October 01, 2007
So restless. I work on one puzzle after another; now it’s an Enron puzzle given to it’s (former) executives. History-of-the-world type of thing: great thinkers, inventions, other hallmarks of ancient civilizations through to present time. I think of Karen, who always drifts into my thoughts. I wonder if she’d help me assemble this thing. But I move on. Read a graphic novel, started another, hit the puzzle again for awhile. Made some rice and ate that as an after-dinner side dish to the crabcakes from the coop deli. Raining. It’s been raining all evening. No desire to go out. Haven’t gotten the heater rewired back to the thermostat yet. The electrician who looked at it took it partly apart, thinking it was unsafe. He hasn’t returned my call; I need it back exactly the way it was. He was going to do that, then changed his mind. I tried putting it back together. It’s like a puzzle, but the results of putting a piece in the wrong place can be disastrous. Can’t afford to blow the thermostat or the cooling wiring that’s on the same circuit. I still owe him $30, but he never came back for that, or with the estimate he was going to bring for work I no longer need. Having a thermostat control an outlet that the heater plugs into is unusual, but not so unsafe that it should be hardwired directly from the breaker box. This morning the toilet water feed decided it was going to keep running. It’s fairly new, and has adjustments I can make, but even bending the float has no effect – I had to shut the water off. Keep putting off dealing with things. When I first moved in here I never stopped. Had a plumber fix the leaking disposal – it had been assembled badly when last installed or repaired. I fixed the door lock. I replaced bulbs and cleaned things that hadn’t been cleaned. Kept myself busy. Scrubbed the brick floor. Hung pictures. Got all the books out of boxes onto shelves. Shopped for things. Tired of all that. Went for a nice long, really long, walk yesterday along the ditch. Took pictures of a rusting Model A Ford, two sheep, rose bushes in full flower just down from a flowering cholla, lots of cottonwoods, and even a roadrunner. They’re all over this place. I guess they like the water too. Protected species around here – state bird.
Invited Karen (by email) for coffee on Sunday; no response of course, but I wasn’t expecting one. Had to ask. Love to have her over – show her the place. Walk along the ditch with her. Make her coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, something. I keep trying to figure out what this boundary is she mentioned. If she has a friend at work, the friendship begins and ends with lunch? Am I too scary in my obsession, my loneliness, my lust for her? Am I scary? Boring? Just too fucking old to even consider? Does she see me like an uncle? My old friend Mark thought that was likely. He’s the only one to come by. Had to remind him he said he’d be over. My stepdaughter was going to come by, but she made other plans too. Both she and Mark rescheduled for the same day. Two and half months without visitors, but I ended up meeting her for pizza for her birthday so I could give her a present, then meeting Mark at my house afterwards. It’s a nice place he said. I like it too. There’s just something about living alone here. I like being alone some times. I like doing what I want. But I had too many years of living with other people. I like that too. Karen wouldn’t know about that. Being alone in your head in one thing; living alone is another. It’s another thing altogether to live alone after not living alone for a long time. More lonely than she can imagine, I’ll bet. Perhaps she understands. She tolerates my attempts to intrude on her other non-work life so far, but Karen is the only reason I even go to work some days.
Odd that I don’t feel the need to date, to go out looking for someone, or even to attach myself to some group, cause, or activity that would put me in more contact with other people. I’d rather spend time with Karen. Neurotic of me to obsess about her; to think maybe there is some way, some level of interaction that would be acceptable to her as well as to me. I give this a lot of thought. Sometimes I break the silence and write an email to her. There is never a response, never an acknowledgment. She has on-line friends, online journals to read, TV to watch, books to read, things to do. Family around her. She doesn’t know how much more life actually offers, how much more exciting and interesting it can be. Come on Karen, there’s things we could do together, even if you’re not much of a romantic, as you said the other day. Do you know that I spend more time, more time regularly, with you than anyone else? One hour a week, on only one day, and it’s still the most time I spend with anyone else than my cats. There’s the people I work with, but the interactions are casual. I suppose that’s how Karen sees me: as this casual relationship with a coworker. Of course, we don’t work together. We were in the same department once, but she wasn’t always at work (she worked part-time). Once we had lunch together, and then it was unusual not to have lunch together, every Friday. I didn’t expect it to be regular. She even came in to meet me for lunch when she wasn’t working that day. Now she works full-time somewhere else. Different department, different building. It took an effort on both our parts to maintain these lunches.There was something going on. She seemed so happy to have this regular lunch date, although it’s a date that’s not a date. Perhaps she needed that then, but not so much now. I need her more than ever I did then. Perhaps that’s why she is pulling away now. I feel she is. I wish we could talk about this, but I guess we have. Boundaries. Don’t cross them. I don’t care; I wish there was some way to cross this particular boundary. Funny how we wish for things we can’t have, thinking that would make us happy, but we can’t always just be happy with things the way they are. Don’t see why I should – I want more. Maybe wishing for Karen is wrong, but it sure would make me happy, wildly, ecstatically happy, beyond measure.