My biggest problem?
It’s gotta be that I already have a girlfriend.
When a man–especially a relatively youngish-looking man with a tidy haircut and clothes that hang well–is single, he always has a brighter future to look forward to. Every time he sees an attractive young woman, he can feel like she just may be the girl for him, that he just may be about to land. A man–at least as far as I can tell–always feels like an old space ship that’s journeyed for a million years and is falling apart at the seams but that is desperately keeping it together to rattle just a little bit further so that it can finally reach its destination: a rich, lush, green, watery, fecund world where he can start fresh. The wager will have paid off! He gave up everything to hold the ship together and push it forward to the end; now he’s old and exhausted and he’s long been bored and depressed and disappointed and lonely and ashamed and confused; but it is all OK, because now he’s touching down and soon he’ll be the infinite expansion of joyful thriving that he always knew he should be, could be–if he could just settle himself into the right woman.
All well and good, all plausible enough: a likely enough story and a workable enough path to salvation–as long as you’re single. But the existence of a significant other seriously vexes the storyline. You see a pretty woman, and the hope-hope motor kicks in, but then you remember you’ve already got a girlfriend.
Do I love my girlfriend?
That’s beside the point.
The point is that I cannot be just about to find my girlfriend, and from this point of view my girlfriend–charming though she may be–has ruined my happiness. Though it would be reductionist and cruel to say she is nothing more than a reminder that I’m not about to enter into infinite pleasure and joy, nonetheless she is such a reminder, and that reminder is enough to shut my life down.
BW / AMW