Tag Archives: Dating

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

I’ve tried to quit smoking. I really have. There have been several times I’ve torn up a mostly-full pack and thrown away the lighter. Other times I’ve woken up with pain in my ribs, vowing never to light up again. Yet, here I sit this morning after being outside with another menthol.

It’s hard, at times, to accept the root causes for me to do something so dangerous. Other times, I just don’t care. Why am I “saving” myself? After decades of bad timing or poor fits that I’ll find someone I can share this pent-up love? I’ll be wealthy enough to travel the world and not give a flip about paying the bills? I can go anywhere and feel like a friend? As society sits right now, I doubt it. I’m being trampled by other people’s ambition and their human nature.  A nature of all the vices and judgment they swear not to do, yet commit all the same. They call them “rights”.

Smoking is my seppuku. I’ve dishonored my master, America, and not bought into the aggressiveness that wins her favor. It’s a savage thought that is considered “healthy” by her. It’s a ruthlessness that she smiles upon. “Grab her! Take her! She doesn’t understand anything else!” Lady Liberty chides with rusted teeth. “You are animal! She is animal! She demands assertion!” …and so she rewards.

Reserved in nature. Virtuous in spirit. Prudence in money. Controlled in temper. These are all Holy wafers that burn upon the skull of the red, white, and blue madam. They are all treated in suspect and shied away as a Nosferatu would garlic.

I would like to remain positive. I would like to give the people of this world a false sense of hope, as movies and books do. It makes them feel less guilty, less culpable, and they can go back to their business as usual. However, I’m not sure that can happen. Bad things happen to good people.

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Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Once again, I circle the blackened sky like a bat. I get myself so worked up in the morning and early afternoon that by evening I fall asleep only to wake up at midnight or so. It’s not so bad, I guess. It’s the not the rhythm of diurnal beings such as typical humans, but at least a late-night drive is filled with light scents of flowers and burnt wood.

Last night I was having a tonic and reading at Fricker’s. It’s just a sports bar, but it has a patio. That part I like very much. However, I happened to be visited by my friend, and master potter, Eliseo. We always have a good conversation, and I appreciate him being in such a simple area.

We talked about many things, mostly art related, but last night’s discussion dabbled in Kokology. This is the study of  心, or in English terms kokoro (“mind” or “spirit”). Its a way of discussing a person’s personality, and how they see the world. This was done in a basic three-part question and answer session called “the Cube test.” The narrator asks the following questions and interprets an understanding of the person answering them:

1. You are alone in a desert. There is a cube near you. What does it look like?

2. There is also a ladder around. What does it look like?

3. There is also a horse around. What does it look like?

Instead of giving away the answers (mine or what the metaphors mean) I’d like to try something. If you would indulge me, please write down the answer to these questions in the comments section of this entry. I’ll put trust in you to not look anything up on the Internet, rather tell me the images that come to your mind first.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

For most of Saturday, I was tapping away my thoughts about the digital age and the democratization of fine arts. I find it a very engaging topic, and wish to give it further study before I submit it to my blog. After a last-minute night of empty bars, I come home to a laptop and my thoughts… a dangerous situation indeed.

In a fit of tittering schoolboy, tabloid-esque humour, I decided to peruse the love advice columnist for the “perpetually single man.” Why would I do such a odd thing? That is me, you see, and with the aid of a finely etched, leaded crystal tumbler of Maker’s Mark I digest the salient point noted in more than one article:

Never-married men are questionable.

How lovely! It’s nice to have confirmation. At least you people aren’t telling me it’s all in my head, which is the gaslight programme of my foul, contemptible existence upon this absurd crust of rock. Thank you for being honest! It means the world to me.

It’s bad enough to deal with that “man of a certain age” poppycock, but to be faced with such acute judgment is just the thing I need to dismiss the human race in total. Out of my house! Out of my house! You confused my punch bowl for a bidet, and now it tastes like society. For shame. How many times have I wiped those cheeks without complaint?! Several, I tell you and I even used two-ply.

As I sit here in my home office, I’m left to contemplate my life and its owner-given meaning. What doesn’t sound so ridiculously unattainable right now? So, nothing. Not potential but rubbish thoughts for a rubbish life. Jessica, Shylock should dance to know my worth and your eyes.

