Life is different for me lately.
“I’ll call you after I finish jogging,” I typed into Gchat. I was talking to my Girlfriend. My new girlfriend. I know, right?
“Ok,” she typed back. And I was laced up and down the street. After I finished my loop, I drank some water and cooled off. My Xbox was right there and I was fully prepared to turn it on for a long, uninterrupted gaming session. Oh, hey, wait a minute. I said I’d call her. Picking up my Blackberry, it washed over me that I actually used this thing. I mean I used it. Pictures. Texts. Emails. Phone calls. I needed it. And I needed it 90% of the time for a specific reason, for a specific person.
“Hey,” I said on the phone.
“Hey,” she said back. “How was your run?”
How was my run? And why did this person care? Oh, yeah, she cares because we are dating. I care about her and she cares about my run because she cares about me. Is that right? Yes, that’s right.
“It was great,” I said. “Great. What are you doing?”
I’ve been single for a long time. Even when I dated people, I was single. I was with them, these wonderful women, but I wasn’t “with” them. I was on the ship with them, yes, and we were going on a trip. But I knew how to work the life rafts and one was already untethered, ready to drop into the ocean. This time’s different. There’s no metaphor. I’m dating someone and I’m happy about it. Me being happy is always an unsettling experience.
“What’s your schedule tomorrow and this week?” she asked.
“All over the place. I’ll send you my calendar.”
And, in front of me, forming together from the broken bits of my odd brain was Single Jarvis.
“You’re doing what?” He asked me. “You’ve lost your fucking mind, writer boy!”
“I’m going to share my Google Calendar with her,” I said. “Don’t get weird.”
“You put everything on that damn thing!” He yelled back. “You put on there where you are going to be every damn second!”
“That’s the point. She’ll know what I’m doing. Don’t get all excited.”
“This is out of control!” Single Jarvis yelled. “This is completely out of control! I’ve stayed quiet up until now, but this has to stop! If you date someone, you can’t be single! I thought we had a fifty year plan!”
“Yeah,” I said to myself. “Sorry about that.”
“You selfish bastard!” Single Jarvis said.
“What are you wearing?” I asked myself. My single self was wearing sweatpants and no socks, a dirty white shirt, unshaved, unkept hair.
“When did you last shower?” I asked myself.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Single Jarvis said. “Why should I shower?
“I can’t be a better person by myself,” I said. “You know that.”
“What are you saying?” Single Jarvis asked.
“I’m saying, maybe we need a break. Maybe we need some space.”
“Are you…are you breaking up with me?” Single Jarvis asked.
“I’m not going to break up with her,” I said. “So yeah. Looks that way.”
“I can’t believe this!” Single Jarvis stood. He was a fat bastard. “All the stuff we’ve been through! Remember when we played Halo 3 all night? Remember when we watched two seasons of Battlestar Galactica in a row? And you’re just going to let all that go! All that history?”
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I said. “Can you see my calendar?”
“Yep!” she said, actually excited about my teaching schedule. How can I not be attracted to someone who thinks what I’m doing is cool. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” I said.
I’ve spent a large portion of my life vindicating and advocating the importance of being single. Deciding that it was time to do something else, something different, isn’t hypocrisy. And I’m not pretentious enough to say that I’m enlightened. It’s simply a movement. It is simple change. If you can’t change, if you can’t open yourself up to new possibilities, what is the point? The sky here isn’t the same as the sky there. You should see the sky there. The food here isn’t the same as the food there. You should try the food there. If you have to chose between what is and what could be, I always pick what could be. Because what could be calls you when you need a phone call. What could be makes you laugh. What could be makes you think. What could be helps you become a better person.