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Archive for April, 2008

Jealousy is a curious monster, with no capacity for reason, no grasp of logic.

Here’s me…I share a house with my ex, the mother of my child, with whom I am still quite emotionally connected, have not yet legally-divorced, and with whom I regularly negotiate issues of comfort that arise from my relationship with my newish (just over 6-months) girlfriend, Megan. Add to that that I have very few close friends, the closest being an ex-girlfriend. That’s alot for a new partner to deal with, and by and large Meg takes it in stride, managing the bumps, keeping track of where the muddy border is between legitimate concerns and crappy feelings only tangentially-connected to my shit.

And me? Though acutely aware of what my situation means for Meg, and the amount of ex-related stuff she has to deal with, I still can’t block out my own jealousies that pop up on a semi-regular basis.

Meg has an ex-partner in jail, due out this summer, who will need a place to land as he gets adjusted to being free again. They’re good friends, emotionally-close, and each an important marker. I think, of one another’s sense of place in the world. Kinda like my live-in ex and I, I suppose. But here’s the kicker – that one doesn’t even bother me much. Now, I am first to admit that when he’s out and living with Meg again I’ll likely have moments of panic and fear and self-doubt and self-loathing. But somehow I expect to be able to keep that stuff under control, simply because that kind of emotional relationship, particularly given the circumstances of their life together, makes some sense to me.

So, what’s the issue? Aquaintances, friends, co-workers, some of whom are gone from her life entirely, some of whom she continues to have in her life in some other capacity. These are the ones that drive me mad. A union colleague she slept with for a while and still works with and consults with – drives me up the fucking bend every time I hear his name. A former lover she fell in love with but with whom she has cut off all contact – floods me with waves of inadequacy. Friends she used to fuck and passing references to lovers who came and went – moments that inspire (thankfully typically fleeting) insecurity and doubt.

It’s weird, its illogical, and in each instance my reasonable self steps in to beat off the temporary madness. The reasonable self, however, doesn’t win. And that’s not just me, but most of us. Jealousy is one resilient motherfucker, with the tenacity of an addiction.

So what to do? I have no fucking idea. Write, I suppose. Rant my way through it, and that way let it pass. Recognize it for what it is – an irrational response, a fight-or-flight response, a possessive response that I don’t need to give in to, but which is not going be vanquished any time soon either. Not much, perhaps. Not a long-term solution, obviously. But it’s a start…In fact, I feel better already.

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And the word was…well, that’s the challenge now, isn’t it? I’ve always been a notebook kinda guy – y’know, the moleskine in the pocket that holds random words and thoughts, bits of sex and politics and amateur psychoanalysis and shopping lists and so on and so on. Somehow, this blog thing feels very very different.

First, not being a particularly tech-friendly guy, I feel at this moment entirely out of place, entirely alone. And that’s odd for me when writing, because I’ve always had a pretty intimate relationship with the words I write, with the process of writing, with the notebooks and cocktail napkins I scribble upon. But this, this keyboard, this screen staring back at my, taunting me – not at all what I expected, though I certainly had no idea what the hell I should expect.

Second, and equally daunting, there is a publicity here that is new to me. Never before have these kinds of writing moments been potentially public in the way this space is, and that’s pretty damn terrifying. Paper hides, paper burns, paper crumbles and returns to soil. But these images, these dots on the screen, these are something else. Then, of course, I’m reminded – I am writing a fucking blog post! It’s supposed to be public, it’s supposed to be a notebook open to the world. And if that’s only catching up with me now, through this process, then clearly I am simply not reconciled to the fact that I took this step. Not yet.

So enough whinging already – write the damn thing or don’t.

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