With that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Nate the Skate and his Butcher’s Block Orchestra’s anthem: Giuseppe Verdi’s “Anvil Chorus” from Il Trovatore

 

Chi del gitano i giorni abbella?

I ASK YOU!

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Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Hoo, boy! My head’s spinning. I’ve spent the morning finishing Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut and it is easily my favorite work of his. Simply tragic and beautiful and gave me the rare occasion to laugh in public while reading. I’ve resolved to read A Man Without a Country as soon as I possibly can, but there’s work to be done.

It’s 10° C (50° F) here in the Fields today, and the sun is shining! It feels like a heatwave. This is also an opportunity I shouldn’t squander. There’s yard work for a lawn waking from its slumber. There are a few items for the business to wrap up before tomorrow, and a flash fiction piece I’m worrying to death because it’s so unlike what I normally write but I want to finish it anyway.

Yes, that’s why I haven’t posted in a few days. I’m fussing over a piece of writing that isn’t what I’m known for. The whole piece started out benignly enough, but took a wrong turn and ended up in the bad part of town. The NSFW district. Part of me appreciates the break away from my traditional guidelines, while the other berates me for penning two-bit erotica fit only for a smutty romance novel. I need to revise. I need to reshape it to my original focus, but I desperately want to broach the field and still have some form of artistic value.

Aside from this, my weekend has been exceptionally noteworthy. There was an international night at the local university, and I was pleasantly surprised by friends during my weekend pilgrimage to a college town north of here. I made the acquaintance of an acquaintance last night who is starting to date said acquaintance. Poor girl. I felt sorry for her, as her new beau really (and I mean REALLY) needs to step up his game with her. As little as I know on how to court women, he’s even further behind. I wanted to shake him a couple of times and say, “pay attention to your lady! Make her feel like the VIP of the bar!” He didn’t ignore her on purpose. He’s simply ignorant of the dos and don’ts of dating. We’ll see how long this lasts.

Unfortunately, that’s all the time I have to journal right now. I’ve got a lawn to clean up. Happy Sunday to you all!

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Saturday, February 15th, 2014

I tried not talking about it, but observed holidays aren’t easy to dodge. Valentine’s Day came and went without much of a to-do. That’s primarily because I fell asleep when I got home from work and didn’t wake up until midnight. How hopeless of a romantic could I be? Very hopeless, I assure you.

Earlier, I wrote out a rather sincere holiday wish on my other social media:

“Today is Valentine’s Day. As such I wish all that are in love, happy, and content a wonderful day regardless of orientation. As long as you’re happy with your arrangement, I’m happy for you.

Tonight, though, I raise a glass to the singles. The independents who refuse to let society tell them what to think or how to think politically, socially, or otherwise. I toast to you for seeking your own way, thick with the fear and hatred of others who think you’re an affront to their way of life. I salute those who know what it means socially to suggest a different viewpoint than what is popular. Your mile is just as important as any special interest.”

Now that may have ruffled a few feathers for one reason or another, but the people that truly know me know I won’t bite unless provoked. I don’t go around with the intention of picking fights, but if I can’t say what’s on my mind it gets ugly. That was also on the heels of some people digging into me for suggesting women are human and are susceptible to bad habits like bossiness. Not all “bossiness” is misinterpreted leadership, people. Cut the crap.

Once I shook off my bonds of slumber, I grabbed a pint down at the bar. There wasn’t much to be had for the likes of me, except a game of darts and a Doris Day movie. I did, however, get my first comment on a book review from the dating site:

“hi, i have a business proposal that will benefit both of us.If you are interested, email me to my personal email [redacted] for more details. Please note that chatting is not allowed, only email communication.”

I’m not sure about you, but I think I was just propositioned like a John. That’s an odd feeling, being thought of as a customer. In fact, I really dislike being thought of as a customer in many situations. After a little fiddling, I was able to remove it. People would start to get the impression it was abandoned. If anything, it needs a whole biographical rewrite. I’ve been known to scrap and start from scratch multiple times.

