Dating Myself

I took myself to dinner the other day.

Except, I’m poor and cooking is fun, so I made myself dinner, opened a decent bottle of wine and left my phone far away.
I talked a lot. I’m glad my flatmates weren’t around.
It was like going on a date with a good-looking, intelligent, funny partner – only better, because I could interrupt myself whenever and not get into trouble. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When things went bad in relationships, I’d often resort to meals to sort shit out. “Let’s go for dinner” I’d say whilst meaning “Let’s go for dinner and discuss your depression and the best steps for getting you to deal with it…again.” And then the dinner would be awkward. There’d be huge gaps in the conversation that gave birth to grotesque statements about the weather whilst we danced and skated in a parody of happiness around the issue. I don’t think we ever tasted the meal.
I’d thought I could sort out my issues over my meal.
The nice thing about running both sides of a conversation is you don’t have gaps in the conversation. You never quite end up saying “weird, it’s Saturday and the sun’s shining. I wonder why.” You say stuff like “So this whole pain/pleasure thing that might possibly be linked to self-hatred and masochism” then you interrupt yourself to say “Damn this steak tastes so good! Have you tried it with the wine?” “Yeah I have, and I’m loving the fried apples and onions!”
I’m not burying it. I’m not denying it. Every time I look at my arm I’m reminded. And every time I’m reminded, I want to do it again.
Not for the mutilation: for the pain. For the control. For that little tingle of pleasure that runs up my arm to my spine and sits there, giggling happily.
It’s weird.
My dinner found other things to talk about. Like my writing. Like my studies. Like the next 11 months (and 2 days). I didn’t make plans. I held onto ideas and swirled them with the wine and the steak and the apple and the onion and the sauce. They tasted good.
Once the meal was finished, I headed to the pub. This was a bit surprising: following a date at home, I seldom go out. I’m always “too tired” or “too antisocial” – both excuses for “I’m too coupley”. But I’d promised myself I’d go and I couldn’t disappoint me, so off I went.
I’d hoped to meet people there, people who’d said they’d try make it, but I suspected I’d be drinking alone. I was quite right. I was a little surprised when I walked in and two girls stopped chatting to two guys to straighten their backs and eye me repeatedly. I ignored them (I don’t know why) and ordered a drink.
I realised quite quickly that I couldn’t expect things to happen to me. No one was coming to drink with me, so I had to go drink with them. I found two colleagues having a night off and talking wine: I chased them through a history of cocktails and alcohol as the bar closed and we made a mess discovering just how strong a proper cocktail should be.
And then I stumbled home to bed with me.
And when I woke I realised something: I’m happier alone.
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Auf Wiedersehen

In a year and a day, I’ll be jumping on a plane to Germany.

I’ll have been in NZ for seven years. I don’t know why it’s important. But it is important that I leave exactly seven years after I arrive. There’s currently only one stamp in my passport.

I’ll happily admit: I’m running away.

I don’t know what from. I don’t know why. But fuck being here any longer. I love this stupid little country and I’m coming back to see even more of it, but I’m tired of it, tired of the way people live here, tired of the restrictions I feel I’m constantly living under. I’m tired of watching life pass me serenely by.

The thing is, I always tell people that changing your situation doesn’t change you. You can’t run from your problems, you can’t run from who you are. So part of me thinks that heading to Germany goes completely against what I believe – except, it doesn’t: I’ll happily carry my baggage with me.

Of course, I have and will have expectations of Germany – hot guys, cute girls, Porsches and Beemers fucking everywhere, all the things that matter in life – and there’s a strong possibility that too much dreaming leads to huge disappointments.

But that’s true for life. I blame it on movies and books and stories: you never see a scene that doesn’t matter. At no point during a movie will a boy walk past the house of a girl he likes and nothing happens. He will certainly not simply walk, lost in thoughts of said girl, and notice a few minutes later where he is.

And so we live with this stupid expectation that Everything Matters and that Something Will Happen.

And it fucking won’t.

Sitting around waiting for life to happen is only worthwhile in a movie or book.

So I can’t sit around waiting. ‘Cause nothing will happen. I’ll get stuck somewhere, content in the belief that things will magically get better or return to where they were, which is seldom better than right here.

No, I have to happen to life. I have to go and happen, I have to make my own stories. I have to make the changes I want to see.

Of course I could do that here. I could completely happen here. But I don’t want to. Nothing in me wants to stay, nothing holds me here; everything pulls me away. So I’m going to happen somewhere else.

Most people my age have settled. In a few years they’ll be married and kidded and bored and longing. But they’ll be safe. They’ll be comfortable. They’ll be happy and secure and content and dreamy. They’ll have things to work on, they’ll have work to do and a family to grow. They’ll have things to be proud of and people to love them always, unconditionally.

