Oh, to peek inside a man’s brain. . .
Warning: the following blog post you are about to read is real. No names have been changed to protect the innocent. This is, pure, stream-of-consciousness writing, as it comes out of the head of Jeff Parkes. You see, I’ve been lying awake these past few nights having several inner dialogues ever since I sent that email, and they’ve been keeping me up. So I decided to put on out in blog-land, just to get it out of my system. Maybe I’ll turn schizophrenic or something; who knows?
– OK, so here it is.
– We’ve started, then, have we?
– Yes, we have.
– It’s difficult, in’it?
– Well, now that it’s time to do this, it isn’t flowing as well.
– What do you mean?
– The inner dialogue. You stay up for hours yelling at yourself in your head and now it’s all congenial. Where’s the malice? Where’s the second-guessing and the insults and the self-loathing?
– Hey, steady! I do not have that much self-loathing!
– You’ve got enough.
– Where’s the proof of that? Where’s the proof that I have a large amount of self-loathing?
– You’re going to put the burden of proof on me?
– Well, yeah, now that you mention it, I am.
– Great. Now I’ve got to prove it.
– So prove it!
– Hang on, I’m thinking.
– You can’t do it, can you?
– I can! The ideas aren’t coming.
– You can’t do it!
– I CAN TOO! Look, this conversation is enough proof, isn’t it?
– This is just goin’ ‘round in circles! This is circuitous logic!
– You’re circuitous logic!
– That doesn’t even mean anything!
– OK, fine. Let’s start this over.
– Are we on that kick, still? Look, let’s skip that bit and go to what’s really keeping you up at nights.
– Us. Keeping us up.
– Me. We are a single person, you know.
– Are we? I hadn’t noticed.
– Just stop the sarcasm and let’s get this thing under way.
– Fine. I’ll start.
– Go on then.
– First of all, is she going to write you back?
– But you don’t know that, do you?
– Of course I don’t know it. I’m not psychic, you know.
– All right. Tell me, when has being forward as you were in that email ever worked out in your benefit?
– That statement didn’t even make grammatical sense.
– You know what I mean. Don’t argue semantics to change the subject.
– Fine. Well. . .
– It hasn’t, has it?
– To be perfectly frank, I haven’t done it that often.
– Because it always blows up in your face, right?
– Not always. OK, so with Holly it did.
– You gave her a rose. Said you loved her.
– And then she started ignoring you and trying to get away.
– What did you do to encourage that? Try to kiss her?
– Try to hold her hand?
– How did she know you liked her, then?
– I told her!
– Ah, with words. No physical contact, eh?
– Well, I hugged her every so often.
– You afraid of holding hands?
– No! Well, I don’t know!
– What do you mean, you don’t know?
– Well, holding hands means something, right? It’s not just something people do to pass the time. And if a girl doesn’t obviously want to hold my hand, or cuddle, or whatever, well, who am I to force them, right?
– But how do you know if she wants to hold your hand?
– Well, she. . .uh. . .
– You don’t know, do you?
– Well, neither do you!
– Of course I don’t! We’re the same person! Face it, Jeff, you’re scared of physical contact.
– Am not!
– Are too!
– This is not going to degenerate into that type of argument! I’ve held girls’ hands before, done some light cuddling before!
– Not for years, Jeff. Not for years. I can think of only two occasions since your mission.
– Doesn’t mean I’m scared of it! In fact, I’d prefer it! I just don’t know how to initiate it when I’m not sure it’s wanted.
– Scared you’ll be wrong, eh? Is that why you barely date as well?
– Look, I dated Holly loads!
– Ah, back to Holly. And it wasn’t loads, it was four, maybe five dates? Is that a committed relationship?
– Well, I also gave her a rose!
– A rose, eh? Which you didn’t even have the courage to deliver personally.
– Now, hang on! That wasn’t my fault! She wasn’t home! I was on a tight schedule! Leaving it at the door was the only possible way to get it to her!
– Only possible way? Didn’t you have a car? Couldn’t you have waited until she was home?
– I didn’t know when she would get home.
– You loved her.
– I did.
