Then and now

I’m in a contemplative mood, both by inclination and circumstance.

After the month or more of great weather storms came last night, great ripping things that made it sound as if the heavens were cracking open. The rain tumbled down and when I went to bed it was to the rumble of thunder.

It came again early hours of the morning, vaguely discerned through the mists of sleep. I was happy for it and lapsed once more into a dream studded sleep.

The dreams I don’t remember but for vague details. I know in one there was a woman who chose to give me the cold shoulder. She was attractive and perhaps a little haughty and when I woke I thought that maybe she was based on someone I knew. Her coldness was more a source of amusement than dismay in the dream, as if I could see through it. Bide my time and it would change.

When I woke properly it was windy outside and the air carried a charge of volatility. Apparently the storms will continue through the day, but I don’t mind. I made my coffee, fed Rigby, and with him collected the Sunday paper from the front nature strip.

Somehow I found myself sitting in front of my Mac and then chasing links via my blog stats until I ended up on my old Typepad site, surprisingly still present. I read some of my posts from 2011, when I felt like a different man, and some of the comments people left. I couldn’t articulate it, nor did I attempt to, but now writing of it I think I felt a form of wistfulness. My mother was dying then, but there were many other things happening too. As always my mind was full of things, but the tone was lighter – these last few years have left me a darker soul, and I feel sad about that.

It was different then. My life was much more social because I could afford it, but still, I was very busy. I knew a lot of women too, many simply just as friends, but others in more carnal ways. I felt on a journey I had begun on many years before. Few of these things are true today.

There’s a disconnect between who I was then and who I am today. I’m on a different journey now. I know much fewer women. I feel sad about that. Many of the crew of women I had as friends have gone one way or another – been married off, or moved interstate. And I’m much less active romantically. I guess the other big difference is that back then my mum was alive, and I had a family. Now she is gone, and so is my family. From a purely objective point of view, my life is more solitary than it was before.

I miss a lot of that – my mum obviously, greatly, and the sense of having a family about me, and at my back (I do have a sister, but I found yesterday she had unfriended me on Facebook, so that’s that – and no loss). Of course, I miss having money and the freedom to do things freely – go out for a drink, buy a book, visit the deli, go on holiday, and so on. I get by all the same. I think the deepest pang was remembering what it was like just catching up with my women friends, now largely departed. I cherished that and miss it now.

As always in these things I feel them intellectually. I know that sounds wrong – you think things intellectually, not feel them – but it seems right for my experience. I think deeply. That’s my shtick. I also feel deeply, but it’s filtered through my mind. It’s a kind of resonance, like laying your hand on a flat surface and feeling the hum and agitation of the washing machine in the next room. Your mind registers, that’s the washing machine, and if you’re sensitive enough you discern every change in cycle, but it’s at one remove. I don’t feel anything like sorrow – that’s much too emotive for me – but a kind of studied melancholy.

I don’t feel anything like sorrow – that’s much too emotive for me – but a kind of studied melancholy. I accept things are different, and perhaps there is a deep-seated sadness knowing that what was before is gone forever. But if it is the case then there’s no point sooking about it: this is the now.

None of that is to say that I can’t re-create elements of it. I’ll never get my mother back, and that sense of carefree wonder is lost to the past. I’m working on being more comfortable, and that will happen. Romance will sort itself out one way or another and I can’t force that – though I crave emotional intimacy. What I can do though, perhaps, is to find myself a new set of friends to go with the old.

I had considered this earlier in the year. There’s nothing wrong with the friends I have, except in most cases we now lead different, and sometimes disconnected lives. I had coffee with Cheeseboy yesterday and saw a movie with JV the other week, but both are family men now. And it’s true that life takes you in different directions and that you travel through it at different paces.

What I really want is to find a new set of intelligent, warm, alluring, vibrant and provocative women to meet with for drinks and dinner and the odd breakfast. I miss that sense of engagement and the sharing of our news. It’s different with women because for many things we come at them from different directions. And, maybe because of that, I found myself opening up more to them than I ever do to my male friends – and they did to me. It’s a different spark and connection.

I set myself that task, but I don’t know how I’m going to go about it. Where do I find such women simply to share good conversation and heartfelt sentiment? And okay, maybe a little flirtation too. I guess I need to put it out there. If they were my friend then I was theirs because I was interesting, a good conversationalist, and a masculine, yet sensitive presence. And I’m honest and genuine too, all in.

I need to find you, but it’s okay to find me too.

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