I normally get up about 5:20 each morning, give or take. If I look at the clock and it is ten after, I may roll over and catch another few minutes, but anything after 5:20 and I'm up. Strange thing happened this morning. I was deep in the midst of a dream involving work related people and we had somehow made our way down to a corner convenience store. It was some sort of outdoor affair. I had a dollar or two to put into one of those Lotto vending machines and this guy comes up and pushes the buttons before I can. The ticket comes out and I win ten bucks. Of course, now this stranger of a friend encourages me to play my winnings.
A former boss, a woman with whom I had little to no respect but eagerly wanted to fuck, shows up and is taunting me for wasting my money on the Lotto vending machine. I look at her and say something like, wait and see what happens. She reached for my hand and began lightly scratching my wrist. What the fuck? I looked over at the clock and it was 6 AM and the dog was saving me from Lotto, and she needed to go out.
There is an awkward feeling that comes over me these days; could be medical or mental or perhaps a little of both. Forget the slight sense vertigo when I get up - that is surely medical. But there is something more that manifests itself in tingly feelings in my mind. It may be accompanied by an increased heart rate or perhaps some lightheaded feeling, but mostly, there is an increased flow of adrenaline. I am grinning like a fifth grader who just saw a girls panties on accident. When I get these feelings, both physical and mental, it is disturbingly harder to determine if I simply need to ask my doctor to tweak some medication dosages, or if instead, I'm going through the oft reported here, mid-life-crisis game again.
More and more, I get an urge to open up and reveal way too much information about myself to people who are not nearly as close to me as they seem in the moment. No, not you readers, but people I work with. The young, beautiful Sergeant I want to confide in. I know so many secrets about him, and I want to expose my personal truths to him in return. I walk up to him with every intent to start the difficult conversation but the rational part of my mind stops me and I quickly and awkwardly take the conversation in a bizarrely different direction, hoping only to escape without looking like a complete idiot. And I've done this same thing with him two or three times now. It would be hilarious to learn that he knows I'm Bi and is just waiting for me to get the nerve to talk about it.
I've done something similar with a lady I work with. We have flirted, but it is not my intent to engage with her sexually. I'm looking for people to fill a void. I don't want to bang this woman, I just want to talk to her. Like the young Sergeant, I have started down the road of these conversations headed in one direction but at a moment, nearly too late, I take a fork in the road and go somewhere else. I must be a nut.
As "Emma"* has told me, I fill some of her gaps like sand. You've seen the professor on YouTube show his class the jar full of golf balls and asks, "Is it full?"
I'll skip the video but his point is that even with a jar full of objects representing the important things in life, the other things in life and the little things in life, there is still room for more. Emma says, "I feel pretty full in all the major areas. I have great, smart, healthy children, I have a wonderful husband who cares about me and about our marriage. I have a wonderful roof over my head and a few good friends. However, I still need those other elements in my life that just belong to me. My writing, my sex, my secrets, darkness and light, and many loves. That’s the sand."
I've never thought of it that way, and I suspect that most of us don't. We have our wives, partners, whatever, and we just expect that to be all we need. If something is missing, if our spouse doesn't share an interest in a particular area, we are left to go it alone. It is made worse if the spouse who does not share that interest is put off by it. And you can fill in your own blanks for what I mean. For you it could be some sexual deviancy, for another it could be the love of art or golf. You accept that your partner will not be a participant, but you are shocked to find that they don't want you to engage on your own.
Suddenly, you meet a fellow art lover and you have a connection. It doesn't mean this new person is your long lost soul mate and you now must call in the lawyers to divvy up the household assets. It means that for moments, private moments usually, you have that loss in your life filled by someone who is otherwise not part of your life. And it doesn't have to be something secretive. Sure, I suppose my "sand" is, but for others, you may have the balls to just say, "Honey, I'm going golfing, see ya when I get back."
There are those physical things going on that might prompt me to seek a change to my medications, but only if my doctor doesn't prescribe something that eliminates these flutters of giddiness that remind me of the first time I found friendship on the Internet in the form of a fellow traveler. Not in the Dexter sort of way, but someone who shared my ideas and interests. If you can recall that first moment when a kid laughed at one of your jokes or a teacher gave you an approving look at your work on the chalk board. It is this affirmation that you are not on an island, or at least not stranded by yourself.
Some will immediately discard these emotions as an excuse to cheat. It couldn't be further from that in reality. If you volunteered at a library and met another volunteer who, come to find out, shared your love of poetry, the extent of the friendship might be nothing more than trading books or discussing the brilliance of Lord Byron. That in itself may fill the poetry gap not filled by your spouse, but please, we are adults and it doesn't mean you become Don Juan over the whole thing.
But what becomes of the gap that is filled by discussions of a more intimate nature? The entire premise of the discussions I have with Emma are somewhat centered on the ideas of sex. Her sex, my sex, sex in general. It is difficult to spend time explaining some of the lessons I have learned over the years about wife sharing, threesomes, the urge to blow a guy and then have another person share their intimate details without feeling a stir. Yet, the sand in the gaps is the intellectual discussion taking place. It is the shared hobby and the fact that the conversation is not embarrassing to each other. Sure, I get erections, but there is a good chance that many readers here have e-mailed me prompting similar boners. Unlike golf, the sand filling my gap is often enough to cause a stir.
But, boners aside, there is something physical going on. My meds must be off. I can't attribute the lightheadedness, the vertigo or the overall weird feelings to the confessing of intimate secrets. I've been doing that with you folks for years.
I'll make an appointment.
*Emma (not her real name) is the family friend I wrote about here.