Well, this is it. The apocalypse is nigh and it just doesn't really feel very different from any other day. In fact, after having a couple of cups of coffee, walking the dog, checking my email, looking at the latest updates on facebook, logging into an online dating site, checking the Huffington Post, taking a few phone calls (all regular morning stuff), the idea of being lifted away in the never ending and loving arms of Jesus seems like a really nice thing.
Yes, my routine can become a little numbing, but lately I'm actually happy with what I've been doing. I'm glad that I'm able to be helpful to others, that I get to play a role in other people's recovery. I went to the Tombs last night, and the men there were grateful that I took the time to bring a meeting to them. I'm currently working with a newcomer who is as scared as he is enthusiastic. I'm also working with a recurrent relapser; frustrated, scared, and teaching me so much. Showing up for these guys allows me to feel useful, gives me a sense of purpose, and feeds my self-esteem. And while I'm not anxious or discontented, I am tired, lonely, desirous, frustrated, and I wonder if I'm ever going to feel like a settled grownup; a responsible adult with healthy relationships. I can understand how fanatical religiosity could be a welcomed reprieve from the disenchantment of daily life.
Last week I got together again with the fellow I mentioned in an earlier post. The tall, muscular, semi-regular sex partner with an awkwardly handsome nose who I was wondering if I might get closer with. We had our usual urgent and voracious romp, and then in the comfortable afterglow, he began opening up to me in a way that he never had before. He began telling me about himself, his feelings, etc. I welcomed it, but I also noticed myself shutting down. I was scared. And then, he began talking about other sex partners. A clear and loud mixed message of 'I like you but don't get too close.' Is this what I do? It was like a mirror. A painfully fragmented and cracked mirror. No, I don't talk about other sex partners with people I'm romantically interesting in, but I'm certain that I push people away in any number of other ways. Seriously, I'm a middle-aged man who feels like an adolescent (and often acts like one), and finally all this self examination is beginning to pay off. It would really be a shame if the world ended today right when I feel as if I'm on the precipice of some kind of personal transformation or breakthrough. Of course I know that this is all just practice preparing me for the next thing. I just hope that after all this laborious and painful work that the next thing isn't oblivion.