Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Something missing with a capital E...

So I saw E again tonight. We watched the original Japanese version of The Grudge since it was on on-demand and then we talked for a little while after that. As always, it was good to see her... But as always, seeing her came with mixed emotions.

You see, every time I see E I'm left with that feeling you get when you read something entirely incomplete. I don't mean a cliff-hanger. I don't mean that sort of, "Oh, what's going to happen next?" feeling. No, I'm talking about that, "Wait, did I miss something? Something's definitely missing here..." feeling. There is a stark contrast between these two feelings. The former brings with it excitement and anxiety. The latter brings someting similar to disappointment but without the luxury of knowing what you're disappointed about. There's just something missing.

Do you remember back in, say, early high school when there was that one guy or girl who you would end up calling late at night and would end up being on the phone with them until the sun rose the next morning? Remember the cordless phone running out of batteries? There have to be at least a couple people out there that remember this. What kept you on that phone? Clearly the two of you wanted to continue talking to each other, and despite how tired you both may have been (remember falling asleep on the phone?), you held out for just a few minutes longer just incase something really juicy came up in conversation... Very rarely did those juicy things come up in conversation, but they were always in the back of BOTH of your heads.

Well, visits with E are always sort of similar to this, but there are, again, stark differences. You see, we always start out late because we both can be awful at respecting that other people care about time and punctuality to SOME extent... Sometimes there's a quiet period, a sort of warming up period, and then we get into our main event (some movie, show, etc.) and it goes great. There's lots of good chat and laughter and fun. Then afterwards, when there's clearly nothing for either of us to continue to do with each other, we come up with things to talk to each other about. At first this seems really helpful to one or both of us, but toward the end, it starts feeling like an excuse to string the time along more. Then eventually one of us decides that ought to be the end of it, and that person leaves. There's a (perhaps consolatory?) hug, and then we're off.

You see, the high schoolers finally hang up because they realize that they're not going to reach their main task during that phone call, and so they wait untilt he next. However, when E and I split up at the end of the night, we do so because we realize (over and over again) that we have NO MAIN TASK. Romance simply doesn't make sense; we both decided to see each other that night for platonic reasons -- we like each other's company. However, simple friendship doesn't make sense either because there's something special and different that not only cannot be found in other friendships but cannot even be found in some other romances. We're exactly the perfect match and the perfect unmatch. We are nothing if we are not the tension between us.

And so, at the end of the night, we've both kept each other up late, and I find some distraction to keep from thinking about how sometimes I wish I never met her... You see, her existence justifies calling happiness with someone who makes sense "settling." Because she exists and we're star-crossed at BEST, she becomes the settling metric for all others that follow.

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