Also, a woman complimented me on my cologne for the first time, albeit the cashier at fast food restaurant. All together, I thought I handled it rather graciously. It makes for awkward ordering, but what can I say? I’m McIrresistible, ladies. Maybe that should be the new form of speed dating? Dinner and a show.

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Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Dear Citizens of WordPress Province,

I know it’s highly irregular of me to post three times on a weekend, but this needs to be done for my reflection. Not in the mirror, mind you, but mental reflection. I’m not that vain. This is much like my earlier post about the dream, which I have a vague idea now what I was troubled over. I think I am concerned over making the wrong move again. The two roommates were a thought over the people that I meet in my life. The two were actually one, and the second was skeptical of showing all of themselves to new people. Guarded, if you will.

Right, now for the real point. I set up a profile on a niche dating site. For right now, I won’t specifically identify it but it’s not match.com, OKCupid, or eHarmony. As an aside, the eHarmony starter kit depressed me so much I couldn’t finish it. I read in between the lines way too much, and the “encouraging” lines translated just so to the point I felt like a sorry sack of crap. This place is a tiny website that scares away people who don’t like to read. I’ve given you all the information you need to figure it out on your own.

It has been over three weeks since I started the profile, but the return hasn’t been much of anything. I put everything in its right place, even several short but meaningful reviews of books I’ve read over the years. That’s not to say I was expecting anything, but there it is. The point is there were no corners cut in the effort I put into it. I’ve always thought I haven’t read as much as I should, but looking at other people I’m a little ahead of the game. That’s disappointing, not reading.

Last night, as I finished my flash fiction and laundry, I received a small two-sentence message from another user.

“Biting profile words; I’m hooked. Tell me more, tell me anything.”

As far as I could tell, she wasn’t a spammer. The reviews looked genuine and there weren’t any links to other websites. She was from Oregon, which I later ran the numbers to be approximately 2,500 miles (~4,000 km) away from the Fields. Maybe she mistook the OH for OR?

It was at 6:00pm, and I decided to think about what to say. After all, what do I have to lose from responding with a well-thought out email? By the time I was ready to write, she vanished. It was no more than 17 hours after she said something. I don’t think anything less than 24 is rude, do you? The profile was deleted with no way to respond. I didn’t realize what happened, until I screamed “how the Hell do you respond on this thing?!” That’s when I saw the small-print notification.

What was it that made her bail so quickly I wonder? Was it the time lag or the distance? I can relate to the mileage. All of my “matches,” and that’s in quotes because they’re not seemingly good fits, are on the coasts. That’s a long way, brother. Maybe the whole idea really brought her down?

Whatever it was, I hope she finds what she’s looking for.

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Monday, December 23rd, 2013

I saw this over the weekend, and while I laughed, I realized it was for someone else. It was for couples and not singles. That’s always a wet blanket.

I’m back from my parent’s house with newly-scented red onion fingers. That’s right, I cook. Not only that, but I clean, do laundry, tend to plants, and sometimes mend my clothes. This is set in juxtaposition to the construction I’ve done on my house, the walls repaired, the woodwork laid. I’ve tacked shingles on a roof and put up stud walls for additions. As I spread this all over the table, I don’t consider myself feminine but those roles have been assumed. I’m quite a masculine figure, which isn’t as popular as it was in the early 20th century, however I’ve come to experience that the converse isn’t either.

When I was at uni, the 100-level psych/humanities class preached a blend of masculine and feminine traits. While I didn’t intentionally plan it this way, I could feasible say I’ve done so. What’s disappointing is the seeming rejection of that notion in the real world. I have to get this out, as my mind’s on fire, but it’s almost as if I’ve been set up for failure by trying to cooperate. I’m sure that’s hard for some to either accept or even believe, but why is it I always get the “well, you’re an exception” when I hear women moan about men? If I’m the “exception,” or “safe” as one woman so eloquently put it, wouldn’t that make me more valuable? It hasn’t in my time. I should have have more opportunities by now.

Maybe the reasons are meant to be tentative? It always feels like submitting a resume. I know HR is looking for any mistake to fling it in the trash can. There’s always the possibility I’m simply not attractive enough for many women. I thought we weren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it happens. Doesn’t it?

