Thursday, October 9, 2008

Drinking and Dialling

We have all done it - Had a few more drinks than necessary, looked around and seen happy couples, reacted to 'that song' which happened to play at just the right time and wondered where we had screwed up. Because we were alone despite all the chances we had had in our short lives. We tend to forget the details of the exact scenario, who had said or done what to whom, whose 'fault' it was... all those details become hazy in the fugue created by alcoholic fumes and romantic melodies and you reach for the phone.


Even as you scroll down to the number that you should ideally have deleted a long time ago, you know it's a move that you'll regret the next morning, but blaring more loudly in the foreground of that doubt is the thought, "If not now, then when? If not like this, then how?" Yes, at heart, I'm probably a chicken-shit, and without a generous amount of dutch courage flowing through my arteries, am only too happy pushing things under the proverbial carpet.

Last night, surrounded by a few friends and several acquaintances, something snapped inside me. I was coasting along, singing the songs, smiling and laughing when suddenly a voice from my 8-year-ago-love-past pinged me. "Hi, am in Pune. Was thinking of you. I still love you." Love? Really? It made me wonder if i even knew what it meant anymore. And quick on the heels of that particular thought, came the memory of another boy whom I had truly loved... enough to have let him walk away, and not shut down access lines. So, surrounded by youngsters who were playing the guitar and singing love songs, i picked up the phone and pinged him - "Right now. This minute. I miss you. I miss us."

Sweet, right? Atleast i'd like to believe so. He responded. I pinged back. And the next morning, when I woke up and read the other, increasingly maudlin messages I had sent, that screamed of loneliness and sadness, I was mortified. How could I? For someone who has been a proponent of the "I'll Survive" school of thought, what a terrible admission of frailty.

So the next day, i went red-faced with the effort of sweeping said mortification under yet another carpet and met a friend who sat me down and told me to get a grip on myself. His judgement was : "So you leaned on someone in a moment of weakness. So what? It means you're human." Yes i know it's human... but ... why him? Why a person whom i'd loved and lost? Why can't it be someone who is around, right now, right here? "Because you don't stick around long enough for someone to be around you."

Aww.. crap. Last thing i needed in this state was a reality check. The fact that he was kinda right is no excuse. To make a reeeaaalllly long story very short: boy met girl, got girl, dumped girl; then girl met boy, got boy, dumped boy, etc etc. This went on for a while until finally, girl figured that any guy she meets and gets is probably not the right guy for her. So as soon as she senses that she may get a boy, she bolts. Leaving her alone at parties wondering why she's alone.

Okay, yes i know the "The solution: don't bolt" theory. But the real situation is this: My whole life i've taken a fairly large section of responsibility for my actions. And hence, their consequences. So when faced with empirical evidence of multiple failures of a particular "fall in love first and ask questions later" strategy, I opted for the "ask questions first and then fall in love" modus operandi.


Because now, since i was already analytical about a person and a situation, just "feeling and going with the flow" was impossible. So we now had a girl who believed she could see through people, their pathetic attempts at 'wooing' her, the various pick-her-up strategies that ranged from "I'm such a cute cuddly guy" to "i'm such a super smart brainiac" to "i don't want you but you want me" to "sex is ok, after all this is the 21st century"... It was exhausting to constantly question and probe and seek the truth about peoples motivations - what do you truly want from me? Validation? Sex? Friendship? Sweetness? Devotion? What??? The bad news was that this MO provided no fool-proof clear-cut answers either and hence my analytical approach rejected them all. And it was impossible to stop.

So when i was drinking and dialling, surrounded by youngsters and music, i was actually reaching back to a time of my life, to a person who had just been, who had let me be, who had loved me and made no secret of the fact, whose assurance had carried us when my own was shaky, who took our future for granted, whom i never ever considered giving 'no' for an answer. It was a time of ease and of confidence in ourselves, not tainted by fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of our own fallibility.

It was a time of youth. Sigh.


Anonymous said...


Well written, But how come none of exs are married by now?? That they keep getting back in touch with you.

Isn't it nice how they message you from out of the blue and say that they still love you-even after 8 years. What more do you want from an ex?

Searcher said...

Some ex-es are married. Most are not. Much as i'd like to believe it's because they still pine for me, i think the fact is that it's an age thing - the older you get, the harder it is to recover from loss and hence, the more cautious you are about the next big adventure. They get back in touch i think for the same reasons I do - just touching base with someone who knew them when they were younger, happier and better.

The fact that they "still love me" after 8 years would be truly more meaningful if they even remotely knew WHO i was after these 8 years. They love the memory of the girl - what we all really need is someone who loves who we are today.

Anonymous said...

very true.. people love other people for the images they carry of them... it is very sheldom that curiosity bekons a need for a closer examination.. !! i am no expert in the matters of the heart myself.. as i too have loved and lost .. and still do ponder on the various "what ifs".. without any conclusions but for a gloomy time spent. realisation struck me in the strangest of palces.. and saw the wisdom in objectivity.. but again.. my restless mind did not accept the theory of "look before you leap", as it takes away the pleasure of the jump: a cyclic quandry you may note... !!!

so what is the solution to my inquest... how do i find love.. if i do find it will i know if it IS love, will it last, do i want it to last, will i find it before it is too late, what is too late, what is love ? can i choose who i love ? how do i love ? why do i need love ? is it something a TV and a dildo cant give ? and so on and on and on... till one day i stopped forcing myself to love and be loved... i stopped chasing the butterfly and sat down to fish... the fish was good !! :)

all this just to tell you... you are the sum total of you own guilt and fears.. you carry the various guilts of all the broken relations.. and that is feeding your fears of any future stable relations.. and it only goes round. let go and trust .... have faith in yourself and most importantly LOVE yourself... my way of saying go fuck urself.. but u know what i am saying.

trust me... i dont know why !

A-girl said... have no idea what you have! It would be an extraordinarily piquant situation for me if any of my exs called me up to say that he still loved me! :)

And if it really is an "age thing"...and then you have this guy you once loved...and he reminds of your youth (read that as 'all things good')...then why don't you give him a chance? May be he is The One (or 'almost-The- One')

....I think we can take the "almost-The-One" in lieu of 'The One' can't we? :)

Anonymous said...

The title reminds me of someone :)

Searcher said...

I don't believe in 'the one' or even 'almost the one' or maybe 'the one right now' etc etc. But the fact is, I don't know what i believe anymore. Does it matter what ex's do or don't if you're still alone at parties hoping there was someone who'd help you through the difficult part of saying hello to strangers at random parties? or just hold you when you wake up from a nightmare? I'm seriously considering getting a pet.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog by mistake. I can't stop reading it!!! Which is something I shouldn't be doing right now, since I'm at work.
My point is I really like your writings and in I'm relating a lot.

Thank you for sharing

Searcher said...

Thanks Anon, almost everyone here is an accidental stumble.. and a deliberate resident :) I'm glad you're having fun reading.. Cheers!