And it’s blue, blue, blue – a colour and a surge. Everything that rises must converge. She says, ‘One day soon, you and I will merge.’ Everything that rises must converge. – Shriekback
Ever since I parted ways with my former raison d’etre, alcohol, Springtime has carried with it a frustrating conundrum: what’s a guy to do with his seasonally activated sex drive when there is absolutely no outlet for it that would jive with his karmic goal of inflicting as little harm as possible on other beings?
Over the past several years, much self-analysis and meditation, in addition to a necessary rearrangement of priorities has made me realize that many if not all of my past relationships were based on self-aggrandizement. This misguided motivation inspired me to engage in all manner of subtle and not-so-subtle manipulative behaviors towards women to whom I found myself attracted ensuring that any relationships that developed as a result were based on dishonesty right out of the gate. Old habits die hard, so after sobering up and getting myself stuck in the mire of Alcoholics Anonymous in my early booze-free days, I even found a way to spin the “making amends” step into one last fling with an ex-girlfriend (or two). In my defense, I had yet to dive head first into the project of absorbing every book on Eastern philosophy I could find (excepting the Kama Sutra, of course) and thus hadn’t yet embarked on the painfully honest soul-searching that brought me to my present state of imperfect but much improved serenity and compassion for my fellow travelers.
For the past few years, right around April or May, I’d post some pathetically verbose yet oddly uninformative profile to a dating site, then sit back and wait for a tug at my line. Sooner or later, that tug always came. Understanding that one cannot reasonably tell a potential mate what type or degree of relationship he seeks when neither party knows jack-shit about one another, I would usually just follow her lead until one of us invariably developed a stronger infatuation than the other, bringing what should still have been a casual getting-to-know-each other affair to a stalemate. But rarely was it I who got ahead of myself in these situations owing to the aforementioned philosophical sea change I’d undergone. I’m guessing that Buddhists (or quasi-Buddhists like me) can be quite frustrating to deal with in such situations because constant vigilance of the mind’s workings tends to diminish the tendency to behave impetuously. And in today’s world of technologically enabled instant gratification, a diminished tendency to behave impetuously is romantic death. That was a needlessly wordy way of saying I’m boring.
The incomprehensible line I lifted from Nirvana for the title of this post works on two levels. Compared to the days of drunken “conquest” and unhealthy relationships blending one into the other, my current libido is like a mosquito that devolved from a pterodactyl. I consider that a blessing, of course. I have no desire to procreate and I don’t place even a modicum of importance on the institution of marriage, so a decreased sex drive is actually quite a welcome relief. Most of the time, I’m content to read and write and meditate and watch TV and go to work and argue loudly with my friend Bernie over coffee on Saturday afternoons. A simple life, for sure, but it works for me. But from roughly May until some time in mid-September when a chill returns to the air, the mosquito analogy changes its meaning as sexual desire takes on the more annoying attributes of this unwelcome pest that buzzes in your ear and attempts to stick its proboscis where ever it can find purchase.
As an underachieving, fashion-challenged, short, skinny guy in my 40s, I understand that I have limited appeal in the dating scene. But there are always exceptions and until a few years ago, beer and arrogance assured that I would find them sooner or later. Nowadays, I just can’t expend that kind of effort in the pursuit of a situation I’m doing just fine without. Attempting to be considerate about the effect of my words and actions on others has rendered the “friends with benefits” option questionable, at best. Were I to meet someone with whom I am extraordinarily compatible, I think I would be willing to sacrifice some of my unfettered independence to nurture a real relationship, but that’s just semantics. Since said someone is purely hypothetical and I presently spend a good deal of my time solely in the company of my dog and cat, pining for such a development is an exercise in futility.
I’ve heard that blood pressure medication wreaks havoc on a user’s sex drive. To my knowledge, I still hover in the 120 over 80 range, but maybe if I schedule a check-up and wind sprint to the doctor’s office, the alarming results of my blood pressure test will score me a prescription.
You know what? Fuck that. I’m too lazy to sprint. Is it Fall yet?