Friday, February 04, 2005

Dating, Part Infinity

On her 38th birthday she registers at City Hall as Desperate, as required by law. This status requires her to accept any date offered by anyone, regardless of how beautiful she still is and regardless of how unattractive, ill-mannered or dull he is.

Their crush develops at work, between metal trays of food swung loudly and the almost-darkness of the dining room. He treats her better than any man ever has. She can’t get away with her usual level of self-hatred and alienation. He's funny and warm and generous. He amazes her with his confidence and brightness. She likes him. She has fun with him. He adores her. It feels good.

But when she comments on a tv commercial, “I thought it was funny. Why didn’t you like it?” he can only answer, “Just the whole way it was done.” She's unable to engage him in any critical thinking about anything: the president, her family dynamics, a controversial tv plotline. In fact, they rarely have conversations at all. A part of her isn’t being fed. Then again, it's the part that the whole rest of the world stands ready and willing to feed in a hundred ways.

How do you relax and let it be? How do you trust the fall? How do you know when it's time to move on?

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