(Edited for incorrect use of British slang.)
I'm feeling very antisocial. Not that I'm Mr. Party Animal the rest of the time, but I'm especially antisocial tonight.
First, there's the whole matter of going off the rails on the relationship thing. There is a sanskrit word, dukkha, which is translated variously as 'stress,' 'suffering,' or 'dissatisfaction.' When the Buddha talked about releasing people from suffering, dukkha was the word he used, and it covers more ground than what we typically think of as 'suffering.'
When someone says 'You need to get laid,' what they're really saying is, 'You appear to be caught in dukkha' – for which getting laid is no cure and in my experience may be contraindicated. Emotional entanglements are more likely to create dukkha than reduce or end them.
I spent some time in my life looking for a relationship that would help end my dukkha, only to have it made inevitably worse. I've learned the lesson on that. No matter what Marvin Gaye said, there is no such thing as 'sexual healing.'
I'm not saying relationships are inherently bad; I'm just saying they're not essential and the best circumstance under which to have one is if you utterly do not give a shit whether you have one or not.
So anyway, I got sidetracked on the relationship thing.
A few days ago I sent an old friend an email asking how she was doing, since I had not heard from her in awhile. Four days later - today - I got back a 'form' email sent to me and several other of her friends containing a quote from the Dalai Lama. His Holiness is doing fine, but I wanted to know how she was.
Then this evening, on my way to the Red Cup, I was at about 16th and Indiana in the Plaza District when a trophy-wife type came prancing out from the curb and waved me down. "Are you here for 'the event'?" she asked.
I didn't know what she was talking about, of course, so I said no.
"Well, this street is closed to people who aren't here for 'the event,'" she said.
"No it's not," I replied, gesturing toward the vacant and unobstructed street.
"We have a permit until 11 pm, she replied huffily. If you're not here for 'the event,' you'll have to turn around and go back."
By this time several other cars had gotten backed up on the street behind me, and more trophy wives were out vetting the drivers to see if they were invited to 'the event,' or just some peasant bastards trying to drive on a public street.
I was reminded of a story told me earlier today by a perfectly average-looking middle-aged man who was braced by the rent-a-cops in Heritage Hills this week for simply walking down the sidewalk in the middle of the day – apparently profiled because he wasn't wearing a froufrou designer jogging suit or walking some yippy little terrier on a rhinestone-studded leash. Or maybe there was just something about his demeanor that suggested his home doesn't have true divided-light windows.
I am concerned about this trend of trying to create exclusive, restricted communities in central-city neighborhoods whose infrastructure was built by and is maintained with taxpayer dollars.
Anyway, I turned around and detoured up to 17th street along with all the other riffraff and peons.
By the time I got to the RC I was in no mood to visit and I didn't stay long.
All of this, of course, is the result of attachment. I could have just as easily been utterly unconcerned about being ordered off the street by some upmarried bimbo with her ponytail pulled through the back of her ball cap, utterly indifferent to the almost-utterly indifferent response to my email, utterly phlegmatic about relationships.
In other news, Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize and J-Lo is pregnant, so things aren't all bad.
Also, via Blogblah!: Survey shows New Zealand women, Austrian men most outrageous liars.