2022-06-09  egg

Tonight I went on a date so bad that I went to the bathroom with my phone after forty minutes and asked Daniel and Eric to page me so that I could pretend I was oncall and needed to leave. The ruse was incredibly transparent because as soon as I sat down again I said, "Man, I'm oncall right now and it would really suck to get paged!" then got paged thirty seconds later. Eric called me claiming recommendation strings were down in EU, and I excused myself. I was going to say goodbye more politely as the guy and I walked together back into the bar so he could close out his tab, but he didn't even turn to look at me as I apologized for needing to leave, which was confirmation that this guy was indeed an asshole. Going into the date I had convinced myself that this guy was really nice, just super lame, and Katie said, "This is gonna go one of two extremes and I can't wait to hear which it is." I guess the fact that he was talking to me like I didn't know how to use Google Maps ("You're going to get off at the Lorimer St. L stop and walk five minutes south on Union") should have been a red flag, but I chalked it up to him being weird...guess I should have known. For a split second I wondered if I was just so bad at talking to people who aren't in the same subcultures I am that I was unable to make conversation with literally anyone else, but then I thought about how I had a better time chatting with my 50-something y/o cashier at Trader Joe's yesterday, and I stopped doubting myself. It was the first time in a long time where I felt absolutely, unequivocally mansplained to--weirdly something that has almost never happened to me--and it made me so fucking angry, the fact that because I was 24 and he was 28 this guy thought I knew nothing about how to be a person? It also made me pretty grateful for the UES guy, despite the fact that if we had gone on a date first we probably wouldn't have ended up hooking up, if only because he willingly accepts the premises of my ramblings and doesn't belittle me for talking about, like, crushing. I've been sporadically texting a guy who lives on the West Coast, and regardless of what his intentions are I get a little excited when I see his name pop up on my phone. It's fun to romanticize a mysterious half-stranger who's just weird enough that our interactions feel special. Today I sat at my dining table and started making a list of things I wanted to do/watch/read/see/etc. as I procrastinated figuring out how to elegantly inject some singletons into one of our services. I used to make lists like this in high school when I was figuring out what I wanted from my life, what I felt like I was missing and the ways I could materialize them. There was a lot of "smoke a cigarette while sitting on the roof watching the sunrise" and "watch fireworks at the county fair," neither of which I ever did. I wanted to know how to live the feeling I got when watching Twin Peaks and there's that shot of the dangling traffic light swaying in the night breeze. In retrospect it's easy to see how my conception for how to exorcise/embody my angst was informed and constrained by all the media I consumed about depressed teenage girls: Skins, The Virgin Suicides, Freaks and Geeks, etc. Nobody had told me there were healthier ways to indulge in my angst, but I also don't know what else I could have done living in a semi-rural town where kids either studied nonstop in the hopes of getting out of this town, this life or did crazy shit because everyone was bored out of their fucking minds. When I watched Sex Education for the first time this past fall it made me sad and hopeful to think about how powerful of an antidote this show could be to the self-destructiveness of the stuff I idolized when I was younger, maybe it will make some high schoolers feel less alone but in a positive, life-affirming way. Ultimately I was just really lonely, and maybe I should have focused on finding nourishment in deepening my friendships instead of looking to the day that my life in Pleasanton would be over and I could start my real life. I feel like I'm a similar state right now, I'm waiting for something to happen that will shift things around in my life, but I don't know what that is. When I was making this list today I had a moment where I thought, "What is the point of all of this?" I didn't even think about why I wanted to go see the Lou Reed exhibit at NYPL, I just wrote it down. What was I hoping to get out of any of this? Not that I think that's a great way to go about life and approaching the things you're interested in, but I was thinking about how it felt to watch Worst Person and how that movie materially changed me and my life, and how I didn't want to just watch a movie and be/feel limp and unresponsive to it. I want to feel fulfilled by something, and when I was at my most participatory stage of organizing with the Chinatown stuff, I had so much conviction that community is the antidote to loneliness, that this stuff shakes you out of any self-pity and makes your heart feel so full. I still believe it, but I feel like I've lost that in my life, I haven't done any organizing work in months and need to put more love into my relationships with some of my older friends, I feel adrift amidst the nonstop plans.... Last Friday night as Pau, Eric, and I walked back to their apartment beneath the lush Park Slope trees, I told them, I feel like we are on the threshold of a period of momentous change and I want us to all be as close with each other as possible before it's too late.