Saturday, January 3, 2009

More on searching

  I felt like breaking down today at my friend Bowie's wedding at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Though I was happy for her, part of me felt sick from the wanting of the kind of happiness and fulfillment she seems to have found.
  Bowie and her conductor husband George were married in April in India, but they decided to do another ceremony for their American friends and their families.
  St. John is a huge Gothic cathedral, just recently reopened, and our group of about 100 guests sat right next to the massive altar. The service was a high mass with a white-robed choir singing in Latin, and a feverishly hardworking classical organist. It all felt very stately, with us sitting on a marble floor in this huge echo chamber of a cathedral. I wish I had felt more of a sense of wonder about the place, and at times I did.
  But most of my mind was on my loneliness, and on the feeling that I wanted to no longer be the guy out at bars with friends, but the guy on his way to a successful career and a marriage and children.
  After a few songs, the lector brought out the first reading of the service, the story of Adam and Eve. Genesis speaks of Eve being created as Adam's helper, and being in one flesh with him. As I heard these familiar words, I started to cry, and I headed to a 40% joy, 60% pain feeling for the rest of the service.  Afterwards, I was too down to mingle at the crowded reception and left after a quick bite.
  This pain's been gnawing at me a lot lately. Whether it's being envious of the happiness of my roommates, a couple named Brandy and Lewis, or even just of random couples on the subway, pain seems to be hitting more consistently. I wonder if I'm starting to lose hope: I know I'm losing patience.
  I spoke to my friend Katie tonight who suggested the best way to fight this yearning is to work to feel complete inside myself. She said I'll most likely do best in a relationship when I don't actually NEED one to be complete. That seems backwards to me. I always liked how Rocky Balboa said that the thing about him and Adrian was each of them had "gaps." "I got gaps, she got gaps," he said. "Together we fill the gaps." Is it even possible for me to fill my own gaps, and be complete without a partner?
  Maybe I should at least begin asking what are my gaps that need filling. What is the completion that I need to give myself to make the pain a little more bearable?

1 comment:

  1. All you have to do is stop hanging out with couples. Duh. And don't look at them on the subway. They're usually kinda gross anyway, with all that handholding and smooching. Blegh.