick-edit-amazing-race-immediate-gratification-how-to-handbook, it’s really no surprise that I just want to find myself in a loving and successful reciprocal relationship without having had to do any of the footwork to get me there. That sex is so readily available doesn't make wanting to stretch my dating muscles any easier either.
And so, again, here I am in this cruelest of months, my birthday month, single, libidinous, slowly aging, lonely and longing for more. I'm not quite ready to give up the easy fix of the non-committed occasional romp, but I am now, more than ever, willing to risk some emotional investment and start learning how to date, even at this more advanced stage of my career. So I'll keep you posted. In the meantime I'll try to enjoy the newly lightened step and the quickening eye. And, as April showers fall, and the city's parks begin to bring forth a bounty of floral loveliness, I'll try not to slip too far into morbid self-reflection. Who knows? with all this blooming new life I may even find some new life of my own, rise to this new challenge, and surprise myself.