And the band played on…

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Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Snow is not my enemy. I may have an aversion to the powdery, white precipitation but no real disdain. Ice, however, is my sworn nemesis as it makes the land slick with a Devilish sheen. Its only purpose is to frustrate any plans to leave the house, as my habitual affliction of cabin fever flares up like a match head. I do get lonely, and in such a frigid territory as the fields, Winter only makes it worse. The Christmas season doubly so. With my tongue-possibly-placed-in-my-cheek, there was a suggestion of a bottle of Jack Daniels and circus acrobatics on an overpass Christmas Day.

Much to my dismay, I only drive 300 feet to notice the freezing drizzle making command of my vehicle uncertain. Like a sensible person, I return to the house. I’ve heard two dispatches for emergency vehicles in the last hour. Some aren’t so sensible. Falcor skated in an unannounced Ice Capades of terror and sadness, as I creep home only being out for a mere five minutes. Tonight could have been the night I fell into a hilarious romantic comedy with the person others always say I would find. Frankly, if you know the name and the whereabouts of this woman, I demand you stop holding out on me. This isn’t the Price is Right; I’m not playing Cliffhangers again.

All wasn’t totally lost, as I kept busy with interior maintenance. Most of the day’s activities included the dismantling of the remnants of a finished basement, which had outlived its useful life several decades ago. Some basements were made for fun; mine was not. Utility basements should not be pushed into an awful career choice such as host or entertainer. It can only lead to the metaphorical unemployment line. Stand-up philosopher. Brilliant!

As for my writing, well, this is the first time in a week I’ve tried to put anything down. My blog is fancied a journal of sorts, as I peck away at something constructive, but I do want to write something a little more accessible. From my end, it’s to wonder how I relate to the rest of the world. The best I could ever deduce is to write fiction, as cliche as that sounds. What else does a single guy in the middle of a soulless land have to offer? However, ideas don’t always come to me in the vivid form I enjoy. That is to say they arrive from some ethereal plane in which I often think, “that would be fantastic!” Mood, life, and people often buffet me and consume my thoughts for days on end. That is where nothing gets done. I can definitely see why people enjoy muses.

Forget the dime, anyone spare a thought? Ha!

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Unavoidable Exasperation

Well, good people, the Fields has shuffled its way into confirmation bias again. How often does anecdotal evidence have to occur before I’m not “just seeing what I want to see?” That I ask you in earnest, as the Devil if I’m just imagining it all. I’m not. I’m not going mad. Situations like this happen before, and it takes years for people to fess up. Gaslighting for fun and profit.

Of course it’s a dead night here in Hooterville. They’re all dead nights, filled with people either too insular to be social or too vile to be acceptable. I, with such copious amounts of opportunity, head to an old tavern of which I’ve been a patron for a long time. How long? So long that I know all the bartenders and they know what I drink.

As I fell off the wagon (a-gain), I stepped outside in the 1º C night to smoke a cigarette. Shortly thereafter two women, of whom I thought were attractive, enter the patio area to chat. Say what you will about proper first impressions, but your physical being is the first thing I see. There needs to be slack cut in this department. We exchanged salutations and I let them converse as they intended. Not so much a minute more two “men” stepped out, loud with liquor.

Normally, this scene is mildly irritating. Bothersome drunk men at a bar is a common occurrence, however what happens next always cuts me to the quick. The one male that looks like he hadn’t missed a meal in his life starts speaking loudly about his exploits with another woman. He obviously thought he was a comedian, as he tried to deliver it as a stand-up routine. His act included his jest with roofies and about this unidentified women’s threat to toss her rag in his face. I will not clean it up, as the raw statement evokes such a visceral reaction out of me. The hardest, and most painful, part was these women aside the would-be Bill Hicks were giggly and twittering as if they had been taken for a spa day.

Now, I’ve heard it all before:

“Nate, you don’t know the context of the relationships.”

“Nate, some people won’t change.”

“Nate, they’re simply a bad apple. Don’t let it spoil the bunch.”

“Nate, you wouldn’t want a woman like that anyway.”

