Saudade Coronet 500 Super Bee Thousand
Another few weeks, another apology. I guess I shouldn’t have to apologize when the muse goes south, though. So I won’t. Maybe if I can get my high-functioning autistic shit together for like five minutes, I could get some wi-fi in my crummy apartment and then I’d me writing way more. I’d never leave the apartment, even.
So, to paraphrase the late great Elvis Presley back when mama Gladys’ little pink hearts were still a novelty, I’m all shook up. You see, last night I went to dinner with my first serious love from when we were both just stumbling out of our teens, and we’ve developed a nice warm friendship via Facebook and she’s in a nice relationship back in Canadasota or wherever it is she lives, something about lutefisk and hotdish and conniving Oldsmobile salesmen getting fed into woodchippers, so it was just a very golden-burnished evening in an tandoor joint in Davis, talking about old times and all that. Really, it was the first date-like experience I’ve had in at least a year.
It’s just that I woke up today with a massive saudade hangover, because it reminded me of a time in my life when time when I could have relationships with beautiful women, but even moreso because I realized that I’d let a lot of that part of me go to sleep, or even most or nearly all of that formerly irrepressibly romantic and warm part of me that used to bring me such joy. And heartbreak, too.
I don’t know where I went wrong, really. Oftentimes I feel like a ghost walking around the Midtown district of the city where I live, and much of that may arise from the fact that I’m a middle-aged guy in a district that’s now overrun by people a lot younger than me, people who I seem to have a pretty nice rapport with as friends, but as dating material, there’s just that cultural disconnect. Plus my daughter is 23, but most importantly, I prefer the company of women a lot closer to me in age.
But the women I know close to me in age, around here, I just don’t seem to click with them. Maybe it’s because I still haven’t quite recovered from the big washout of a divorce followed by a major crash and burn, and I’ve got an invisible metaphysical “X” carved in my forehead like the door of a 1930s house to signify easy stew for hobos. Or maybe it’s something else. The reality is that, in their company, I feel like that kid who had to wear a helmet until well into his teen years to prevent impromptu head injuries, lurking around the pretty and popular girls on the senior quad at high school who laugh at him the moment he turns his back.
That, of course, is all feeling, and feelings aren’t facts. But there is some kind of major disconnect going on, or at least it seems like it, and I’ve begun to get worse lately. Basically, I’ve been poring over my life with a fine-toothed comb in recent months, and that cursory diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism that I got when I had health insurance before my big two-year wipeout seems to be hitting home pretty hard.
I think that everyone wants to be understood, and validated. It isn’t that I’m craving the sweetness and sensuality of a warm relationship, although that would be nice. It’s just that I need to have intimate friends around me I feel close to that I can talk about this stuff with, just so another human being or two knows what it’s like to feel like when cognition and emotional response with other folks suddenly segues from the familiarity of conversational English to trying to make way in one of those countries where the written tongue is either all vowels or all consonants.
Perhaps I’ve said too much, and I should shut up now. This is like three years to the day when the last woman I really loved, my muse I figured wrongly, said hasta la bye-bye loser boy, and I’ve had a few chances since, but mostly it was me running away for trumped-up reasons like they couldn’t handle my thirst for squigglicous free-jazz saxophone yammering, or I got the feeling I wasn’t in a safe zone to talk about my boundless fascination for eusocial insects or oddball prewar Czech dreamcars like the Tatra T-87, or something. Anyway, I ramble.
And so I will shut up, and let that flowering romantic in me slip back into the safety of slumber. —Jackson Griffith