Saturday, October 06, 2012

21ST CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN

Neil Diamond wasn't the only one who proclaimed himself a solitary man. I feel his schizoid pain.

I've jotted before about this emotional coldness that's grown in me over the past year (it's always been there, to some degree, since I started a career, but it only really came out front during the year I turned 50). It wasn't so bad a few months ago, in summer, when the temperature zipped past 100 degrees, but now that it's getting cold (freeze warning this weekend!) it's harder to keep warm, or to at least keep up a warm facade.

A lack of interest in social relationships? Check. Aloof, detached? Yup. Acting involved while emotionally withdrawn? Betcha. Indifferent to social norms or conventions? Prolly, sure.

But I do better when I'm not on my own, and I react to praise and criticism; if I'm schizoid, I'm a piss-poor one. More realistically, I'm just warped, thrown out of whack and still trying to get my machinery back in balance. It would be an easier task if I could shut down the power plant and fix the problem. The human condition prohibits that option.

So I keep stumbling. Less now than last year, last month, last week, but the road dips and crests, and there are moments still when I start to open up, only to feel my jaws clank shut and my teeth snap together as I step into an emotional pothole.

It is impossible right now to say how I feel. Doing so would be heavy, and that's a bad idea. Keeping it all inside me probably isn't such a hot plan, either, but at least I'm staying to myself most evenings, so there's almost no chance of blurting out something wildly ... clumsy and heartfelt. The machine is warped. It's not to be trusted until someone can pop the hood and check behind my eyes. Maybe I'm a quart low on brain fluid. I'll top it off before the next date on my social calendar.

Trying to warm up before winter, I am. Necessary so I don't freeze to death, it is.

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