– She didn’t love you, though.
– Apparently not. Look, is this going anywhere? I’m not here to dredge up past failed relationships.
– I’m just trying to provide a point of reference.
– Point of reference? For what?
– For anticipating what will happen in this case?
– This won’t help! Each case must be decided by a case-by-case basis. Just because all the girls in the past have been put out and creeped out by me doesn’t mean that it will necessarily happen this time. It won’t!
– It won’t.
– You must admit, though. Although people are different, there are certain societal norms that one must adhere to to be accepted as a member of society.
– Meaning what?
– Meaning that, in this case, sending an email to a girl you think you love when, in fact, you have barely even seen her for more than two years, and with whom you’ve had contact basically only through Facebook and not much else might seem to be a bit creepy, especially if in that email you state your intentions!
– Whoa, hang on! I never said I loved her!
– Not in the email! But you do!
– Well. . .
– Admit it!
– OK! Maybe I believe I do! But I’m not going to say it here! This is a public blog! Have you forgotten?
– No, I haven’t forgotten. You’ve already said as much in past entries.
– Yes, in a more lucid way! This very conversation, when it gets out there, if people read it, will cause people to think I’ve gone insane!
– Will it? You’ve been an awfully poor judge of character in the past. Besides, your blog isn’t the most-read piece of websiteness that there is out there. It’s still relatively private. Aside from the very first day, you’ve never had a day where more than eight people read it, and that includes instances where they just hit “refresh” or go to a different page.
– You don’t know that! You don’t know how the stats work! They may just be logged by IP address, in which case every single visit wouldn’t be unique.
– Let’s not split hairs here. The point is that not many people come around here, so who’s to say whether I will be judged insane by posting a conversation with myself?
– I don’t even know what our original topic is anymore.
– We didn’t really have one. This was just an exercise so you could go to sleep tonight without staying up worrying about that email and what kind of response you’ll get.
– Suppose she did read it, and then came to this blog and saw this insanity going on. How do you think she’ll react then?
– You saying we should make this private?
– That’s a pretty darn good idea.
– Fine, it’s private, same password as before.
– Thank you. Now, where were we?
– Yes, well, she hasn’t really reacted yet.
– What makes you think she will?
– Of course she will! I asked her to email me back or even call me!
– She hasn’t yet, and it’s been nearly 48 hours, including a Sunday in which, generally, people have more time to do those sort of things. Call people and whatnot.
– Maybe she hasn’t read it yet. She may check her email only on occasion. Remember, this morning, she had posted on your wall about your new profile pic and the fact that your status at the time was “nangy-nurgle.” That was in reference to the Tongue-tied video, which you had linked to in the email. Now, if she had seen the video she may have known what you were talking about, but since she didn’t she obviously hasn’t read it yet. Ipso, fatso.
– Look, just because she was confused by your status doesn’t mean she hasn’t read the email. It was a confusing status.
– But why did she even comment on it at all?
– Maybe she likes you back?
– Then why not tell me so?
– Maybe she’s shy, too. Her blog says as much on occasion.
– OK, fine. So she may be kind of shy.
– Therefore, when she reads the email, she doesn’t really know what to do with it and does nothing. Ergo, you receive no reply, ergo, your current situation.
– But I want a reply!
– Of course you want a reply! Who wouldn’t? You want her to confirm that she has had this secret crush on you for two years, and that when you both see each other again you will become the best of friends and start going out and eventually get married and have two kids, Nathaniel and Superfly!
– Don’t start quoting; there’s nobody else around to be impressed.
– Who’s impressed by quoting? Oftentimes people use quotes to make up for their own lack of imagination.
– Now, that’s not true! Plenty of people use quotes for good reasons! People with great imaginations!
– Perhaps, but when their only brand of humor consists of quoting things they find funny, where does that leave them?
– Fine. Such a person may not be a stand-up comic for a living. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid!
– I never said they were stupid! Look, we’re straying again.
– Straying off what?
– The topic!
– What topic?
– The topic that you really want Liz to email you back!
