If I could chart the growth of my knowledge of human beings and particularly my own quirky little self, I have a feeling a good 70-80% of that knowledge came inside or just stepping out of the shower.
Drying off counts, too.
So this is the first installment in Shower Wisdom. Unless I drop dead in the next week, I expect there will be more.
I’m in a relationship (she’s not – she’s dating me – but I’m in a relationship). We saw each other last night and I noticed on the way home that while, when we’re together, I feel liberated and free; when we’re apart, I feel more draggy and weighed down than I do when I’m single. Which isn’t a good thing, obviously.
And what occurred to me this morning in the shower (naturally) is how alone I felt. Really empty alone, letting the water pour over me and trying to prepare for the workday. Desolate alone.
A man can work up an awful lot of negative energy from a feeling like that. And I have, any number of times over the years.
When I’ve been single, as in most of recent history, my walls are up. No one gets in, nothing gets out that’s uncomfortable. I live comfortably inside a narrow space that I carry around with me. The Geodesic Dome of Ted.
I’m out of the dome now. I’m in the world again. I’m seeing the steam rise off the subway exits and hearing the birds rustle in the branches before they take off. A world of precious grueling oddball details to share – and a vibrant, brilliant spirit to share them with.
But that openness comes at the price of being confronted with myself alone, and all the fear and disturbia that carries with it.
When the world gets bigger, the self has to grow to fit. I’ve done this before, stretching the membrane. I’m doing it again, right now.
A good shower helps.
Correction: I have been informed by Smitty, the party in question, that I am misinforming you above. ‘I am NOT just dating you…I am commuting to Staten Island as a sign of my dedication to being in your presence.’ Anyone who lives in a more civilized locale (just about anywhere this side of Sumatra – oops, my apology to those of you now penning outraged replies from Sumatra) will understand what a serious commitment that is. One for which I am very grateful.