Tuesday, March 20, 2007

one tuesday evening...

I think it's amusing the things that happen when I don't eat consistently.

Act I
Here's the story of my day: I get home from work at 7:30 am, as usual. I go to sleep, as usual when I've just gotten home from work at 7:30 am. I wake up around 3 pm, as usual.

I shower, blah-de-blah, I marvel again at how easy my hair is now that I've removed most of it. I decide against eating anything. I'm not hungry, and I'd rather get to Jamie's soon. So I drink a glass of juice and count that as breakfast.

Mike drops by, which is awesome and UNusual (although he said he was coming, so it isn't a surprise or anything.) By the bye, I think it's grand that when people drop by to see me, usually they're dropping by Jamie's rather than my house. No one even asks if I'm at home anymore. Why would I be?

Anyway, Kurt comes in a little later to finish the game we began yesterday. By now it's getting onto 7 pm, which means I haven't eaten a meal or anything decent, really, for about 16 hours. Just the juice, and some coffee... oh, and two cookies that I got because they were fresh-baked. One reason I like hanging out at Jamie's better than at home is they bake cookies and make sure to tell me about it, if I haven't noticed, so I can have some while they're still hot.

It's about halfway through the game that my mood starts to drop. Kurt says a few irritating things, as usual, and I know I'm in trouble when, instead of rolling my eyes and laughing at him, I look at him blankly, or maybe with a tolerant half-smile, I'm not sure, because I have the distinct sensation of some hot and slightly acidic liquid sloshing around in my stomach. This sensation I have come to recognize as a particular type of anger, only as it happens nothing in Kurt's remarks has merited this strong a reaction. About ten minutes later it dawns on me that I am food-deprived, and therefore moody. Very well.

After this my play becomes slow... I am quite chilly but my skin feels hot. The beginnings of a headache are developing directly behind the bridge of my nose. No one is paying attention to me... in fact no one seems to have the least bit of interest in me, except Kurt, and that's only as an opponent who's taking way too much time to play moves in a game which she is, anyway, losing. Meanwhile, the part of my brain that doesn't lose its grip on reality no matter what mood-factors are in play is telling me to hurry up and finish the game so I can go home and eat some food.

I finish the game; I lose by 18 points. Respectable. My post-game banter is lackluster, however, though he tries hard to get me riled into saying that next game I will beat him with just a six-stone handicap and one eye blindfolded, or some such ridiculous claim. I recognize that my ability to socialize is severely impaired, that any form of interaction will only depress me acutely, and that the best thing I can do is keep my words short and get out of there with as much grace as possible.

Act II
Trader Joe's makes a terrific Portugese bean & sausage soup. This is my dinner, along with some good thick slices of double Gloucester with Stilton. I love the way Stilton just sort of melts if you let it sit on your tongue, and I love the way the white bean in the soup mush against the roof of your mouth. It is an immensely satisfying meal. Meanwhile I have been flipping through the TV channel menu (these late nights are starting to bring back my TV-watching habit), and found that TCM is airing The Thin Man. I feel like I've seen this before, but I must not have, because none of it was familiar.

Five minutes in I have decided that I want to be Nick and Nora Charles. Or one of them, at least, with a suitable partner to make up the other half. They're more or less a wealthy, American, alcoholic version of Tommy and Tuppence, and we all know how I feel about Tommy and Tuppence. (Well, Molly does anyway.) This is a very funny movie, but I find that I am laughing aloud a good deal more than I normally do when watching a movie by myself. I note this casually but don't fret about it, only wishing that there were someone else here who would appreciate it as much as I do.

About ten minutes later I remember that eating after a too-long fast tends to cause a brief spike of euphoria. That's probably why I'm laughing so hard. No doubt this is my body's way of reminding me that yes, food is good and yes, we would appreciate being regularly supplied with it, thank you very much. I wonder if it works, though... rather like when we used to give our dog a treat after she would run away and come back. It's supposed to reward her for coming back, but doesn't it simply encourage her to run away more often, so that she can enjoy the treat upon returning?

No, I'm not going to start starving myself as a way of inducing a cheap high. It wreaks havoc on my go game, anyway.

The Thin Man is a grand movie. It sparks a number of reflections, one of which being that there's something sexy about married people sleeping in separate beds, whether in the same room or a door apart. I wonder why it's so not-done in modern American culture?

The movie is over, and it's only 11. I won't be ready for bed for hours. What am I to do? That was such a fun movie... why oh why was there no one here to enjoy it with me?

This last reflection is the subject of many minutes' ruminating, mostly in circles. My social circle is too small. I shouldn't have left Atlanta. I should move to Chicago. I'm too stuck in my routine, I need to break out. I begin to understand, for the first time in many a year, the appeal of dating... spending time doing something enjoyable with a new person, with all the curiosity and brimming possibilities. The idea of meeting and interacting with new people is so much less wearying with all my newfound honesty...

But anyway I'm lonely now, and no future break in routine, even if it happened tomorrow (which it won't, because I work tomorrow, and this thought, too, depresses me), will fix that. I flip to other stations; Frasier distracts me for a while. This seems to happen every so often, that I find myself suddenly with great stretches of empty time, and fall into a well of loneliness until I develop a new and satisfying routine. All last fall and winter Kurt and James and I went out nearly every night that I wasn't working, so I didn't have any of those sitting-at-home-looking-for-things-to-watch-to-distract-myself nights (and when I did, it was a treat.) Now everybody's taken up other activities. And I, as usual, am the last one to recognize this, so I don't keep pace with them and find new activities of my own, at least not until after several weeks of these sitting-at-home-depressed nights. And anyway it's not that easy to find new activities. Especially not for someone who's more or less nocturnal. I could go to the iHop and stay there for hours, but am I likely to meet people there, people I want to spend time with? And it's people I need. If only it was NaNo month... I could go online and talk with all kinds of crazy aspiring novelists, and meet a bunch of the local ones. Next November is too far away to wait for, though.

I read blogs. I download five more songs by the King's Singers, mostly madrigals. I cry while listening to If Music Be the Food of Love. That's the low point... after that, I start to pick up again. I begin to see my loneliness as an experience, to be absorbed, relished, but most of all used. How to use it? Why, of course, to write. And write I do. Thanks for reading.