After writing the last post I found myself randomly sampling posts from the past, going all the way back to 2006. What if I knew then how things would turn out, I wondered? Most of what I read was confident and thoughtful and sometimes a tad melancholy.
Something that occurred to me is that in the years since I’ve lost the collection of women I would circulate between, catching up on a regular and rotational basis. These weren’t women I had a physical relationship with, though in the past I may have. Rather, these were women with whom I’d found some common ground and mutually enjoyed our catch-ups.
Generally, we would meet for a drink and sometimes for dinner. They would tell me about their life and I would tell them of mine. The conversation was different from those with my mates, softer, more sensitive, occasionally flirtatious, and with a platonic intimacy.
For many years I was lucky enough to have three, four, even five of these women at the end of a phone. Today there is probably only one, Donna, and even with her, it’s not what it used to be.
I’m sad to think it’s changed, but I’m not surprised. Some women found permanent blokes and drifted away. Another I had a stupid falling out over a misunderstanding on her part, which I was too proud to correct. Others were anchored in certain times and places. By far the biggest reason is that I’ve not been nearly as social as I was before, and not in a position to replenish as others went. I’ve been living in a hole for years, and I’m not out of it yet.
I’ve lost something more than just good company. I like women, but it’s not all because I’m a lustful man. I like women for their perspective and their sensitivity and for their genuine affection. I like to open up to them like I can’t but one of my male friends. Oh, I like being masculine and witty and interesting too, like myself reflected in their eyes and flattered by it – but that’s a transient thing. I miss the connection not of shared interests but rather of shared humanity.
I think that’s something. Forget being man and woman, we were two human beings yarning about the journey. I needed that and I miss it now.
Life would be easier now if I still had those relationships. I could pick up the phone or catch up for coffee and have an authentic conversation with them knowing they wouldn’t judge me. In a way, they were like shock absorbers for me. I could tell them things I wouldn’t tell others and they would interpret them for me, and I would do the same for them as a man. In between, we would have a great time and laugh aplenty while drinking wine or cocktails and sharing – most often – a gourmet meal.
I need more female friends. It feels harder these days, and not just because of the constraints I live within. Times have changed, it’s not as seamless as it used to be. Still, I set myself – more female friends.