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2023-01-12 20:30:34 (UTC)

Things People Don't Know About Me #1

This is part of a series of personal entries inspired by James Altucher's listicle, "33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer." One of them is:
Don't be afraid of what people think.
In the expansion on that one-sentence suggestion, he ends it with, "...for the next 10 things you write, tell people something that nobody knows about you."

1. I sing and cry while alone in the car.

This happens for a lot of different reasons - mainly because I'm a lonely and rather morbid, melancholy person at this point in my life. However there's one circumstance that stands out powerfully for me, even as recent as this past weekend.

I will share this one example. And yes, it's about a woman. I'll be driving along the highway, back to the eco-institute where I currently live and work, and I'll hear Pearl Jam's lost-love song, Nothingman.

I try to sing along, and almost every single time I am choked up, even if just for a moment, right in the beginning. A specific line goes like this:

Caught a bolt of lightning
Cursed the day he let it go

It always dredges up memories of a lady I had dated in the late 2010s. At this point we'd been together perhaps just over two months. She joined me at a convention I was attending, and for a host of reasons I was stressed-out and tense nearly the whole time I was there. The convention was for tabletop game design, where I was catching up with old friends of mine, showing a couple game designs I had made and suffered over and was proud to share. The day job was eating me alive, but also I remember the previous year when I invited my then-girlfriend out to the same event, and that may have also had something to do with it.

The morning after she first stayed the night we were going to make love. She reclined on the bed completely naked and vulnerable, my hands and mouth all over her, until I blurted out another woman's name. She accused, "Did you just say [some other lady's name]?"

"...Yes," I answered, and collapsed on the bed next to her.

I had failed. The whole weekend may has well have been a dumpster fire at that point. It didn't matter a whit that the name I said started with the same sound, and was the name of one of my coworkers. I didn't even bother explaining that part. I simply wanted to dry up and blow away.

This is because I knew that the name I said was also the name of an ex-girlfriend as well, and even if my -current- girlfriend didn't know that, I was terrified that she would think I was thinking of someone else while I was making out with her. Honestly, my brain was scattered throughout the entire weekend and I had been mixed up even in that instant, wondering if I really -had- thought of that ex-girlfriend, or even that coworker.

But why would I? This woman was fantastic. There's no reason for me to even attempt to think of another woman, as this bombshell was essentially offering up herself to me on a platter in many ways, not just physical. Trying to explain myself would have been an exercise in futility, even if I had included the part about me being confused and frazzled.

It's even to the point that I still reach out to her, maybe twice a year, and say hello and wish her well and all that. What I really want to say is, "I'm sorry for fucking things up. You're the breath of fresh air I worthlessly blew out." There are no other women I've dated since who have been worth even a quarter the time she is worth.

I feel like I was doing my best at the time, and that I was psychologically and emotionally drowning. When I think of the line,

Caught a bolt of lightning
Cursed the day he let it go

...I always think of that wondrous woman, our budding relationship, and how terribly I fucked it all up and realized that no matter what I could do it was all gone, gone, gone.

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