Good gravy, how much context does one need?! If I’m not meeting any women around here giving me the time of day, or choosing a disgusting human like that instead of considering me, what do I have left? Not a thing. Not a thing is the correct answer. Go pound sand, Hooterville, you rotten town in denial.

On a brighter note, I relocated to a bar in a different city and had a conversation with an architectural student from Savannah, GA. He was originally from the area, and was there for the Thanksgiving holiday. We talked about how Savannah was like the human body in civic planning terms, which was a welcome change of pace.

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The Spectre of Online Dating

It’s a new age of dating. I get that. I may not be all that comfortable with it, but I get it.

We’re in an era where I could Skype with that special someone over many, many miles. I’m horrible (mildly put) at long-distance relationships (LDRs) though. People need to be physically present in my life, or I have a tendency to… misplace… their existence. That’s not meant in a malicious way, rather I can focus on subjects so intensely I get distracted from the world around me.

Truth be told, making an online profile is the worst part of the ordeal. It’s a real chore, too. I have a hard enough time writing stories, let alone non-fiction. The non-fiction is just as odd. I’m odd, and my base model personality makes women nervous. There’s an American saying that goes along with my bad luck: shit happens. At least, that’s what Americans tend to think.

The bigger problem is that I’m way too honest. With dating, I’ve noticed over the years, there’s an element of deception. An overstated job title here, a stuffed bra there, and we’ve got two people who are now the romantic equivalent of used car salesmen. I’d only wish they’d dress the part. I haven’t seen a seersucker suit in years. What’s it gonna take to get you in this car today, gorgeous? *finger guns*

A few years ago, I braved OK Cupid for a valiant 6-month effort, until I found out all the people interested were simply looking for a male nanny to help raise their kid(s). Yes, I’m no longer 20 years old, but you’re transparent madam. I know you’d undermine me every step of the way. There was also the epiphany of me maintaining the account solely for the quizzes and questions. Hey! I like knowing I would be an oak, if I were a tree or my spirit animal’s a three-toed sloth. It’s entertaining. Thank you.

So, I ditched that.

On a particularly emotionally-wrenching Tuesday night, I tried putting myself through eHarmony. It was half-hearted, and I hate the use of children in their commercials*, but I wasn’t going to have hilarity and hijinks with Tinder. I went through the sliding scale of personality questions, and before I finished I got to the “about me” section. The part I dread. I always feel obligated to write this phony-baloney spiel about how I like long walks at dinner and candle-lit beaches. Then my mind spat out the description as only a love-weary Nate could:

Hey, I’m Nate. I’m not rich, nor do I look good in spandex. I’m a 34 year-old single guy who is going on 85. I’m sure you’re the model of poise, too. I hold lengthy conversations with myself, because it’s the best conversation I can find on most days. The small town I live in doesn’t hold academics or pop culture in the same regard as I do. Thus I’m often left reading in bars or coffee shops, instead of discussing riveting topics such as NASCAR or college football. I’ve taken to calling it handegg, after seeing an online argument for such, but many people aren’t on the handegg train yet. Also, sometimes I act like a New York City cabbie on the road and think Frisky Dingo was a better grown-up cartoon than Archer.

I’m not looking for a super heroine. Although, if you wanted to dress up for Comicon, I’d help you find the costume. I’m sure you have as many flaws as I do, but are probably too embarrassed to be forthright with them. I understand. However, I know it was you who farted when you tried blaming it on your pets. Liar, liar, pants on fire. After scarfing a bowl of chili like that, mine would be too.

I’m looking for a woman who doesn’t feel like society requires her to shave her legs. I know I don’t. You shave your legs, if it makes you feel better. I shave my face because I like it. If you want to walk around like Alice the Goon, I’m happy to aid and abet that too.

I stopped to reread what I had wrote in a stream of consciousness. It was riddled with so much genuine feeling, it felt good to get it out. However, after so many years of watching people date, I knew it wouldn’t get the time of day. I stopped typing and exited the window. That’s still way too heavy for me.

I don’t know. I’m probably better off being single.

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* – The latest commercial stars the founder and his granddaughter. The whole commercial is forced, and gives off a feel of exploitation that I was never fond of. It’s the same feeling when school children are roped into selling magazine subscriptions. It all reeks of pandering.

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