Ghost Town

When I’m down, the way I am now, I look exhaustively for tiny discoveries of hope, usually couched in some artistic expression just existing out there in some corner of the universe, waiting to connect with me. Someone else felt this too. Someone else needed to say these things. You are not alone.

How boring it is to talk of loneliness and despair in this time. But that is where I find myself. In need of connection. I started watching Ana (Ana de la Reguera) on Pantaya and it was a revelation. So much of what her character is I can see in myself and the Mexican girls I grew up with. It’s the voice, you see, calling out to the infinite asking to be heard. And I picked up on the signal, this time in Spanish.

What does human connection feel like? Relief. I can lay my burden down, and you can too. And we can say the things that others have misunderstood or misinterpreted or, worse, didn’t catch at all. And if, at some point, we don’t see eye to eye, we will talk it through. Or hug it out. Or give space to think and feel and time, time to heal.

I have people like that in my life. Finally. After not knowing how to connect with other humans for so very long. There were so many close calls. I’d meet someone. The connection was quick and snowballed. But then something cruel would be revealed. A callousness that cracked across my back like a whip, wresting me from the calm I’d thought we’d invented and putting me on my guard again. You might say there’s nothing worse than feeling nothing. I say it is worse to feel something…and then to see it was less than you made it to be.

Not that I’ll ever stop being a fan of hypothetical love, the idea of its promise. I don’t go tripping over it gladly on sidewalks. I find that most people wouldn’t get me or care for me or find me in any way special to them. So I don’t invest much in most people.

And then there are those who are agitated. They know something is up. They’re starting on the journey I’ve already been on. They feel all alone in the world with these strange, nagging questions and no answers or companions. They latch onto me. I see it happen. But my purpose here is not to fix anyone and I see so many people who just want to be fixed. I will shake them and shake them until they finally go away of their own accord.

When I do run into that special person…there isn’t a shibboleth or litmus test. It isn’t that we like the same music or film, dancing or hiking or going to a football game. None of those things matter. It is that we like being together. It is the togetherness and not so much the activity. Road trips, which have become train trips here in NYC. Time set aside to just be around one another. At a park, or the beach, a museum or bar, or just in my room.

There is no standard that fits the bill. If there were, making friends would be a whole lot easier. With this many people around, surely I could find smart, artsy, spiritual people. Everyone and their mother claims to be those things here. But, as I’ve stripped away the defenses and stopped being so very bad, I’ve thrown myself into this very strange predicament. I am open and honest, which makes for great friendships. And I fall in love openly and honestly (romantic or platonic, take your pick). But I am not a challenge. I am easy. And that can be a problem. “Oh Vene, she’ll always be there. No need to court her.”

But right now, more than anything in the whole wide world, I want to be courted. I want someone worthy who thinks I’m the cat’s pajamas and wants to explore me for a change.

Please don’t make me date beta males. Even if the sex is good, great, fantastic, distracting, groundbreaking. I can’t take care of another wounded soldier.

So, short of that tall order, I’m searching through films today, hoping to catch a glimpse of someone out there in the world who too once said, “Please, oh please, let there be someone who gets this. Let there be someone who calls back to my scream into the void.” Even if they’ve been long gone or are too young for me. I need to know I’m not the only one.

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