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The Tired Sameness of the Human Condition

human condition

(About 10 years ago—the human condition of a lovesick girl)

When at last you take the step to announce you are on the dating market, the world opens up. You see things differently. 
 
Every weird, exciting, gross man that you chance upon becomes a tease, a beau—a “he’d-work-if-I-redressed-him-redid-his-hair-and-renamed-him-Jack.” Husbands, as well as strong, take-charge men, are always called Jack in this day and age.
This is Jack, my husband. 
Every man you see becomes husband fodder. Like the gentleman I saw swimming in the near-freezing Serpentine Lake in the middle of Hyde Park. Except, he was a gentleman swimming in the near-freezing Serpentine in a Speedo. Yes. . . well, while I reject kids themselves, I do not reject the option to have them. So I didn’t speak to him.
 
Fortunately, there are other options. Like the doctor who treated me that afternoon I spent in the care of mildly incompetent but “don’t worry, it’s all free” NHS system. Or was he a nurse? That sounds like a possibility. Maybe some other time.
And sometimes you just need to open your eyes and look around. In the pub, for example.
 
What is it like to date a German?
What is it like to date a Scot?
What is it like to date a northern Italian?
What is it like if a Scot dates a northern Italian?
 
A series to be filed under “Pub crawls: what we can learn from pubs” to be followed by “Pub crawls: what we can learn from bartenders, publicans, men in suits on weekends, maintenance men, people who do tai chi, and masochists who get their asses kicked by fit trainers in the middle of the pavement.” All possibilities.
I look around and see a really nice feather pillow lying on the pavement. Who put it there? Why is the homeless man sitting next to it not picking it up? Maybe I’ll just take it home with me and put . . . No, no. That’s definitely his. “Sorry, sir. Didn’t realize that was your pillow. Why don’t you sit on it next time? No, I’m not going to give you money, you already have a nice pillow. But hey, are you dating anyone? No? Not yet? Hi, I’m on the dating market. I like your pillow. I realize it’s your pillow. I won’t take it again.”
No luck there.
 
That is a lovely man, selling that coffee. Yes. This man is perfect. Wow, he is the one! Look at him! He is mine. So strong. I’ll come here and buy coffee every day. Every day. It will be what I do. It’ll be the core of my everything. I’ll come every day, to an old friend, casual conversation, our relationship budding, blooming, unfolding. I’ll talk to him about times long gone, like last spring and that chilly weather in February when we saw snow. And I’ll confide in him and tell him things. Stories of love and lost. And he’ll love me and hold me. He will be my muse, and I won’t be alone. He looks so strong. My Jack. I don’t have the right outfit today, though. . . I’ll come back.
 
I need to find a husband. Maybe couples therapy will help me become part of a couple?
 
Oh, that’s a pretty good-looking dude. Why don’t I go talk to him?
 
<empty space>
 
<empty space>
 
No. He doesn’t seem like the type of human I’d go for.
 
Oh, Vivian’s on the phone. “Friend, I’m struggling. I think I just fell in love with a coffee vendor. Can I go to couples therapy?”
 
“No.”
 
“What if I just make it up?”
 
“You aren’t in a couple.”
 
“That is why it’d be good. I’d get all sorts of advice on how to be in a couple.”
 
“No, hon. I don’t think that is your issue. I think you need to date, just date. See how it works out.”
 
Arg. At long last, I find something that will solve all my problems and find me a husband, and then it’s vetoed by my best friend.
 
But she’s right. I’m missing something. What is it—passion? Imagination? Comfort?
 
Hmmm. I don’t know. But I’ll think about it. And in the meantime, I’’ll sit here. Maybe scribble some circles in a notebook. Huh, that’s funny. Those scribbles resemble a word. What’s that word I almost wrote. . .
 
C-O-M-M-I-T-T-M-E- . . .

Oh, I see. No need to finish the thought. I’m only human, this is my condition. 

