It’s been a long weekend. I spent it with my sister in the Hamptons for her 30th birthday. I haven’t had a running three day hangover in years, and the feeling is familiar, but with added effect. I used to feel that I could be mentally productive when I was hungover. There was belief that not being able to move physically forced me into a sharper state. But now, in the time that follows, my brains feel scrambled, and the best I can do is innocuous emails. Instead of creativity, on the flight back to Denver, I can only watch movies and jot down notes for writings that I hope I can expand into something meaningful later.
From November, 2015:
What am I missing? What am I not seeing? I’m in a club so full of smoke that I can’t distinguish things 2 feet in front of me. It’s a long time before I realize that this is strategic. Again, what am I missing?
I’m not sure how I ended up in this place. But I’m with someone that I used to love. In fact, I probably loved her more than I’ve ever loved anyone, besides my daughter. But instead of love, I feel empty. I can’t tell if it’s because we’ve drifted too far apart, or if it’s the smoke, or the drinks, or if I’ve become something unrecognizable, but I can’t get back to where I was. Yet every time I look at her, I know why I once felt that way.
What I’m left with is one constant phrase: if you love something, let it go. Perhaps one the hardest things in life, is realizing that someone you loved for so long, is a stranger.
I met her in the hallway of a bar: I was twenty, she was nineteen; she’s Czech, and I’m American. That night should have been all of it. Except that it continued for years. Except that we grew to love each other. It was my fault when it ended, but in a situation that was far from clean. That was a long time ago now. And after all this time, the only thing holding us together are those shared memories.
I’m drawn to relationships with people that live in different cities. To quote True Detective, “You know how it is. You want a wife, but only half the time.” And for me the distance provides me with everything that I want in a relationship: intimacy, without the commitment.
Yet beginning a relationship in a different city is a doomed proposition. It leaves only two exists: too fast or too slow. You’re flying all over to meet up, and it’s all fun-drunk-good-time sex filled weekends. But that’s too much work for hotel sex, and the inconvenience of the situation causes it to suffocate. Or it develops rapidly; in which case you have to make a serious commitment to someone you’ve known through short bursts of honeymoon.
It doesn’t allow for anything natural to build: going out for drinks, low stakes, hooking up occasionally, and every once in awhile, organically, something meaningful grows out of that. Instead what you’re left with is either an extremely inconvenient fuck buddy, or a rushed long-distance relationship (long distance already being terrible, now without the basis of shared time).