Not one aspect of that appeals to me. And I’m perfectly ok with that.

Because I could totally settle. I could find a lovely woman and settle into an analysis position and make my home here, make my mark right here so that when I die my memorial stone will say “BRB, gone to fetch my girl. See you kids soon.”

But so could anyone. And nothing makes me better than them for that role. There is nothing in me that makes me the sort of guy you’d marry and live forever with. Mostly, because I’ve never really wanted that.

Yes, I said I did. Yes, I love kids. But I feel that there has to be more to life. There has to be more to my life. I can’t simply raise some perfectly imperfect cultural mongrels and consider my life well lived. I just see no point in that.

What draws me is stories. What draws me is people. What draws me is love and sex and laughter and cars and drivers. Because I’d rather be broke in the passenger seat of a Porsche on the Nurburgring┬áthan wealthy in the driver seat of a Porsche on Tamaki Drive.

So I’m dawdling to Germany. And we’ll see what I do from there.

Fuck You

My brother is one of the bravest people I know.
I got angry today. I got so angry, I completely lost control and attacked the people that care for me the most.
This involved calling my mother an “arrogant bitch”, telling my brother to keep out of it or “I’ll hit you in the face”, and following this threat by grabbing him by the throat and smashing the back of his head into the stairs.
I told him if he followed me, I’d hit him again. Mom tried to calm us down. He leapt between me and mom, determined to not let me hurt mom. He shut himself in my room with me and told me to “put me into hospital, see how you feel then!” to which I responded “Fuck off, I don’t feel.”
And then I grabbed him once more, opened the door, and threw him across the hall and into mom, who crashed backwards into the wall, winding herself and falling to the floor. My dazed, supportive and loving brother then tried to help her up. A pang of shame filled me and I went to help. He tried to push me away.
I responded by swinging one arm into his chest and throwing him into a pillar, from which he then fell and lay crumpled on the floor.
Fortunately, seeing my brother crying on the floor gave mom the strength she needed to get up, pushing me aside. They disappeared upstairs, leaving behind the memory of their scared and bewildered eyes.
I packed a bag and left.
My granddad used to beat my grandmother. To stop him, my dad would provoke him, get in the way, and take the beating himself. Sounds familiar. My granddad at least had the excuse of being a drunk. I just have no control.
And now my brother is as upset with me as I am with my dad. Probably more so. It’s not like my dad ever attacked me. He just stole from me, insulted me, ignored me, criticised me, belittled me. He no longer even knows who I am. He told me today that I am “shy”. It’s like he’s been in prison for the last five years, not the last five months.
Fuck him.
And if I can hold that attitude towards my father, then I can perfectly and utterly understand how my brother feels towards me. I’ll get round to forgiving my father at some point. I hope my brother can someday forgive me.
But, I left. When my mom was freaking out about moving, when I was supposed to be organising all the moving and the packing and getting all those heavy damned things from one household to another, I left with a fucking heavy bag rolling along behind me, and sat down at a bus stop.
I watched the cars drive by, hoping against hope that the bus would arrive soon and that no one I knew would drive by. I ignored my mother when she pulled up. She eventually left.
I’d started to calm down. I’d gone from that angry place to that “what the fuck just happened, lock it behind a door and make jokes” place. Do you know how many weird looks you get when you’re walking through St Heliers in a nice jacket and cool boots, lugging a heavy suitcase behind you? Now add in talking and muttering to yourself and you end up with a bunch of fucking confused rich people.
It was a little while later that I realised I’d forgotten a sleeping bag. And my passport.
I’m such a shallow arsehole, I’d packed my bag full of clothes and forgotten what I’d be sleeping in and how I’d get anywhere. I’ve lived such a pampered, sheltered life, I don’t even know how to run away properly.
In the process of rectifying these discrepancies however, I realised something.
I’d only reached out to one person for help. She was the sort of person who’d spot an attention-seeking text immediately and just ignore it until she had time.
I’d asked her for help via text because I knew she wouldn’t respond. That allowed me to carry on doing whatever I wanted under the belief that no one cared about me and that she was a bad friend.
So I came home and phoned another friend. I told her what had happened and I opened that door I’d locked and I cried until my nose clogged with snot and then I just hiccoughed.
No, I’m not okay, but yes, I will be okay. Right now, I feel stuck in a place where anger is delicious and the thrill of a fight is beaten only by the thrill of driving sideways.
I’m lost, I’m uncertain, I’m lonely and I’m scared and fuck you if you don’t think that’s ok.
‘Cause I’m still here. And that’s all that really matters.