I think I need a new project.
Should probably ditch Drupal on my music site. It’s nice, but shitty on a shared webhost environment. Too heavy.
Maybe go back to static HTML files, like in the stone age. Fastest way to see cave paintings.
Drupal, see, it’s like going to the cave and asking the tour guide to go back to base camp, find a picture of cave paintings, bring it back to the cave, paint it himself on the wall, and then show it to you piece by piece. Maybe the tour guide gets sick sometimes, and the tourists catch what sickness he has just by walking past him while he paints. So you constantly have to keep the tour guide updated with all the sinus medicines, vitamins, and face masks just so he doesn’t catch anything. And God forbid someone go up to him and make a nasty comment; he just might go and tell everybody.
Tour ruined. Please exit through the Gift Shop.
A problem is that I don’t surround myself with enough people to tip above the critical mass where finding companions, partners, friends, comrades, lovers, is an imminent probability. I’m living as though I have a cabin in the middle of 200 acres of prairie, and I only go in to town to visit the general store to pick up my supplies before retreating to my cabin to wonder where all the people are.
Work. Cafe. Home.
There is more to the story than what is in the text.
Eighteen. That is the number of days that I have eaten alone. The count of time since I shared a meal with other humans and not a screen, a desk, an ergonomic chair.
Companion: a person who is an associate of another or others; comrade. Latin roots: com = together; pan = bread; -ion = condition of being. Literally, a companion is one who breaks bread with you.
Eighteen days since I have had companionship. That is a condemnation, a statement that I am living my life wrongly. I could say my shift job is to blame. I would be wrong. I could say my shyness is to blame. I would be wrong. A smart man would have predicted the solitary season and would have made plans to continue to be with others. I am not with others. Instead, I eat alone. The most basic communal rite, I am doing wrong.
This is not right. In this season of feast and reflection, of standing at the fire and passing the bottle with a tale, I should not eat alone. I should not be alone. But I am alone. This is wrong. I should have avoided the oncoming solitude.
This is wrong. Wrong.
I’ve always considered Winter to be a holy season. As the Earth’s axis tilts backward in relation to the Sun, the constellations that are typically below the equatorial line at night move north and become visible once again. The first time I see Orion bounding low and large across the horizon, I stop and gasp. It’s that feeling of seeing an old friend and confidant after months of separation.
Orion was there when I took my frosty night walks through the fields north of my college campus. I had all the troubles of youth, I spoke them to the sky, and he looked down and smiled while he did cartwheels over my head. He never said anything, but after years of praying to an intercessor that I could not see, even a pattern of lights in the sky was more concrete than nothing and offered me a better sense of peace. After leaving all the gods on the shelf, I still felt drawn to apply some manner of animism to Orion’s cluster of stars. The belt, the scabbard, the trapezoid — they’ve all become part of my soul. Instantly recognizable, immediately reunited.
When he comes around again, we have a moment. “Hey, old man,” I say with a warm grin. “Long time, no see.” It’s a thing I still do. I’m fine with this.
What would you do?
You’re at the cafe, head out to your car. You notice the cute girl you previously saw inside the cafe out by her car a few stalls down from your own. She’s monkeying around in the dark near her front tire. You notice she’s moving her foot up and down like she’s stepping on an air pump. You remember that you have an electric pump in the trunk of your own car. What do you do?
The correct answer is that you do nothing at all. She has a pump and a gauge and is fully aware of what she’s doing and doesn’t appear helpless at all. So leave her alone already.
It bothers me immensely that I had to have this conversation with myself as I left the cafe. The dude-bros in my past social groups would’ve punched me for turning down the opportunity to make a new friend by being the white knight coming in with sword swinging to defend the helpless damsel. The ladies in my past social groups would’ve thrown acid at me for being a chauvinist pig who hit on a girl who didn’t actually need my help.
Really, once I was able to take in enough of the scene to sense what was going on, I determined then and there that she was doing well enough without me. If I passed up an chance to connect with another human who happened to be the opposite gender, I don’t care. Move along now.
That’s the crux of gender equality, isn’t it?