Thursday, April 12, 2007

Me, I suppose. For the moment.

To hell with it.

I won't go into the darkened corners here. I would, but it wouldn't be fair, really. I am just a guy, at least outwardly, but I like myself and can produce a thousand reasons why I'm not just a guy. I'm different, as you are. But who isn't?

I also like to get my hands dirty. Though my occupation is more often than not very clean and office-y, I take such great pleasure in, say, fixing my car. I was immensely proud of my yard in Georgia, especially in that I did all the landscaping myself. I built a three-stall barn when I was seventeen. My hands are alternately covered in scrapes and torn cuticles and lotion and evidence of a fresh manicure. I love the sense of accomplishment, be it having vacuumed the house, planted a new Bradford pear, or translated 30 pages of Persian.

I'm definitely not too good to say hi to anyone. Ten years of Georgia, among other things, taught me the value of unsolicited public civility. Before moving, I knew all my neighbors, even if we didn't hang out on the weekends and play poker. In fact, oddly, the Guatemalan family that lived next door -- with whom I'd probably had the least contact -- told me as I was crating boxes down to my trailer that I was their "best neighbor".

Huh. My best friend was helping me. I thanked them, shrugged, and later told Scott that I barely knew them.

I'm 31 but look 25. My degree is in Middle Eastern Studies, and I hope to earn my masters in two years. I have a beautiful, precocious (we all say that, don't we?) daughter from a previous marriage. We were married seven years. There was no itch. I'm a pickup athlete. I dread the idea of running but end up loving the euphoria it produces. I'm not very good at it. I play basketball a lot; I kayak, mountain bike, etc. In fact, I just returned from the gym (tent). I love physical activity so long as it does not get repetitive (witness the basketball.)

I live because, as someone once told me, "existence is not enough." I live because I love living. It is the smallest moment of everyday life that charges me. I still get giddy. A lot. I am so easily excited by what other people would consider mundane. But they only consider it mundane because they stopped living.

My laptop is not my best friend, but it is my best friend's best friend. Seriously.

I am also a dreamer. But less of a dreamer than an optimist. And less of an optimist than someone just possessing an extraordinary amount of ambition. I do not think it is immature to still believe that I can do whatever the hell I want, become whoever the hell I want. I have recently entertained the idea of going to law school. I enjoy debating. I won a civil judgment in small claims court. It will likely not happen, because there are a thousand things that I love. Its all a matter of timing, right?

I am not crazy.

I have suffered heartbreak. And I am pained to admit that I have caused heartbreak, on one painful occasion. But I do not believe there is some great zero-sum game at play. If there was, I'd be happy in love, now. It's just life.

I've had a woman tell me, in response to my worries that something just wasn't right, that everything indeed was, and that she loves me endlessly ("as the sun and the moon are forever changing places", she wrote) and that if ever I needed to extinguish a moment of self-doubt or insecurity, that all I need to do is depend on her to wave away the fear and pain... only to discover a mere two weeks later that, in fact, I had all the reason in the world to be afraid. She lost more than her best friend; I would have laid at her feet and died to bring but a moment of pleasure to her.

I am a serial monogamist. I have never dated, with the one possible exception being a recent and fantastically interesting girl of whom I've not yet made mention. All my loves were first something else... not always a friend, but definitely not someone I met in a bar. I do not think I am capable of dating, per se.

I don't know if I'm the guy next door. I often even define myself by what I do, or what I've done, or what I enjoy or like or prefer. And I think they're all pretty damned unique. So I might be the guy next door, but that guy next door is pretty interesting, really.

I do not play guitar; I am woefully and often painfully unskilled in any meaningful art form. I am certainly not perfect, but... no one could have said it better: "I am the solution to many problems."

And I hate walls. Others have always revealed them to me when it was too late to do anything about it. If ever I could have. In fact, I am inclined to believe that in most cases, the only person that can break a wall is the person that erected it in the first place -- and, importantly, they must want to break it.