Sun Feb 09 2003 10:35AM -0600

It is interesting to find myself in such an adverse, in fact, perverse, situation. I don't know what it is in me that gets so easily perturbed by a beautiful woman, why I can't just be still, and watch and wait. While it's true that inaction will guarantee failure, I think that failure is always predetermined. Which is not to say that success is equally predestined. It's just that I'm tired of hoping. I mean, yeah, I should try, but really...

Let me get back to the beginning.

So, in reality, my only experience of being in a relationship started in high school and ended disasterously in the middle of college. In retrospect, none of it is surprising, and I can chalk it up as an indiscretion of youth. I mean, yeah, I made mistakes, more in my assumptions than in anything I actually did, mistakes that I am very unlikely to make ever again.

But damage is damage, and my wounds have yet to heal.

Mostly, it's because I keep picking at the scab, and doing things that do nothing but aggravate the wound. Like falling for someone whom I didn't have a chance with, and letting the despair eat away at me until I didn't want to do anything at all.

It isn't until relatively recently that I realized the severe damage my self-confidence has taken. I mean, I've haven't exactly been the cockiest guy, but there was I time when I had grasp as to what I could and couldn't do. Until a little while ago, it has felt like everything has been impossible. Now I know better. But I am still wary.

So now that I am where I am with myself, remote possibilities abound. It's true, as my oldest friend has noted, that it is easier to try for things that are unlikely, because when you fail, you know that it isn't your fault. But it is in the possibilities that my heart falters, and I fear to move because I don't want to wreck what I've got, but I know, I know, that inaction will doom me to failure.

Why can't I just wait? If there are opportunities, I should not squander them, but at the same time, I don't want to hope for things that can never be. Just wait, and then move.

I am so broken.

What is perverse is that deep down inside, I am a Romantic, the definition of which, I admit, is not really what you think usually. But it's not that far off. I mean, I know I'm capable of acts of beauty and love. Hmmm. At least, I think I am. Yeah, well, we'll see. It's hard to quantify, because if you care about someone, you often forget the cost, emotional and physical.

But despite all this, one of my friends is convinced that I am one of the more cynical bastards on this planet. Which, to a certain degree is true. I have seen how things can fall apart, how fragile relationships are. (And now I realize that relationships are quite different from love.) But the thing is, my emotional mindset when it comes to romantic relationships is still in arrested development, just barely out of the junior high level. My idea of how relationships work is mired in high school romance, modified somewhat by the horrific circumstances of my breakup, tinged with my distrust of human nature, but hopefully somewhat redeemed by the fact that while I don't necessarily understand how relationships should work, I do have some very slight insight on the nature of love.

And yet, and yet, if I stop feeling sorry for myself, I can see great acts of beauty and sacrifice all around me, long after my relationship was destroyed. I have known love since. Maybe not romantic love, but I have given and received emotions that are capable of bringing tears to my eyes.

This is not the problem.

What I don't understand is the process. I cannot ask a girl out on a date. Simple as that. It gives me great anxiety, and the way I look at it is that until it ceases to make me anxious, I am still broken. And the only thing that will fix me is, to steal a phrase from a surgeon I know, tincture of Time.

If I can just wait without expecting, and take small steps until I can walk again, then maybe I can eventually run, eventually none of this will ever matter again, and then I can be whole, healed.

But there is still pain, and I don't want another exacerbation

For some reason, all of this makes me think of this quote:

"That is most of it, being a wizardâ€â€seeing and listening. The rest is technique." â€â€Schmendrick the Magician

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