The stench of overcooked soul-searching, Part 1

I don’t know why I’ve chosen to publicly spout off with this and related crap in the past week. Really. It’s not as though anything significant has happened to inspire it, other than the advent of spring; I’m not secretly taking potshots at anyone in particular and hope it doesn’t appear as if I am. I also hope my rush to apologetic disclaimers (including parenthetic ones) doesn’t discourage anyone from reading further (although in all honesty it’s not worth your time) or from seeing the humor in it.
I suspect whatever lies at the root of my motivation to create a de facto POST LIKE A DICKHEAD NOW! button in my Movable Type blogging interface is little different from the voice urging me to go out and run for three hours up and down hills without taking any water: an odd combination of drives, borne of unrest, some aimed at feeling better and more purposeful, yet others rigorously oriented toward feeling more beat up and pointless. (Well, it is a mighty fine evening for a run.) And in fact, it may be simpler than that — when I spend time writing something, I’m usually inclined in the end to share it no matter what it is, and the following crap has, in some form, been soaking up space on my hard drive for days now.
Oh, and even though I’m not peddling a damn thing, conflict sells.
The following observations are not ordered in any special way and may not be entirely accurate, enlightening, or amusing. They are not unique.


Sometimes, even while free of acute freewheeling discontent or despair, I can frankly admit that I have little interest in sharing my life or making it anything more than what it is. The first part of that is self-explanatory, while the nature of the “what it is” in the second part implies that I am on a basic, ongoing quest to separate myself from “meaningful” relationships with other people, places, and things. Ever since the day I was aware I was no longer interested in pursuing a medical career, I’ve “enjoyed” a slow and often toxic slide into irrelevance, punctuated by energetic relapses into outward displays of social and vocational ambition.
I’d like to be “successful” by some conventional metrics only insofar as this would allow me distance myself from others. To me, financial independence implies fewer personal interactions, which in turn implies a minimization of ambient stressors. I’m a hermit with logorrhea, which sets up some interesting situations from time to time.
To reiterate what I wrote on Friday, I don’t want to live with anyone. I require substantial periods of unbroken solitude in order to not create enemies. As I already noted at excessive length, I don’t want to be involved in “serious” relationships because I’ve learned that I just don’t function well in therein. I’m not just talking about romantic relationships, although naturally these figure most prominently in the equation; I mean anything in which I have an ongoing emotional commitment, including my own supposed goals, past and present, none of which bear mentioning here.
My primary mechanisms for dealing with disenchantment and disappointment are typical of misanthropes (extended periods of turning off the phone and closing the door to visitors, vainglorious inner speeches and essays about the inadequacy and putridity of everything, descents into chemical alteration or obliteration of consciousness) and are best not shared with others.
Having admitted these things without reservation, it’s not fair for me to take “relationship hostages.”
My idea of contentment does not include traditional aims such as a well-defined career or loading up a house with the noisy consequences of soiling someone’s ova with my ejaculations. I’d be sufficiently happy to spend my remaining days watching House and Family Guy, swilling coffee, reading about neuroscience and evolution and the universe at large, surfing the Web, and occasionally taking a dog out for a run or a swim. New ways of altering my consciousness to suit will inevitably present themselves, or at least I hope so, as booze doesn’t cut it and never really did, and everything else is either expensive, outlawed, or disruptive or prohibitive to distance running, itself an essential form of self-medication.
On the basis of the foregoing, you’d think I was an asocial, colorless asshole, brooding ’round the clock in a room lit only by a computer monitor. In fact, it would have spared a lot of people a lot of trouble if this were the case. I’m affable and outgoing in most circumstances and make friends easily. This is because I’m a fraud — not in the sense of intentionally setting anyone up for disappointment, but from the standpoint of neglecting to consider the harm my basic defects will ultimately cause the people I invite into my life. I enjoy the transient feeling of being newly liked, although, queerly, I at times also enjoy being berated and even disliked, and usually make a point of chronicling in detailed fashion my verbal shellackings by others so I can place these displays in as-yet unwritten works of ribald shitfiction. I would be grateful indeed to wake up tomorrow asexual, with no embedded concept of what “relationships” or even “sex” even constitute and no capacity to learn about them.
I’ll pause here and note, perhaps redundantly, that I neither hope nor expect that people will agree with me or judge my views to be healthy (or for that matter, unhealthy). I’m simply barfing up ideas.

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  1. #1 by T. Bruce McNeely on April 22, 2007 - 10:09 pm

    I am in no position to judge you, based on my experience with relationships.
    Although I am very introverted (I need a definite amount of “alone time” to cope), I have always craved a relationship with an opposite-sex partner. Unfortunately, due to my poor decision-making, it has always ended in heartbreak or disaster. I am ready to call it quits, which makes me terribly sad. I love women, they have always been my best friends, and I have two daughters, who I love to death. However, I am unable to sustain a relationship, and I don’t want to complicate my life further, now that I’m directing my energy to my girls. I rationalize it by telling myself that at my age (59 in June), there are a lot of people who stay single. I like being by myself. But I still have this dream…

  2. #2 by Jonathan Vause on April 23, 2007 - 7:31 am

    Don’t know what you’re worrying about, lots of people have turned ‘closing the door and drawing the curtains’ into an art form, and have absolutely no desire to become someone else’s siamese twin. No harm in telling us what you think.
    ‘To me, financial independence implies fewer personal interactions, which in turn implies a minimization of ambient stressors.’ Damn. I wish I’d said that.

  3. #3 by Jonathan Vause on April 23, 2007 - 7:31 am

    Don’t know what you’re worrying about, lots of people have turned ‘closing the door and drawing the curtains’ into an art form, and have absolutely no desire to become someone else’s siamese twin. No harm in telling us what you think.
    ‘To me, financial independence implies fewer personal interactions, which in turn implies a minimization of ambient stressors.’ Damn. I wish I’d said that.

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