Inner Calm

The girlfriends always say: you’re so calm, you’re my rock in the swirling stormy water.
Christ almighty . . . if only I could sleep. Where’s the inner calm when I need it, when I’m alone? Sometimes I wonder if that calm they speak of is only a façade, but the fact is, it isn’t. I’ve wondered about it often enough to know. I do feel calm when I am with a woman I love. They make me calm, like balsam on a wound.
What wound is that, that needs staunching so bad? Why is it so raw when I am alone? So raw, it makes me want to rip it open, get at the inner pain, rip it out, dammit! Where in hell’d it come from?
But when I am with a woman I love, I am at peace. I feel no need, no need for anything except her presence. That’s enough, I am satisfied. It doesn’t matter if I am lying half asleep with my head on her lap, or massaging her back – doing my best to make her feel good –, or discussing a piece of art we saw that day . . . I am at peace with the world. That is all I need.
I love art, but I almost never go to galleries or expositions without a girlfriend. I love nature, fresh air, but I hardly go out without a girlfriend. I love good food, but I never go to a restaurant without a girlfriend. I love life, but without a woman who I love and who loves me, it seems worthless. All that love inside me . . . worthless. No amount of inner calm can help me over that hump.
If only I could sleep.


It is quite amusing to be coupled. It is a new experience for me, having been a married man for so many years and then having a steady girlfriend for quite some time. But that didn’t work out and I’ve been free for a little while and of course my friends do their best not to allow me even a few days of peace, a few blissful weeks without having to worry if I haven’t somehow insulted or disappointed a woman who supposedly loves me.
So, I find myself visiting my friends and, what a coincidence, it just happens that there is a single woman there, who just happens to be visiting them at the same time. Hoppla. It really is quite amusing and quaint, somehow. I feel like I am living in a village 200 years ago, in a time where people thought it strange that a man or woman should live alone.
The worst part is that the people –me included of course– who are supposed to be coupled know exactly what is going on and nevertheless somehow have to act as if it were a normal, coincidental meeting. I have to admit I often fail on that count completely, and have to break out in abrupt laughter, seemingly without reason. Even if I manage to avoid doing that, I am afraid the sardonic smirk I can’t seem to keep off my face in such situations doesn’t exactly ingratiate me with the females in question. But often enough they are themselves so flustered that they don’t even notice. Some of them are quite painfully uncertain and eager to please, and that is painful to me, because I don’t want to be pleased and am myself not particularly willing to please. But I can understand that it is difficult to act normal in those situations: after all, I can hardly do so myself.
There was one woman I met recently in this way who acted naturally, and we laughed together about the situation, and made mild fun of our mutual friends for trying to couple us. It was a fine evening, and I wouldn’t mind seeing her again, but in spite of that it didn’t really „click“. She was attractive too… but if it doesn’t click for me I’ve no real interest. I never have fucked a woman I didn’t earnestly love, crazy as that may sound to some people.
Listening to Love to be Loved from Peter Gabriel, by the by.