Presence of Absence

A while ago I started sleeping full nights on a regular basis.  I think part of it was the end of undergrad and entering a world that, for the most part, slept at night.  Another part was sleeping next to someone frequently.  It was nice.  The second half of my twenties are bringing on a new kind of insomnia — the going-to-sleep-reasonably-early-without-much-trouble-but-waking-up-at-3-a.m. insomnia.  I know plenty of people who have had this.  If it’s genetic, I was destined for it.  It sucks.

So…  I woke up at three, having gone to bed at midnight-ish…  tossed and turned and stayed as still as possible, counted backwards, all to no avail.  I decided to just come into work a couple hours early.  Yes, I’m blogging from work.  But the truth is that I know I won’t take these two hours off, so I’m not really counting them.  I still have to be here until six tonight, and I’m way over on hours as it is.  So I’m blogging.  It’s like blogging from home, only on a really swanky computer.

Campus is weird at 5:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, the realm of foxes and the cleaning staff and no one else.  We never see the cleaning staff — every night they come in and empty our trash, clean the bathrooms, lock up.  They’re faceless, nameless.  It makes me sad.  I compare this to CSU, where trash in the offices was emptied once a week by someone you recognized, while you were there.  Anything perishable was thrown out in the hallway bins, which were emptied more frequently.  They’d vacuum under your feet while you were working.  I’m not sure which is less comfortable.

I have a date tonight — the first in a while.  I still don’t know if I’m ready, but I also don’t know if dating is something one is ever really ready for.   He’s the one I met a week ago, and we’ve been e-mailing.  He’s nice, but I feel like the more we find out about each other, the less we have in common.  Is common taste in music a necessity, I wonder?  It’s nice, until the awkward post-breakup moment where you run into each other at a concert and feel territorial (this is my band — I introduced you to them, and you have no right to be here with anyone but me!).  I’m talking myself out of it already.  It’s a defense, I think — dating is risky, and actually being excited about it gives you that much more to lose.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Presence of Absence

  1. Sam

    Les, you’re going to be fine. I have full faith in you, and you’re going to have a great date.

    But don’t over-think it, darling. Seriously. Just go and have a good time. Devour the conversation like so many donuts (mmmm, donuts…).

    Remember: learning about another person need not be stressful. If it doesn’t work out, maybe you will have made a new friend. And if it does, well… Project Vulcan will be here when you want to join the battle. 😉

  2. melissa

    Great post, Leslie. I completely identify with your qualms about dating. I’ve found it has this upside, though: dates are usually pretty fun or treacherously bad, and it’s the treacherously bad ones which make the best stories! I’ve got a few not fit for the comment section…

    I’m not sure if similarity in musical taste is exactly a necessity, though I have to admit it’s one of the more important qualifications in my rubric. Early on, my current beau asked me what my deal-breakers are. I promptly replied that I couldn’t REALLY love anyone who didn’t at least appreciate Okkervil River. Guess what? He’s learned to love ’em. : )

    Good luck tonight!

  3. the heart is a risky fuel to burn.

  4. “Is common taste in music a necessity, I wonder? ”

    Nope. It’s can be a great (initial) bond, but what ultimately holds us to a person are shared values and a similar outlook… though that’s nearly impossible to detect without, you know, actually going through the initial dates part. 🙂 Good luck!

  5. Pingback: The Way Things Go « distillation

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