To seek to connect with another person at the ground of their being — To seek to connect with others at the ground of our being, or as close to that as possible? How about that? Is that worth our time? Do those words have meaning — even approximate meaning?
If going down or going in means something, how far down can one go?
In a certain sense most interactions are needs based, even when the needs are subconscious — we are looking for certain patterns in each other, sometimes only in ways that become apparent over time. If you have a “type” then you are one of these: an unconscious user.
But what about that desire to reach as far down into another person as you can? Say you find your type and are out for coffee, and all of the sudden a strange need awakens within you: to reach in and find in this tool you have borrowed something that exists not for you but for them, so that you are really seeing them, and they are in a sense giving themselves to you?
Is that just a pipe dream?
Is your heart a gift or a commodity? When you are looking at someone who you want to get close to, how deep do you have to go to find the gift?
I kind of resent all of the time I spend on earth as a commodity, I resent encountering people as a commodity. Is it even possible to meet other people as an exchange of gifts? Where I am exchanging the utterly unique and un-monitizable gift that I am with you and the
utterly unique un-monitizable gift that you are? All this useless beauty.
Where we step back from our needs and even our selves (at least in the shallow sense) and allow one another to be ourselves, and even celebrate the unique and peculiar otherness of one another? Like the wonder of you is just how you come together, and it doesn’t have to do anything for me at all — it just is, but you are showing that to me. Who you are. Some vital core. Some essential element that maybe you have only ever taken out in private, and now I am seeing it — the bizarre and unique core logic of you.
Does naming it like this make it more possible, or does all of this language just become a game with commodities of it’s own? Can we now build an economics of indicators of authenticity? Like are you punk rock enough for me? Do you satisfy my need for this category of the real? Maybe this is only something I could even say to someone who trusts me — you would always push the language into some new illusion and say the living thing that you steamrollered never existed in the first place. Go ahead, I won’t stop you. If you disqualify yourself you’re just saving me time.
I probably should just give up. In a way I have – I know you all may drift off onto other obsessions and fascinations at any time (and I don’t mean necessarily other people — life is busying and in my time I have walked away from some hundreds of people never to be seen again I know how it happens, this is not a poor me trip.) But by now I’m old enough and I have lost enough that I am focusing more on keeping people now — but that is my trip not other peoples. I woke up next to the same person for 2-3 years in a row and then had them just up and bail on me, so the bar is pretty low for expectations. But I have to say you all manage to sail right under it on a just about daily basis.
What really matters is commitment — so that is the expectation I place on myself, and that is what I really hope for. If someone would just stay close to me for 10 years I’d be able to explain then what I mean — now it just sounds like words. If you are there then I will actually be able to point to things and say “Do you see that tree? Most people you meet in life don’t get to have trees like that.” But that is even assuming anyone is listening in the first place.
The first person I ever said that to made it for the 10 years, but when I pointed out that 10 years had gone by she didn’t remember that I had ever said anything in the first place — so that didn’t really count. Our first date I said “I’m going to know you in 10 years, and in that time we will really finally know something about each other.” 10 years went by and I said “You remember our first date when…” She didn’t remember. She was still around but I had long since ceased to have anything to offer. No tree if you aren’t paying attention. It doesn’t normally take that long to see if someone is more interested in a role for me, or how I am useful to them as opposed to my annoying and useless individuality. If they are listening to what I am saying, or checking boxes on a checklist.
I would willingly trade, in a heartbeat, all of the friends and lovers that I have had in my life (even the really hot ones) who have wandered away for one person who would just stay there and get to know me, and be available for me to know. The memories are nice, (and some of mine are awesome) but in the present (which is where I try and live) any movie is better than the memories. But it takes years to get to know a person, and the accumulated value of time shines on their skin when you look at them (but only if they see you when they look back), and when they leave it all was worthless — so that person who says they will stay and means it — that is something.
“Oh but they made you who you are.” Yea — fuck that. I made me who I am. I can use a fucking library — maybe I would have gravitated to Blok instead of Neruda if it hadn’t been for L— so the fuck what. She’s not here to talk about it, fuck her. It meant something then — no it didn’t. If it meant something then, she would be here now. Continuity is everything — if you care so little that you let me go then I don’t give a fuck what corners of my heart you pissed on before you left. What you scrawled selfish and indolent on the furniture of my soul. If you walked away, if you let me walk away, then fuck you. I don’t see you, you aren’t here. You don’t exist. Nothing.
Like my crazy father said from the depths of his dementia — “Without devotion it’s nothing.” I realized that so late, even if I have always been fighting towards it. So I had to learn from 30 years of throwing things away the reason to keep something. I’m a true believer — I have bled for this. I’ve spilled my blood — don’t come to me with platitudes. Don’t talk to me about consolation prizes. Every minute is a minute connected or a minute wasted. How vital will be that last 10 minutes of your life — do you want to spend them talking to a person, or watching someone like you watch an animal. If you don’t even know who you are then what do you have to share? Are you going to take out that box of love letters and sit with it on the bed? Are you going to talk to the ghosts of memories about the sudden clear outlines around everything, or the pain that rises to take your consciousness, only you fight it back down to take one more breath — one more breath because this is your last breath — this breath that you are breathing now — it may as well be your last breath — do you want to use this last breath telling lies? This last moment that you are alive on this earth, will you hide? Everyone has a long list of people who have said some version of “I love you.” — but who never thought for a moment that they would be there when that last breath passed. Their names flutter though my mind like so many Gilligan’s Island reruns.
I want always to push towards the unique ground once I get going with someone. That is the only thing that has provided a sense of satisfaction and growth in my relationships, when I feel that kind of connection happening and growing — when I feel that I have started to uncover what is essential in another person or (so much more precious and rare — because I’m selfish?) when I feel another person reaching for what is essential in me.
2 Comments »