Back for a return engagement
Play me a groove
one for my radio
one for my love that came and went
So many stories -
hey man i'm sorry, Joe -
this is just a song to pay the rent
- Angie Aparo, "Spaceship"
Three weeks away made my home a stranger to myself. I walked back in and there was everything, exactly where I left it, my life exactly where I left it, and it took me a day or so to realize that I was what had changed. I was the unfitting piece in the mostly-complete puzzle.
I drove out the next morning, attempting to get my bearings, and found myself confused when I looked to the west and didn't find the Rockies. I'd lived out of a couple of suitcases and a silver rental car for three weeks, and was bewildered when I came home and suddenly had an entire house to live in.
Several days later I'm still attempting to process everything that happened, make sense of everything that was said and done and thought and considered, and in the meanwhile pick up the pieces of my exercise routine and resume a semblance of my previous life.
Not really, no. Not like it was.
* * * * *
I've recognized that over the past few months I've become more difficult to contact, and that my friends' hold on me has become gradually more tenuous. Maybe they don't see it, but deep down, I've known it for some time. I can look at the frequency of entries on this site (which most people use to keep up with me) from the past year or so and realize that I've been quietly, slowly, slipping away for some time.
Even under the best of circumstances I border on being impenetrably and maddeningly private. I'm very good with a smile, a joke, a meal or a check-up on someone when I think they might be having a rough time of it, but I suspect most of the people who share my day-to-day life would tell you that it's excruciatingly difficult to learn anything of actual significance. (JeffSpouseling has the joy of dealing with this on a daily basis.) I'm aware that the period of time it takes to establish my trust must generally be measured in years.
It might be seen as ironic, almost on a cosmic scale, that someone like me has managed to have a site like this for nearly five years, but it isn't. It's been a way of testing the waters, of letting people in on my life, a little at a time, but always on my terms. The bad part of the process is that the overwhelming majority of it is one-sided: words are written and left to be read at the reader's leisure. It is not the same as a true conversation, and it's pointless to pretend it is.
I wish I could remember if it was Chris or Jake who asked me how long it had been since I'd had a real, meaningful, substantive conversation with one of my friends here in town. I wish I knew the answer, too; have I talked of minutiae but not meaning for so long that I've forgotten how? I doubt it, but that feeling of guilt is there for a reason.
I came home, and while the relative unfamiliarity of "home" faded after a day or two, the awkwardness with the "I" remains.
* * * * *
So I find myself asking, "Where the hell do I go from here?" I'm not sure.
'cat.net still has a definite purpose, and I realize that as long as I'm willing to really write here, my friends will treat it as the useful window-to-me it's capable of being, and I would be foolish to let it lapse. On the other hand, I need to think, and think hard, about where I've drawn the line of privacy in my life.
There are few greater tragedies in life than someone who is surrounded by a circle of loving, caring friends, but who is too afraid to let any of them too close -- and doesn't really understand why.
* * * * *
Expect Colorado stories for a little while. I'll regale you with tales of Tromadance, parts west, and the most obnoxiously warm winter Colorado's seen in a while. It'll keep you busy, and maybe keep you chuckling, and maybe even buy me a little time to think and get my bearings. I'll start with Ms. Rappaport and finish, well, wherever the finishing decides it's going to happen.
Seems like a good trade all around.
We'll come back to this subject soon enough.