I am pursued today by things I must avoid. Spent time talking to D. which was cool in itself but it's about her being 17 and learning things and preparing for the college experience. And then at the bookstore, I saw Maggie, a poet and friend whom I knew my freshman year at UCLA and who inexplicably now works at a store three blocks from my house. And there I am, right back at that moment when everything broke and I dropped the ball.
I wish I was that typical geek guy. Most of the people I've known with something like my problem (aging 12-year-old, can't clean up room, can't get laid, parent's basement, comic book guy) can obsess on a ridiculous hobby or an engrossing job and make an artificial world out of it. I've seen guys living in a pile of old pizza boxes, who've never changed their shirts or had dinner with a woman before, and the only time they feel pain is when the PS2 controller gets jerked away. It's a ridiculous sight from the outside — the middle-aged man in the living-room couch fort — but it's a functioning defense against despair.
I'm defenseless. I actually want a real life as a real adult man, and I can't have it for reasons that defy reason. No couch fort for me.
I often end up at the Borders bookstore on the afternoons after shrinkage, and I frequently read the philosophy and psychology shelves on those days either because I have some technical interest in a brain phenomenon we're working on, or I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I'm intimidated by the philosophers and insulted by the psychologists; I wish there was a happy medium somewhere. I turn from being confused by Nietzsche to see that Naomi Judd has written a book on how to be just as happy as she is. They do, however, hope I'm highly satisfied with their books on how to date "out of my league" or detect my hubby's cheating, or maybe just control all the humans I meet with my amazing Laws of Power and Trans-Neural Hypgnosis. I am not highly satisfied.