(About 10 minutes ago—the human condition of a new writer) 

When at last you take the step to announce you have joined the creative market, the world opens up. You see things differently.
Every weird, exciting, gross subject that you chance upon becomes a theme, a story—“this’d-work-if-I-changed-the-time-period-to-Medieval-England-and-added-a-prostitute/heroine-and-titled-it-Blood Love Darkness.” Bestsellers, as well as interesting and engaging books, are always titled Blood Love Midnight in this day and age.
Blood Love Midnight, my bestseller.
 
Every story you see becomes bestseller fodder. The morning I swam in the near-freezing Serpentine Lake in the middle of Hyde Park. Except, that never happened, so now it’s “The morning I thought about swimming in the near-freezing Serpentine Lake in the middle of Hyde Park.” Yes, well, while I reject the actions themselves, I do not reject the imagination of the actions. So I didn’t write about this.
 
Which allows me so many other options. Like the afternoon I spent in the care of mildly incompetent but “don’t worry, it’s all free” NHS system. Was is free? Is anything? That sounds like a possibility.
Maybe some other time.
 
And sometimes, you just need to open your eyes and look around. In the park, for example.
 
What is it like to be a schnauzer?
What is it like to be a terrier?
What is it like to be a border collie?
What is it like to be a terrier and a schnauzer?
 
A series to be filed under “Park walks: what we can learn from dogs” and to be followed by “Park walks: what we can learn from birds, flowers, maintenance men, people who do tai chi, and masochists who get their asses kicked by fit trainers in the middle of the pavement.
All possibilities.
 
I look around and see a really nice feather pillow lying on the pavement. Who put it there? Why is the homeless man sitting next to it not picking it up? Maybe I’ll just take it home with me and put . . . No, no. That’s definitely his. “Sorry, sir. Didn’t realize that was your pillow. Why don’t you sit on it next time? No, I’m not going to give you money, you already have a nice pillow. But hey, would you be willing to do an interview? No? Not yet? Hi, I’m a writer. I like your pillow. I realize it’s your pillow. I won’t take it again.” 
No luck there.
 
That is a lovely tree, providing shade over there. Yes. This tree is perfect. Wow, it is the one! Look at him! He is mine. So strong. I’ll photograph that tree. Every day. It will be what I do. It’ll be the core of my everything. I’ll come back every day, to an old friend, noticing it budding, blooming, folding. I’ll talk to it about times long gone, like last spring and that chilly weather in February when we saw snow. And I’ll confide in my tree and talk to him and tell him things. Stories of love and lost. And he’ll love me and hold me. He will be my muse, and I won’t be alone. He looks so strong. My Blood Midnight. I don’t have the right pen today, though. . . I’ll come back.
 
I need to call my husband. Maybe a Masters in Creative Writing will help me become a writer?
 
Oh that’s a pretty good-looking building. Why don’t I write about that building?
 
<empty space>
 
<empty space>
 
No. There is no human element in that building.  
 
Oh, Husband on the phone. “Robert, I’m struggling. I think I just fell in love with a tree. Can I get a Masters in Creative Writing?”
 
“Well. . . ”
 
“I’ll have to fake it, some of it. But it will really help.”
 
“No, hon. You’ve never written anything, ever.”
 
“That is why it’d be good. I’d get all sorts of advice on how to write my bestseller, Blood Love Midnight.”
 
“I don’t think that is your issue. I think you need to write, just write. See how it works out?”
 
Arg. At long last, I find something that will solve all of my problems and make me a bestseller, and then it’s vetoed by my husband.
 
But he’s right. I’m missing something. What is it—passion? Imagination? Comfort?
 
Hmmm. I don’t know. But I’ll think about it. And in the meantime, I’ll sit here. Maybe scribble some circles in a notebook. Huh, that’s funny. Those scribbles resemble a word. What’s that word I almost wrote. . .
 
C-O-M-M-I-T-T-M-E- . . .
 
Oh, I see. No need to finish the thought. I’m only human, this is my condition. 
  • AnOnlyMouse

    Clearly you are watching too many boys and not noticing enough boobs 😉 There are many great boobs but few have good scaffold so they look like they are touching knees. I am cruel. But real.

    – Yours 30F lunch companion once

    • This might be true. I’ll be on the look-out. Until I get arrested. But at least that will make for an interesting story!

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