The Little Engine That Could

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Happy Day, Every Day

Today is Dr. Seuss' birthday. For a man that loved the extraordinary and looking at life through an upside down telescope, I re-type my favorite quote of all time.

"You know when you are in love
when you can't fall asleep
because reality is finally better than your dreams."

Ahh. I love that. Years ago I was desperately in love with a man who had no idea who I was. And I would write him poems and love songs, of course never actually presenting them to him, but writing them nonetheless. And in one of the poems I wrote about "falling asleep so we can be together" because I knew that the only place he and I would be together would be in my dreams.

The nice thing about unrequited love is that it has the same kind of emotional consistency as a spider bite. Some are allergic, and wow, there's lots of drama and wound tending and healing happening. It hurts, it's annoying, you garner sympathy for your sick state, and it seems like it will never heal. For others, it's a nasty little bump that itches and scabs over, and one day when you are out busy living your life, you remember that you have a spider bite and go looking for it, and it's no longer there. Or maybe it was on the other arm. Or perhaps it was just an ingrown hair. And you move on with your day, with that bite a faint memory.

I've had lots of spider bites in my time. Mostly just little annoying things that I get over when I am out living my life and decide to get up on any certain day and face reality. That this relationship isn't going anywhere, and although it's not made up in my head, it isn't what I have in my head-- it's more like a very close friendship that at times is awkwardly romantic, sexual, inappropriate, etc. Then I just stop obsessing or whatever I am doing (listening to ELO, watching Big Love, reading everything on astral projection, or any such nonsense that reminds me of said target of unrequited-ness). And I go out and live my life.

At some point after WLS I decided that I didn't want to let this time go by without sharing it with someone. I had spent a ton of time in reflection, by myself, in awesome hotels rooms around the world without anyone to call. Or text. Or even think of. For so long I kept that weight as a way to keep me away from people, a blanket of "go away" along with a smoke-screen of "no really, get out of here"-- all the while hoping that someone would see this rough diamond and call me his own.

So WLS ripped part of my blanket away, and I got out there and dated. And decided that being alone wasn't an option-- I wanted someone to share my life with. The good, the ugly, the confusing, the snotting and crying, the past the present and most definitely the future. I dated a couple different men, and although interesting, no connection that would be considered more than a spider bite.

Not that James was a knight in shining armor. I mean, let's face it-- he was in his mid-thirties, still living with his folks (and two younger brothers) and had worked at the same place his whole life. He had only traveled to Canada (before passports were necessary), thinks an expensive meal includes a beer that is more than $6.50, owns two suits, one pair of khakis, 18 pairs of light colored jeans, 4 pairs of white sneakers and one pair of big boy dress shoes that are a little uncomfortable. He can never explain what it is I do, even though I tell him all the time, and he is quiet and reserved to my loud and "hi, who are you".

Not a spider bite.

I'm not really sure where I am going with this post other than to proclaim that I have a really hard time falling asleep, because reality is better than my dreams. But I sleep best nuzzled in together with James, and I wake up best next to him.

And, thank you Dr. Seuss.