By R. CHASE
But at least some people will pay him to write about his bad decisions.
When you have been on a quest for a long time, itâ€™s possible to cease expecting a result without actually ceasing the search. You donâ€™t think youâ€™ll find what youâ€™re looking for, but youâ€™re unable to stop looking.
If you stop looking, you stop moving. And we all know what happens to a shark when it
I had started out this quest looking for a girlfriend. And while a regular, old, run-of-the-mill girlfriend seemed pretty easy to find for a lot of guys, I had run out of fish tank. Was it bad luck? Did I have some kind of undetectable body odor? Did I have little fish bones stuck in my teeth? Had the act of searching superseded the original intention? Any quest without a goal has lost its meaning. I was only going through the motions.
But we all know that you donâ€™t find what youâ€™re searching for until you stop searching.
When I was at soccer camp in the fifth grade, the campers would play a trick on any kid who wasnâ€™t paying attention. Being the consummate daydreamer, I had the bad luck of being the victim of this nasty prank on more than one occasion.
One of the little bastards would yell out your name from behind you, while the other would launch the soccer ball at your head as hard as he could.
If they timed it right, youâ€™d turn your head in the direction you heard your name, and then see the ball hurtling toward your face right before it clobbered the crap out of you. It was particularly cruel because for a brief instant you could see what was about to happen without being able to stop it; you had to watch the instrument of your destruction with no hope
Thatâ€™s what it felt like when Sunshine came into my life. I never really saw it coming until I looked into her eyes.
And then it was too late.
When youâ€™re a bachelor for too long, you start to approach women with your ego instead of your heart. It only makes sense. The ego is the more developed muscle. It can take a bruising. But itâ€™s delicate. The ego is far too dependent on external stimuli. Very few people can prop up their own ego; hence the need for constant upkeep.
The heart is less fragile, but its tendrils go deeper. It often lies dormant in the male persona, sometimes for years, before that figurative soccer ball comes flying through the air and knocks him into another world.
Donâ€™t let me sound maudlin. The woman was gorgeous, with delicate features and soft, robin-shell eyes. Her legs were long and muscular and her smile could brighten up a sweatshop in Sri Lanka. She was
I met her at work, or at least she was associated with my job (which is as much as I can say without giving away my profession). Any association with her on a non-professional level would be seriously detrimental to my career. She was also going through a messy divorce with two children. I should have been running away, screaming.
But it didnâ€™t matter.
I found myself, on perhaps our third date proper, in the smoke-filled patio at the Z-bar Halloween party, blurting out the words â€œwould you be my girlfriend?â€ with the utmost conviction. The very thing I couldnâ€™t bring myself to commit to with somebody else just months before now seemed to be the only conclusion I could pursue with this woman. Those werenâ€™t just words. I actually meant it.
I was not even afraid to ask. The only doubts were about her answer.
But she accepted.
The transition from bachelor to boyfriend is a big step. The transformation would not be instantaneous. While the decisive moment was akin to entropy, the process was a metamorphosis.
The ego, and all of its necessary trappings, would have to be shed. The heart, atrophied and weak, would need to be developed.
Was I up to the task? Had it been too long?
There is always room in this life to try. Failure may not be an option, but it sure as hell is a possibility. But I could look at Sunshine and know that Iâ€™d rather fail in a relationship with her than succeed with anyone else.
Contact R. Chase at YourVoice@voice-tribune.com.