Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Joys of Nothingness & Happiness

In particularly appropriate fashion, my other half and I managed to enjoy her lengthy stay in NYC by accomplishing absolutely nothing of note thus far.

We enjoyed dinner at Zoe in Soho the night she arrived (Friday) and we've subsequently walked around the City, done some basic shopping, window-shopped, made out, taken naps and enjoyed the lack of humidity (when applicable).

Other than that, we've done zero. Zilch. Nada. Nuffin'.

And we've enjoyed every minute of it.

Her visits prior to this current one have been five- or six-day efforts in packing in as much activity as would fit. We've tried stabbing at normalcy: going out, seeing friends, doing stuff (movies, shows, events) and dinners, lunches and breakfasts; we've tried working, playing and doing both simultaneously. We've tried balancing our full scope of experience on a shortened, compressed collection of hours.

And we've succeeded.

But largely speaking, knowing that she won't be leaving for a number of days -- a double-digit number, specifically -- reminds me of two things. First, the open-ended visitation I've been granted has finally allowed my brain to get used to the fact that I'm not dreaming and she is indeed really here. Second, that the day she leaves will hurt and will remind me how much I enjoy having her both in my life and my presence. It's just the way these things, for the time being, happen to work.

Considering the grander scale, ie her moving to New York and us being together full-time, any doubts I had have completely eroded. We laugh, we do stuff which I can't discuss here (or anywhere else), and we thrive even moreso in each other's company than we do on our own. Questions I once avoided asking myself in prior relationships -- "is this woman a fucking lunatic or is this just a really, really bad case of PMS" -- have been replaced in this one with "why did it take so long for us to find each other?" Instead of wondering "I don't know what I'm doing with her but she seems so sure of this that I guess it's going to work" have melded into "She makes me happier than anything else in the world, and I didn't know I could be this happy but now I do."

And instead of thinking "If I leave she'll be even more fucked up than she is now," I'm thinking "If I fuck this up I'll be even more upset than I was a year ago." Scratch that: I care about her, and us, too much to even consider the possibility of screwing up in any way, shape or form. And I don't say that in a fearful way -- as if the other shoe will drop -- but with the confidence that some relationships are built with the quivering stability of a house of cards and others are built on a mile-deep foundation of concrete and steel. As much as I've embraced the notion that, despite the absence of perfect people, two people can, in fact, be perfect together, I have also accepted that friction and bullshit are not things to fear or loathe; in a real, ideal relationship, friction does happen. Her PMS, my bad day at work, her worries over details, my lack thereof, her varied interests, my varied interests, all contribute to an interwoven tapestry that has a lot of stitches; some are bumpy in their application, but even the bumpiest, most difficult stitches, in the long run, make the tapestry stronger and significantly contribute to the big picture which, as time goes on, becomes increasingly self- and externally evident.

Incidentally, it amazes me that with the non-navigatable roads of the past, this one -- even with a speed-bump, however rare and/or brief -- stretches on with the smooth, sweet character of pure, warm molasses.

I know the car metaphor could very well run into the ground by this point (pun intended), but I will leave you, the reader, with this thought: on the highway of life, you can take shortcuts, you can take scenic routes, and you can put the car in park at the side of the road. It's up to you to find the right road, navigate it properly, and, if so desired, eventually get to where you're going. It might sound a tad closer to Yogi Berra than conventional (or unconventional) wisdom, but that's largely irrelevant. There are two kinds of people in this world: those that know that of which I speak from experience, and those that do not. And the only reason I know this is because less than a year ago, I was in the latter category, and have since entered the former.

A former professor of mine who taught Introductory Logic entered a packed lecture hall on the first day many years ago and asked the mass of freshmen one simple question: "What is true happiness?" Many people answered in material terms: power, achievement, money, sexual pleasure, freedom...

Today I know the answer to that question, and if my professor gave me the opportunity to answer, I would simply respond thusly: "It's knowing the answer to that question and not being able to, nor wanting to, nor needing to, communicate it out loud."

Nothing done.

Mission accomplished.

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