Sunday, September 19, 2010

Splinter, Hunger, Funk

You get better, with age, at figuring out what's wrong with you.

Sometimes I think that's what "wisdom" boils down to: the ability to divine, ever more efficiently, the source of your disgruntlement. It could be physical, mental, existential, or a direct result of watching too much VH1, but as you accumulate birthdays you get faster at winkling it out and nailing it down.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a corresponding uptick in your ability to mount a quick and effective response. Partly this is because it's though to beat the catch-all "WAAAAAAAAAAH" of the newborn or the apocalyptic fervor of the toddler's campaign to acquire a happy meal. But mainly this is just because some problems -particularly knotty adult problems- are tough to solve. It may be incumbent on you to try, but there's no guarantee you'll succeed.

So here's what's wrong with me:

(OK, OK, I know the following is a gross reduction of all my fascinatingly intricate deficiencies, but a girl's gotta start somewhere)

I'm lonely.

(I'm also mildly ill with a head cold, scared of moving forward in several key areas of my life, nursing a scraped right elbow, and unable to live in the moment, but the loneliness is what's at the top of the pile right now.)

It took me a while to figure it out, because I've generally, these last six weeks, been surrounded by people. I see people at church, people at work, neighbors on the street, and random people I meet for lunch because I'm trying to build my social network. I'm also married, which means, for those of you who are still savoring the halcyon days of single living, that there's someone else around pretty much ALL THE TIME.

Nevertheless, I'm lonely. A recounting of my symptoms:

I see the faces of old friends in crowds
I dream of airplanes, shaky flights from Alaska, layovers in DC.
I Google old friends
I am hangdog, drained, gray
I don't want to talk to anyone

Richmond is full of very nice people, many of whom I'd call friendly acquaintances and one or two of whom I'd even call friends. But there are friends and there are friends, folks you are happy to see on the street versus the people who help you clean up after your toilet has overflowed. I miss you, shit-stirrers.

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