– You’re right, I do! But I’m not necessarily waiting for all that smeg you said about her really loving me and stuff. I’m not necessarily waiting for that.
– You’re not? What kind of reply would you take?
– Any kind! A “Let’s just be friends,” a “You’re really creeping me out, stay away from me,” a “I like pie, don’t you?” whatever! Just as long as I get something! I can’t do this like the way I handled Kim!
– You mean that you couldn’t actually ever contact her after the mission?
– You didn’t really try, you know.
– How do you figure? I sent her a couple of emails.
– Which she never replied to.
– Well, yeah.
– So what did you do further?
– I assumed that she didn’t want to contact me, and that was that.
– Then you went to her wedding reception. She introduced you as the guy she used to have a crush on, then put you and her husband in the same category.
– Meaning that, she obviously wasn’t deliberately not trying to contact you, but would have welcomed the contact, had you been more persistent. Had you tried to call her, or anything.
– Well, I didn’t have her phone number!
– You could have looked for it! And now she’s gone! Gone gone gone gone gone! Married to a man that is the same “category” as you, whatever that means! You and your low self-esteem just assumed that she didn’t want to ever speak to you again! When it was really just your problem and it ended up only hurting you in the end!
– Hey man, that hurts!
– You’re damn right it does! Where was the risk-taking? You’ve always played it safe when it comes to relationships.
– So what do you want me to do? Drive to Rexburg, plant a hundred flowers outside of Liz’s house, like the guy on Big Fish?
– That might be romantic, yeah.
– Or creepy! Remember, if a guy does something he thinks is romantic to a girl who doesn’t like him that way, it’s creepy, and she’ll phase him out of her life.
– That happened with Holly! You have no guarantee that’ll happen with anyone else! You haven’t even tried that with anybody else!
– Haven’t I? What about Anya Young?
– What about her?
– You liked her in high school. Took her to the prom.
– Where she promptly ignored me and talked to everybody else all night.
– She didn’t ignore you. She didn’t give you her 100% complete attention, but she didn’t ignore you. Are you so cocky that you expect a girl to give you all of their attention all the time to show you that they like you?
– Hey, I’m not cocky! I thought you said I had a low self-esteem!
– No, that was you!
– You heard me.
– That doesn’t even make sense! We’re the same person!
– Not quite. We’re different aspects of the same person, having a metaphysical argument with no real definite personality traits for each side.
– Fine, whatever. Anya Young, remember, Dr. Sidetracker?
– You know, maybe this doesn’t need a password.
– You heard me. Maybe this would be better if all could see it. It would give people a greater perspective on who I am.
– Jeff, not that many people care that much about your inner psyche! Maybe Haley Greer, that’s probably about it! But if people do read this they’re going to come to the snap judgment that you have lost your marbles!
– I AM NOT CRAZY! Psychological science has shown that!
– No it hasn’t!
– Yes it has! There are tons of people in the world crazier than I!
– Just because people are crazier doesn’t mean you’re not crazy!
– I’m not, though! Remember the brief stint we had with the psychologist? All he said was that I was too hard on myself.
– Well, he was right, wasn’t he? You are too hard on yourself, you git.
– Oh, now, that’s cleverly ironic. Who are you, Rimmer?
– No, you are!
– Don’t start that with me! I’m not Rimmer!
– No, on the outside you’re much more likeable than him. But on the inside you are. You feel like him. You feel like a lot of your life’s potential has not been utilized in an effective way. It’s been spent in frivolous pursuits instead of really accomplishing something in the world.
– That’s Lister, not Rimmer, you gimboid.
– Perhaps, but it’s Rimmer’s self-loathing that really brings him down and causes him to not be a friendly sort of guy who would be there for his mates.
– I’m there for my friends!
– Whenever they need me to be there!
– Not always! Perhaps, when they come knocking at your door, you’ll open it and invite them in. But when do you go knocking at their door? When do you let them invite you in?
– I don’t want to interrupt other people’s life with my unwanted presence!
– Unwanted? How is your presence unwanted?
– Because if they wanted to be with me, they would come to my door!
– Mr. Think-of-yourself-all-the-time or what? That’s a very selfish thing to say!
