I've been all about taking walks this week. Walking back from bars, walking around the beach, walking around museums, walking around downtowns. I've also, because of a number of separate incidents and conversations, been thinking about that "It" thing this week, that thing that clicks between people, the little pheromone matches which are sometimes very quiet and other times like listening to a safe lock snap and turn.
I am prone to having conversations in my head with other people right before I see them. Like, I'm getting ready to leave for the beach right now to meet up with Jere, and as I was taking a shower I had this conversation with pretend Jere. I was in my bathing suit, and discussing what level of bravery slash self confidence it took to blindly invite a hundred of my closest facebook friends to randomly meet me at the beach whenever, half dressed and never having met some of them before.
"Well, if you look at the list," I said, "you'll notice I didn't put anyone on it that I'm actively trying to fuck."
"But what about ------ and -----?" he said.
"No, I already slept with them. Like, I like them. But once a guy has seen you naked, and you've made him cum, I think it's time to stop worrying about what you're going to look like at the beach in front of them. Because seeing you half dressed is going to make them think of something else, no matter what you look like."
And that's true basically. Once you've thought of someone sexually, that fundamentally changes your body's response to them. Not saying you just go around wanting to fuck them, I mean you may not want to fuck them at all. But the chemical response has been permanently shifted just a smidge. It's never quite the same again. So when people talk about not wanting to ruin their friendships, what they are really referring to is that. You just never know how much the effect is going to be per person, which is the scary part. Fucking chemical vat fleshy batteries, is all we are.
Another thought I had was I wonder if a guy can smell the difference between you thinking about him, and you thinking about someone else?
Thursday I went walking around Edgewater with coffee and a friend at night. We got turned back by very nice security guards in a golf cart who admitted they had seen us earlier and given us a little room.
Friday I went to see Il Conformista at the art school by myself, and another friend showed up too, so afterwards we had a drink at the college bar while some acoustic guitarist played Peter and the Wolf, and then walked around all the festival tents around University Circle, which were waiting for the parade the next day. The doorways in that movie blow me away. It makes me want to live in some sort of bubble where I only see scenes like that all the time. I guess that's why everyone wants to tour Italy, to find the mystical Bertolucci bubble.
Saturday was a day. I was at my desk for most of it, soaked for some of it, inside a masonic temple for minutes of it.
Sunday, I went to the beach by myself. The sand was still packed and wet and it was only 61 degrees out, so I sat on my plaid blanket in my yellow skirt and my brown styrofoam cup of coffee and imagined strange men sneaking up behind me, or how I might just stay here forever, like an end of the world image. The hunched over person alone on a driftwood filled gloomy gray beach, empty chapsticks and bottle caps buried in the dark sand, a rusty steel barrel in the distance. I was very happy for about two hours. It was extremely hard to get up, it was like the sand had grown a magnetic bond between me and it.
Sunday was also driving to Akron for Todd and Donna's wedding. It was at 5 on a Sunday, which is the weirdest time for a wedding, but worked out really really well in that smooth way that Donna has of making everything seemed more polished. Everyone had cocktails and hung out, ate cheese. We sat down at the dinner tables. Todd and Donna came down the stairs, had a five minute ceremony up in front of the band, did their first dance, cut their cake, and then we all ate dinner. Boom. And the rest of the evening was just hanging out at the bar, listening to the band, taking occasional walks to the parking garage, saying hi to family members you don't know. Finding a plate of food for the bride because she had forgotten to eat, while the rest of us drunkenly devoured a box of the homemade truffles Donna had made as favors.
There were quite a lot of people, but then also we were at the grownup kids table? Being the groom's friends, and one of Donna's friends who hadn't known us all for ten years the way the rest of us had but fit in well enough, and man now Marty and Rebecca have twins, Rachel and Jesse have their son, Paul's been dating some girl I didn't even know about for the past year, and Todd and Donna are married. Jesus. That whole circle hit 36 and fell like a rock into domesticity. I love them for waiting as long as they did though, and I love them all now too, in their little couples and families. Watching you all grow up isn't half bad, as long as it isn't me.
We wandered around the building a little, and it really was gray and greens everywhere, in that marble library steel baron way, which is where Akron achieves any charm one might choose to admit. The same building where I had gone to that Rogers and Hammerstein revue a few weeks ago, only this time I got to ogle the ceilings drunkenly and with the benefit of taller shoes. It ended early, our group were the last ones standing at 10pm, and the band played one more song, and then we all wandered into the empty streets together, and the bride and groom are on their way to Alaska, and now I'm off to the beach again this morning. This is just what happens, this is just life, and I can see how it goes by awfully quick but I think also I'm getting the knack of slowing it down.