Thursday, September 2, 2010

Realist ... ?

I was a teenager in 1989.  If you were also, I guarantee that you too, for at least a couple hours, were in lust with Dead Poets Society.

Fall leaves swirling around cadres of boys in blazers and flannels, quoting Whitman and acting on passions.  ("Oh Captain, My Captain!")  Josh Charles, Robert Sean Leonard and Ethan Hawke in baby face and angst before they became stars.   Robin Williams reading Shakespeare with a John Wayne accent. 

What's not to lust after?

A Google search reveals whole sections of dialogue as "quotes" from this eminently quotable film .... most of which I already know by heart.  But as an adult it is a drier exchange -- between Keating (the Williams teacher) and his colleague -- that I sought out and found:
McAllister:  You take a big risk by encouraging them to be artists, John. When they realize they're not Rembrandts, Shakespeares or Mozarts, they'll hate you for it.
Keating:  We're not talking artists, George, we're talking freethinkers.
McAllister:  Freethinkers at seventeen?
Keating:  Funny — I never pegged you as a cynic.
McAllister:  Not a cynic, a realist. Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams, and I'll show you a happy man.
Keating:  But only in their dreams can man be truly free. 'Twas always thus, and always thus will be.
McAllister:  Tennyson?
Keating:  No, Keating.
I've battled cynicism for a long time.  Or at least I say I have. 

But recent events and my generally unemotional reactions to them have left me wondering if I've overstated my own negativity.

Such as: 

1) Hurricane Earl is making an appearance in this hood this weekend .... specifically around the time I'm wanting to stay in my routine and do Long Run #7 on Saturday.  Or earlier, depending on how it fares in North Carolina tonight.  There's no concrete way to plan around it until tomorrow which, when I have to prep body and mind to run 16 miles, is not a lot of prep time.

But I'm not losing my shit over it, thinking, "yeah, sure, it's always SOMETHING!"  I might actually just do my run on Sunday, instead. 

A hurricane is a hurricane.  You can't be pissed at it until after it's gone by.

2) There's a guy I've been spending time with as a friend, when at one time I wanted him as more.  It's generally comfortable.  Although I sense myself (and of him, can only guess as) constantly navigating how to "be" ... which lends a slight veneer of awkwardness to the proceedings.

But I'm not worried about it. 

If the situation were not slightly awkward, or if either of us really knew how to act with each other at all times .... come on.  No one does. That would actually be a lot more to worry about, no?

3) Last night, for the first time in a long time, I got into a Gmail exchange with the Young Scientist.  You might recall we had a couple dates last spring, then lapsed into Banter Alone.  In the 18 months since we last saw each other, we've vowed at least 10 times to get together .... which is exactly 10 times more than we have. 

Last night was no exception .... at X point he suggested we recreate our 2 steamy encounters for old time's sake.  I admitted that I would be curious to do so as well, anticipating a move directly to the planning stages.  But instead he replied:

" =) good, im heading to bed- to be discussed at a later pt. gnight."
Hm. The last time YS suggested "discussing it later," several months elapsed. Which means he is flaky, distracted, noncommittal, or too tired at night to remember our conversations in the morning.

When reading that, and not because of his smiley face, I laughed out loud.  I have no unfettered foolish dreams about what it actually implies:  last night at midnight, in our conversation, he would like to talk about going out, which I know means jack shit, because it is unlikely we ever will talk about it, or ever will go out.

And that's just the way it is:  I'm attracted to men who chronically overstate intentions.

(Kind of like C-2 telling me, also this week, "we will get that beer SOON!"  When after our last face-to-face on June 19, we were also supposed to "get a beer SOON!"  Which means that his most recent proclamation might get us a beer by Thanksgiving. )

Knowing it and resigning to it (and realizing maybe I should work to change it) .... not cynical, I'm pretty sure.

Right? Not any of it?

I thought not.


Heidi said...

The statement that "we will get together soon" said with such conviction, and never followed up, or followed up waaaay too late, is single-handedly the MOST annoying thing when it comes to dating.


reminds me of this quote: "Words, words, mere words. No matter from the heart." -Shakespeare

Karin said...


Indeed. You made me think of another (also recent) chat with someone I've been talking to .... for like 3 months ... from which nothing has emerged.

ME: Can I ask you a question?

HIM: sure

ME: Are you interested in all at going out, or are you more interested in just chatting from time to time, like we do. I'm just curious. We've been talking on and off for a long time now.

HIM: true. I would be interested in grabbing a drink. I guess the timing just hasn't worked yet. I'll try and be more proactive about that

ME: That's cool. My goal is not to force you to ask me if you weren't wanting to.

HIM: oh - you aren't forcing by any means