Once, every four or so years, I emerge from the barren, desolate recesses of the self-manufactured space that exists between me and every other person. At that time, I find a ripe, brown-headed man to teeter along the edge of self-control and self-destruction with. Why is his hair always brown? I don’t know. Am I maybe only dating men that look like they could be my brother? Sure, I guess. Am I willing to let myself lose control and succumb to the stark-white terror of being vulnerable to another? I don’t know, but I’m already exhausted thinking about it. Every time I get this close, I start to question if I’m willing to go any further. This is the conversation I have with myself.
ME: He seems really great.
ALSO ME: So did time shares, but I think the 2008 financial crisis taught us not to invest in that.
ME: Being in a healthy, committed relationship takes practice. If you don’t work on it now, when will you?
ALSO ME: Um, I don’t know, perhaps I can pencil that in after I use my bony Gollum hands to climb up the corporate ladder or learn how to properly do a burpee. Give me a Rosetta Stone on how to fall in love, and maybe then I’ll have time.
ME: What’s the worst that can happen?
ALSO ME: I begin to laugh. Men with committed girlfriends have the audacity to proposition me, and I laugh. I see a commercial for Ashley Madison, and laugh. Any given Adele song plays, I laugh. 3000 years later, intelligent species discover my fossil in a crater on mars. I am still laughing.
ME: Are you really that afraid of letting someone see your core? You can’t be that bad.
ALSO ME: Looks inwardly at myself and the memories of the time I started a one-woman band called “50 Yard Dash” or had that phase in middle school where I wrote poems about knives. Yep, you’re right. Nothing to see here.
ME: If you don’t let anyone in, you’ll always be alone.
ALSO ME: It’s 2016, asshole. Do what the rest of us do – stay up till 4 o’clock in the morning, eating grapes in bed and laughing at internet memes.
ME: You could possibly fall in love.
ALSO ME: Yes, and then you could get your heart broken. You know what sounds a lot less painful and like a better use of your time? Donating blood. In fact, take it all the way back to the Middle Ages, do some old fashioned blood-letting and drain yourself completely. You can donate your body to science and be entirely devoid of emotion.
ME: Love is patient and kind. Give it a go.
ALSO ME: Love is me, draped in a fur coat, watching Bravo TV. Fuck off.
Repeat this process indefinitely, until you either develop Stockholm syndrome or simply die, whichever you prefer. Mazel tov.