– Yeah, well, sometimes I’m very selfish.
– You’re telling me!
– Look, can we get back to whatever topic we were on before this part happened?
– I don’t remember what it was.
– Well, the overarching topic was that of Liz and the email and her ever giving you a good reply.
– Well, we had talked about the botched chance with Kim because you didn’t do anything, and the botched chance with Holly because you did do something.
– Right, the Catch-22.
– So, with Liz you decided to do something. You know, better find out what she thinks than spend years wondering.
– Except she hasn’t replied yet.
– Not specifically, no.
– But she has communicated with you since you sent it.
– Yes, but she made no reference to it, or even a hint that she had read it.
– True. So what now?
– Wait. There’s nothing more that can be done. Discussing it will get you nowhere.
– It will provide an interesting glimpse into your psyche again.
– Sometimes I think the only reason I keep a blog is so that in the future a therapist of mine will have some material to draw upon when I finally snap and start picking people off with a sniper’s rifle from the clock tower, as the cliche goes.
– Shall we end this now? Or do you want to yell at yourself some more?
– No, I do that enough on my own, without the blog world watching. What I think I will do, though, is post this publicly, but delete the notification from Facebook when it pops up.
– You think that’s wise?
– I don’t know if it’s wise. I don’t know if anything I do is wise anymore. What I know is that not taking action will get me nowhere, as it has all my life, so I’m going to do all sorts of crazy crap to get somebody to start caring.
– There’s that blanket statement again! People care!
– I mean when it comes to relationships! You know, the fact that every relationship I’ve ever had has petered out, stopped before it started, and I want Liz to write me and say, “You are a crazy, crazy person, and I don’t want you near me for the rest of your life!”
– You don’t really want her to say that.
– You’re right, I don’t. But I’d rather that happen than get no response at all! I’m sick of no responses! I’M SICK OF NO RESPONSES! SICK OF IT! SICK OF IT! SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK!!!!!!!!! WRITE ME BACK,****IT!
– Well, thanks for the profanity! I’m sure that will endear you tenfold to whoever reads this!
– Look, just shut up. You can go back and edit that if you want.
– No, we promised not to edit this thing. Whatever comes out comes out, and we deal with it.
– True, but I don’t want this profanity in my thing. Take it out.
– Fine, I’ll asteriskize it. It won’t have the same impact, but it might get the message across.
– Look, just give her some time. I’m sure that she’ll write you back.
– How are you sure?
– Ok, fine, I’m not 100% sure. But it’s barely been 48 hours! Your email came out of the blue! Surely she’s got to figure a lot of things out about it. She’s got her own life too, you know. You can’t expect her to behave exactly how you would like her just because you want it to be. Patience, Jeffery.
– Yeah, patience.
– Just wait.
– And if she doesn’t? If it’s like Kim again? What if she doesn’t respond before Playmill tryouts next Saturday? What will we do then?
– I don’t know. I really don’t know. Look, give it at least a week. Heck, maybe she’ll read this blog entry and decide to take pity and toss you a bone.
– You are crazy, you know that?
– I know. But it makes me unique. And it’s something you like about me, isn’t it?
– Well, perhaps.
– Look, just start liking yourself. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. That’s a fact.
– I’ve got more to say, but I think I’m going to end this session now. Another time, perhaps?
– Another time. Hey, maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
– And with your track record, few will read this and nobody will respond, anyway, (except for possibly Haley), so at least you’ve got somebody to talk to about these things.
– You’re right. Hey, thanks for being there for me.
– No problem. This is pretty metaphysical, isn’t it?
– Yeah, it is. But it’ll do until I’ve got a real person I can talk to about stuff like this.
– And you haven’t got anyone? Have you tried?
– Look, we just started getting friendly. Don’t turn the antagonism back on.
– Ok, sorry. Geez, touchy.
– Look, we said we’d end this.
– Fine, we’ll end this. Our issues haven’t been resolved yet, though.
– I doubt we can fix them all by ourselves.
– In any case, no more for now, right?
– Just stop typing now, right?
– No more.
– You too.