Last night I called a friend, Win, that I haven’t seen since the end of the ski season. It was supposed to be a business call, but within minutes I found myself agreeing to go to meet him at a party. Moving out here pretty much ended my rare inclinations to be social — I live with my closest friends here so why would I need to go out? The few times I have, Win has been there. Half the time he’s been the reason I left the house at all.
My roommates laughed at me the entire time I was getting ready, but it was nice to see him. For reasons I’m not sure I understand, we’re both inclined to take care of each other. I experienced a very startling moment of clarity a few months ago when I realized that he genuinely cared about me, no visible strings attached. I know it sounds unbearably insecure to be surprised when someone cares for you, but given that I was in the process of losing my best friend (and there are some strange overlaps between the two of them) I’m going to give myself a pass on that.
I say there are no visible strings, but I’m questioning that. I am not a terribly social individual and he was the only person I knew at last night’s party, so I wanted to leave after about 30 minutes. I was there to see him and I had completed that mission, but he talked me into staying so I promised another half an hour. An hour later we were at his house and I was ready to go. Had it just been us and another former coworker and maybe even his roommates, whom I’d never met, I’d have been okay and might have genuinely enjoyed myself, but it was us, another former coworker, and half a dozen complete strangers. I was overwhelmed, as is typical for me, and he may have taken that personally. And this is where the strings come in. His argument was that I should just be social; why does he care about my social life or lack thereof? If it was less about that and more about him wanting to spend more time with me, that at least makes sense, but that wasn’t his approach.
I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. I think that once we get to know each other better and can relax a little more, we’ll have a rather spectacular relationship. All the same, I have to wonder what I think I’m doing. I can see the similarities between this relationship and the one I just lost. I can see the differences too, but is this fair to him? Do I care about him for legitimate reasons, or am I still trying to hold on to something that is gone? Writing those thoughts out helped. Those parallels aren’t going anywhere, but I do think my interest in him is about him, not C. There’s a lot to him that I want in my life right now and I should spend more time nurturing this relationship and less time thinking of reasons to hide from it.
I’m going to up to the summit tomorrow for a job interview. I’ll give him a call and do my best to build this instead up of tearing it down.