Another night, and instead of sleeping, I turn the light back on and open up my laptop to type out something about how if, as rumor has it, it all comes out in the end to mean nothing, than why does anything matter at all? Why do I get caught up in the details, the differences, the stances, the morals? If it all comes down to nothing, than why do I care so much about every move I make? How does vulnerability fit into the picture? As I write this, I find myself thinking back to a recent weekend away in Muskoka. Everywhere I went, I was swarmed by black flies. There was the lake and the trees and the charming muskoka chairs, but I couldn't get past those damn blood-sucking insects. Not once did I sit in a charming chair, nor did I put a toe in the lake. I took it in from inside. It looked really pretty.
So here I am with my make-believe prisons, and I want to let them go.
Earlier in the evening Harry called and asked me to meet him for sushi.
"I have other plans."
"And actually, I don't love sushi."
That's what I told him, and that was the truth, although 'my other plans' involved doing nothing. It's true about the sushi, so I guess I 'almost' told it like it was.
We talked for a bit. He wrapped up his weekend for me.
"After we played the Drake, we stuck around to see another band my friend is in and then we went to this wacky party - kind of a bohemian, hippy, raver, dread-lock mix of people. It was wacky. I probably went to sleep at 5 am."
He's 35 years old, and he's out every night. He goes to see bands with unfamiliar names, to festivals, and parties. If nothing else he can get me anything I could ever want in the way of illicit pharmaceuticals.
"How 'bout some speed? I hear it's a great diet pill, and I'd be so productive - a regular Alex P. Keaton."
"Not a problem."
I'm a bit vulnerable these days, and part of me thinks Harry is exactly what I need right now. The other part of me thinks, oh great...exactly what I need right now... Can you see the difference?
Despite the quasi-advantages, there are things about Harry that I can't get past. His vocabulary is dense with rhetoric, none of which fits easily into my world. Funny thing is he thinks his life is down to earth and lacks pretension. He's a lefty vegetarian, against logos and big business. He always jumps to the unpopular side of the debate - a hater of anything western. I get some of it, but it doesn't seem to be dependent on any variables. It's whatever the mainstream is not. All of this allows him to believe he is more free thinking, but he too has unknowingly built a prison for himself and the only way out is in pockets of hypocracy. He drives an SUV to get to work. He wears leather shoes because they're nicer. He denies that he judges those who eat meat, but he compares farming animals to black slavery and the holocaust. I know a prison when I see one. You might say I'm a prison connoisseur. What he's doing is like admiring blue sky from a prison yard.
While I don't have the energy to take on someone elses' world, especially when it requires such extensive relearning, I also don't expect others to make too many concessions in my honor. To ward off the risk of his life insinuating itself into mine, waking up one day to see I've been tricked into being what he wants, I don't pretend to know about his music festivals, I confront him when he slips in misguided "facts" about the pitfalls of an omnivorous diet. If he says he went to bed at 4 am, I'm sure to tell him how early I went to bed. If he talks about the vegetarian food he ate for lunch, I talk barbecued chicken. It's not my overt intention, but it's what I do. I've been clear with Harry from day one - we have nothing in common, yet here we are, still talking, still making plans, and I am left to wonder why?
There is something like chemistry between Harry and I, but I'm far from convinced. Bottom line? I guess even though 'everything' probably means nothing, for whatever reason, I still care, yet I do not want to be consumed or to consume someone else. I think this is big for me. This is the closest I have been to seeing things from outside my own prison yard. I'm moving in the right direction and although I might have some shit to climb through on the way out*, I'm ok with that. It stinks, but I'll survive. Maybe there's a beach waiting on the other side with my name on it. Maybe.
And tomorrow? We're going for thai, Harry and I.
*In reference to a reference to Shawshank Redemption made by my friend El Charulastra