Sunday, May 02, 2010

On waking up

I woke up one morning in 2005 --August 4th, to be exact---and noticed a rather loud high-pitched ringing in my right ear. It has been there ever since, 24/7. Tinnitis. When the doctor told me what it was, he told me I should feel lucky that I wasn't a musician with tinnitis, like his wife. (Come to think of it, I learned a lot about his and his family's ills over the years of visiting him.) And when I asked what I could do about it, he said it was incurable and just to avoid quiet places and I wouldn't notice it. Great stuff, modern medicine.

I also woke up one morning in 2008 --February 14th, to be exact-- and realized that I had fallen in love. Again.

1964. I am 14. I am riding home on the bus with my best friend in high school, T. I look at him and he seems all covered with light and I feel happy and as if my insides are turning into jello.

1974. I am 26. My new friend J is someone I find myself thinking of a lot. Almost all the time. When I turn a corner and run into him, I stop breathing. When he first kissed me --the first man ever to kiss me-- I almost passed out.

1980. I am 32. A younger guy comes to stay at the house for a while because he new in town, trying to get away from family troubles. When I bring towels and stuff to his room, he turns around and smiles at me. I have to steady myself so I don't lose my balance. A few weeks later when he asks me if I want to see a movie with him, I get that jello feeling inside again. P.

1984. I am 36. I meet a guy at a community event, W. We start to chat. He is short, furry, wiry. Over the next weeks we talk on the phone. I learn more about him. At a Christmas party, someone comes over whom I know he dislikes and almost fears. I put my arm around W and lean into him, proprietary. The other guy changes course. W smiles at me. I feel like I am falling into his smile.

1987. I am 39. At a meeting in Ottawa, I look out the window and see a tall man playing with his kids in the park across the street. I go out on the porch to get a better look. He stops and looks at me from across the street. I think, "Uh, oh". Turns out he is also there for the meeting. I ask a friend who knows him to introduce me. I later find out he asked the same friend to introduce us. Three weeks later, I look over at him, lying asleep in my bed in Toronto and think, "I love him." J #2.

1993. I am 45. T and I have been seeing each other, on and off, for several months. We work together. We are as different as you can be: age, race, temperament, interests. One night he comes to the door to get me for us to go out to dinner. He has a brown suit jacket on, a new haircut, a smile. Something inside me melts and I feel as if I am in the hands of fate.

2008. I am on the cusp of 60. I met B eight months before and what started out as casual fun has progressed to real pleasure and a unique sense of aliveness just by being in his company. I wake up and he's the first thing I think of, and something in my heart feels like it opens up and I realized that I love him.

Love and tinnitis. Tinnitis, however, appears to be incurable. Also.



Anonymous said...

You're so happy with lovesickness as integral to the experience of love! ... I remember reading a scholar's description of Romeo's change from lovesick paralysis etc, to resolute action for Juliet: and this seem'd to the scholar to be entirely a matter of course. In me such a change would occur only with desiring Juliet much less -- maybe still being in love with her, maybe loving her in a better way (presumably a womangirl doesn't wish her boyfriend-husband to be "jello," unable to function, unable to concentrate on anything except sexual ideation of her). Lovesickness can occur in me without any relation to love. And when lovesickness is present with love, it ruins all the good things in love.

Upon seeing a very beautiful young woman, ninety-year old Oliver Wendell Holmes exclaim'd "Ah, to be seventy again!" That's about all the eros that a teenage boy needs till he figures out how to manage the new psychic realities that occur in him at puberty. (The blast of sex drive appears at its strongest when one has learnt absolutely no new coping skills. What a design flaw! Sex drive should not be at its strongest when one is still mentally a child and then decrease steadily as one matures. What was Darwin thinking!?)

I would have gladly taken a natural supplement (kelp + jojoba?) that would tamp my eros down to a level just enough to enjoy the spectacle of beauty. No sleepless nights. No inability to concentrate on homework. No staggering around on fire. ... And not having to be in a condition that is wholly unwelcome to one's love objects (womengirls).

No need to reduce the dosage until one starts having a sexual relationship [and all studies say that postponing sex for years and years is the best thing for boys and for girls in terms of life adjustment]. And if he's going to go hetero, a guy doesn't need very much eros to keep pace with a womangirl in bed.

(Every now and then I see an article on female sex addicts. The headline insists it's really sex addiction in these women, and not love addiction or some other fancy. Then I read the article, and find that after all these women aren't afflicted with sex addiction. ... Womengirls sometimes insist that they too feel totally sex mad sometimes [they always use the ugly term 'horny' in such statements]. But then when they explain, you see that they actually remember every episode of such desire-madness: "one time in my junior year I went for thanksgiving to my roommate's home, and her older brother was like so hot" etc. And it's evident her sex-madness was a desiring sex with this one guy.)

The only time a guy needs a ton o' sex drive for a relationship with a womangirl is during the first day or at most two days when the relationship goes sexual (the "honeymoon" whether this occurs after a wedding or not). After the honeymoon period, the guy may as well start gradually going back on a higher dose of the natural supplement. He can stay on the highre dose -- unless his wife is having difficulty conceiving: then no amount of sex is too much for her as long as it's 'open to conception' as the Catholic Magsterium specifies.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of gay males in committed and exclusive relationships would like to follow a similar procedure: go off the natural supplement at the beginning of the relationship, and then when the sex becomes routinized, start taking a higher dose again. ... If the 20th century had devoted even a millionth of the amount spent on inventing weaponry to discovering a natural supplement of this sort -- or even a manufactured pharmaceutical of this sort -- I bet we'd have the lovesickness problem cured by now.

Anonymous said...

Not so crazy am I. Or necessarily that a seriously complex chemical would be required. I've read that the human body shuts down its sexual cycles when doing a great amount of exercise. I guess an evolutionary theorist could argue this is to conserve energy while a tribe is migrating to new hunting grounds and so forth. Anyway, women's menstrual cycles stop, and men don't desire sex. One biologist -- maybe a sports-medicine MD learnt of this phenomenon by overhearing a conversation of wives and girlfriends of guys who got into long-distance bicycling: their husbands or boyfriends didn't want sex any more. (He didn't say the women were complaining about this result.) Not that the body otherwise shut down the beneficial(?) effects of testosterone on muscle, brain specialization, etc; these guys didn't seem like they were on (?)Depoprovera (Is that the drug I mean? causes more or less the same effects as castration). Just the sex drive was shut down.

But to achieve this condion, a man might have to run 40 miles per week. A teenage guy maybe even more. But why in the era of modern scientific research should we have to run 40 miles to achieve so happy and also civilizationally useful a condition (also maritally convenient)? And a supplement that would convince a womangirl's body that it too is on migration to new hunting grounds -- but without having to do the migration. When she wishes to conceive, she goes off the natural supplement.

Man, we homo sapiens would be a much happier species with such a supplement! IMHO.

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