Thursday, October 16, 2008

Consistent In My Cowardice

Clouds are moving in and the sky is lovely tonight. It's orange at the horizon, turning purple, and then bluish-silver where the clouds break apart in front of the moon. Most nights, there are stars out, but not tonight. Rain's coming.

I miss the taste of cigarettes on your tongue the way you miss whiskey on your lover's lips. Or I think I do. We've never kissed like that.

If nothing else, I'm consistent in my cowardice. I haven't asked a girl out in over five years. It was difficult then. Now, it's beyond all comprehension. I smile a little when I think about it. I can't bring myself to cry over a situation of my own making. I remember that whining is unproductive and unattractive.

You'd get bored here. Sometimes, I get bored here. I'd play you a couple songs on the guitar, maybe show you my bad screenplays. We'd watch some old movies and talk about dumb books we love. Maybe we'd get as far as talking about our dreams and making each other our favorite foods. Before the end of the season, though, you'd realize I'm out of good ideas and you'd go looking for the next guy.

I'd go through that period of hanging out with my friends again; telling them it doesn't matter, that you're a hell of a girl and deserve all the happiness you can get. For a little while, I'd wonder what's wrong with me. Then I'd shrug and settle back into writing bad songs, tiresome blogs, and getting used to the quiet house again.

A few years ago, my mother said that I was like my father in that I didn't get scared easily. Maybe she forgot about how I squealed when the snake fell on my head or the way I get nervous when I'm up high on a ladder. I'm not brave at all. I can't walk into a room and sell anyone my ideas. I can't place a complicated order because I'm not comfortable speaking to another human being for that long. Regular things scare me. I just don't jump when they do. I walk away.

It's important to learn to live with your faults and I think I've done that. I could list every little thing that's wrong with me: my bad knee, my different-sized eyes, my crooked teeth, my social anxieties, and my inability to articulate even the simplest idea. But I like who I am. I make some mistakes, but I think I'm kind of alright. It's just that I wouldn't expect you to think so. I guess no one thinks they're the bad guy. Maybe I am.

Oh. You're getting married? That's happening a lot these days. I guess I'm reaching that age. Old enough that people are starting to wonder why a girl hasn't taken me off the market. Gay? Not the last time I checked, but I'll admit, I haven't really put it to the test in recent memory.

I worked with my brother recently and he told me that the next day, one of his clients was hinting around, wondering why I didn't have a girlfriend. His reading of the situation was that she wanted to know if I was limp in the wrist. Maybe it's just that I'm so sweet. It doesn't seem to be a virtue for a guy. Maybe it's my lisp. I've always had a little trouble with soft "s" sounds. Most people don't notice, but I do. I've always hated my voice. I try to talk like Nolte, but that man was born with a special gift.

Maybe that's the reason you're not here and this house is so quiet. Who would subject themselves to an evening with a guy trying to talk like Nolte?

I'll probably never ask another girl out again. I have trouble just saying "hi." I've seen the way other guys do it, but when I try, it comes out all wrong, like, "Hey. Oh, sorry. You're busy. I'll come back later."

...And then I never do. Which I guess makes me a liar.

It wouldn't bother me, except that there's all this cool stuff I want to show you. You can see so many shooting stars out here and I've got goofy hats that are great to wear. My eldest niece plays a really cool dinosaur game and the youngest one does a hilarious imitation of a zombie. I also bake some tasty treats.

I can't remember if I was ever a good boyfriend. I'm sure I had my moments. Right? Anyone? Hmm. Well, maybe I was just saving up all those moments for the right girl.

I don't know. You'd get tired of it after a month or so, but maybe it would be a pretty good month. I'm a considerate lover when I'm drunk. Foreplay buys me the time I need to figure out what I'm doing. Think about it. If it sounds nice, get back to me. You know I'll never bring it up. I probably won't even say "hi."

...And there you go, off the elevator and gone forever...


pjbrubak said...

Ah, poignant. I read your post and thought "Ha! This guy is a loser!" But then I examined my own life and found that I could relate to everything you were saying, I just needed someone to articulate it. Or maybe I didn't need it. Either way, what's done is done, and I haven't asked a girl out in two and a half years. But that's not counting internet dating, which is completely artificial and doesn't count. Don't give up on talking to girls, Doug. Do I detect that this blog is bait...?

Douglas said...

I think I was aiming for catharsis...just trying to arrive at a place where I can stop kicking myself for the latest one I didn't talk to. These days, I'm a hermit in the habit of only liking ladies who live thousands of miles away. It's impractical and born out of anti-social anxieties I never knew I had. I guess everyone goes through slumps, but my time out of "the game" has been a little protracted. I won't give up talking to them, but am starting to feel my age...and it never gets easier. I doubt any bait would work without me telling lies about my stash of crack and large endowments. Though, I do hear good things about Antonio Banderas's "Spirit" cologne.

kalisgirl said...

I liked this. I feel strange though, reading blurbs from people's lives on the computer. I want to tell you that you are funny and good looking, that you will meet a girl who likes lisps and goofy hats. Then I realize I don't know you. I just read of you on the computer. You might be dull and unattractive. Who's pictures are those really? Maybe you cant even bake a wonderful pie. Strange how the internet works.

pjbrubak said...

Yeah, it doesn't seem to get easier as time marches on, does it? Then there's always the trap of trying too hard. You've got to be aloof enough not to seem desperate, but if you're too distant then...

Douglas said...

In person, I'm basically a four foot tall, 60 year old hunchback who talks like Daffy Duck and dyes his shirts black to cover up pit stains. But I do have witnesses who can attest to my pie-making talents. I agree, though, that the internet is tricky to navigate when trying to catch a glimpse into someone's life, especially when that person is your guide.

Thankfully, I'm too lazy in love to try too hard, but would pay good money to know the secret of turning "too distant" into "not giving a damn." But I have every confidence things will work out in their own interminable and exhausting way. I'm like a cat. I always land on my feet...just never in the spot I'd planned.