I was driving back from a Labor Day pool party. A festive occasion in name only, I assure you. My two roommates were cheerfully inebriated and I was stone cold sober, swerving out of one kind of chaos and into another. It wasn't because I had assumed a stoic duty of not drinking. I'm just in the midst of an unemployed streak where drinking is simply not a viable option. It grates on you, trust me. But like the convicted, eventually you get the hang of it. You're at a party, swinging back and forth like dead meat. Not saying anything particularly clever.
This drive back home was colored in with a conversation about my current sex life. A personal matter, I know but you can't help but be amused when the spectators chime in. I'm involved with someone who is involved with someone else. Wax on. Wax off. I have hope, you see. My roommates felt differently about the situation. As exemplified by their graceful input:
"Oh no, Josh. You're fucking her. You're only fucking her."
They don't seem to hold the same kind of hope for my delinquent relationship status. They were drunk too. But that didn't matter. In the midst of me defending my position and why I'm doing what I'm doing - I had a bit of an out of body experience. Very dangerous while driving, mind you. But I was sober. So whatever.
I began to hear myself talk. I didn't like it. I was listening to my own arguments about how eventually this girl was going to leave her well-to-do boyfriend for me in the near future. Until then, I was just riding it out. They (my roommates) didn't understand the kind of relationship I had with this girl. They were just going off the facts. What they knew. What they saw. That's how I usually operate. By being fucking reasonable. If something isn't working then fuck it, put it down and find something else. They were on that level as they projected how fucked I was in the long term. I didn't hear them. I only heard myself.
And you know what?
I started to feel really fucking stupid.
That's not good for anyone. I don't like feeling stupid. Like someone else knows a little bit more and they are maneuvering reality around me. That's not having control. That's pretty pathetic. That's sad. The more I listened to the nonsense drip out of my mouth, the more it really sank in. Every relationship ever. The same kind of rhetoric spit out over and over until the eventual conclusion. It's always the same. I found myself watching it all unfold again. It's the kind of cinema you only earn by getting older. A big joke was getting told and I was the last one to get it. It hits pretty hard.
At the end of the day, there is still some comfort to be had. The friends who were drunkenly jibing me in that car ride are still going to be there for me 10 years down the road. Maybe 20. Or 30. The woman in question, or all the women to follow her, may not be. In fact, I'd bet on it. So while it hurts to know you're stuck in the same situation where you are just being used...that the people you confess your love to just string it along until they've gotten enough...these friends are always around. They are not to be taken for granted. These gentlemen and I will surely survive the decades with true, meaningful camaraderie. This woman, who I will not name on this blog, may not see such distance.
I would do anything for her and she knows I'm there, waiting, ready to be taken seriously. But her and everybody else should know...
I'm not that stupid.