Today has been the first time in about three weeks where I’ve enjoyed a peaceful morning “home” alone. Was up early to have a cup of coffee with my friend before she left for work, but then I was able to go back to bed for an hour so to make up for a little late night insomnia. Nice having the place to myself as I get caught up on my laundry, phone calls, and online tasks. And a refreshing bike ride to beat the bad weather moving in. And amazingly enough, no TV and no poker. I’m trying so hard to get back to my 2010 mindset where I turned the corner on depression, discouragement and low self-esteem primarily with biking and cutting TV and poker time-wasters out of my day.
Of course, this isn’t really my home as I couch-surf my through August pending a new apartment for Diedre and I in September. The first week, I was blessed to spend with my daughters at a friend’s cabin in Wisconsin. Refreshing, but busy. Another week spent doing side jobs for Shiela and staying at her house. Maybe not so busy, but life there always seems to be on her agenda. And not so relaxing since I always seem to be walking on eggshells around her. Her blow-ups with me involve either Cuba or Angel. She admittedly stole my dog, but gets extremely argumentative about the eventuality of me getting him back. And she hates Angel, never approved of her for me, and gets very agitated about any mention of her. I haven’t dated Shiela for years, she clearly doesn’t want me, but she’s oddly possessive. Incidently, I’m not the only male acquaintance she meddles with like this, which makes it easier to dismiss. But Shiela was on her best behavior this week, and it was pretty fun. I spent random occasions at the apartment of a treatment friend of Angel’s, but it’s too depressing. I simply can’t handle it, as she’s in full-blown relapse, totally wasted all the time, inches from death. Her family has given up on her and disowned her, and other than calling 911 to haul her off to detox, I wouldn’t know what else to do. I finally called Angel of all people and left it up to her how best to help her friend. Angel said she would call their last treatment center for advice.
I’m going to walk on eggshells here, too. No, my host isn’t a walking time-bomb like Shiela. The problem is me. I have a fatal flaw.
I’ve done a lot of soul-searching about my “relationship” with Angel and I finally had an understanding breakthrough. “Relationship” is one of those vague words that can mean any interaction between people, but what I finally had to admit was that Angel and I never had a real girlfriend / boyfriend relationship. It was all wishful thinking on my part. The honest truth is we were only good friends who happened to have sex once in a while. I was in love, wanted the sex to mean something, and let myself get fooled, despite the lack of genuine passion. Every once in a while, she would push me away, play the “just friends” card, but I never really heard her because a day or two later, or even an hour or two later, she would have sex with me. So, yeah, I was on a mixed-message roller-coaster, but I should’ve known things weren’t right. I was in denial.
I’m throwing a major premise out the window. I used to believe an ideal relationship was one in which love blossomed from a foundation of solid friendship. Bullshit. Give me mind-blowing passion first, then see what we have left after things settle a little. That was my marriage, and it worked for a long time.
My flaw has been always looking at women I meet with a couples mindset, often totally out of context with reality. Dare I even say a hidden agenda of hoping this friendship or that would evolve. Ugh. Well, I learned from my Angel debacle, be careful what you wish for. From now on, a woman won’t even have to hand me a “just friends” card, it will already be assumed. It’s the old When-Harry-Met-Sally debate. Men and women can be friends. The sex-thing doesn’t have to get in the way. I’ve let it get in the way, and frankly I feel a little slimy and disingenuous about how I’ve been. God, give me strength, give me integrity, let me be a better man.
About relationships, I’m holding out for passion. Lightning may never strike me again, but I’m holding my golf-club high.