actuality.log


All entries tagged 'Alicia'

Friday, October the 29th, 2010

There is one crucial aspect of yesterday’s story that demands a closer look. But that in turn requires some necessary back-story.

Even though I have all this turmoil going on in my head, I’m outwardly very calm and composed. I rarely lose my cool, and my tone and demeanour barely change, no matter how intense I find external stimuli. This is good because it gives me a feeling of great control; this is bad because it gives me a feeling of great control. Sometimes, I feel like I’m forcibly filtering all my “innate tendencies” just to behave and sound like a certain mellow chap I fantasise myself to be. Or, rather, that I imagine other people want me to be.

People have always been telling me how they lose some of their inhibitions and control when they start to drink, and how this loosens up their social behaviour. I don’t know this from personal experience, but I’ve always been curious to find out. Just how would an unfiltered me experience and react to the world?

The general practise here is that you carry your own alcohol to parties (since it is so damn expensive). I normally carry a lot, but don’t really drink since I just don’t. On the way to the party where I was to later meet Alicia, someone asked me why I was carrying so much if I wasn’t going to drink anything. I didn’t have a strong case, other than to point out that I thought contributing to the party was the polite thing to do.

And that’s when it dawned on me, why don’t I just bite the bullet and drink my stash at the party, and find out whether it changed anything? The idea simultaneously excited me and made me nervous, but I really wanted to perform this experiment. So I asked a friend of mine to keep an eye on me (which he utterly failed to do) while I hung out at the party and went through my drinks.

Several drinks in—but, as I saw it, none the woozier—I met Alicia. Interesting, open, opinionated… she seemed like everything that I claimed she was, but was she really? Why was I talking so long to a woman I wasn’t even attracted to? How did I find it so easy to talk to her? I left that evening with a few questions I couldn’t easily answer right then, because I wasn’t certain if my perception of the world was warped by the drinks. I had to meet her when sober to find out for sure.

And so I did. Multiple times. And she really is all those things, and extremely easy to open up to. It hasn’t in the least felt any different from our first evening. Perhaps my brain ever really relinquishes control.

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Thursday, October the 28th, 2010

As bleak as things seemed, I was determined to fix the situation. At least to try earnestly, anyway. If I wanted to make a friend outside my current friend set, I was going to go out and make it happen. Too many years of my life had already been lost reconciling to awful situations under the blanket excuse: “But I’m incapable of doing anything about it!”

I made it a point to put myself out there more. I’d done it once before, and that resulted in Stacey now sharing my bed. It couldn’t be that hard, could it? And so, repressing all social anxiety and other introverted tendencies, I started showing up at all parties I was invited to. I consciously attempted to talk to people I didn’t already know.

It’s on one such evening that I met Alicia. I noticed her early on, hanging out at the kitchen, effortlessly flitting in and out of conversations with different groups. She seemed interesting, and her eager smile made her approachable. I don’t recall how it happened, but soon enough I was talking to her friend beside her, and a short while later, I was talking to Alicia. Our conversation lasted well into the night, even as the party had long since thinned out. We talked about ourselves and travels and dreams, but more importantly, and for the longest time, feelings and relationships.

Alicia was gentle, open, opinionated, young (though mature beyond her years), and you know the strangest thing? I greatly enjoyed talking to her though I wasn’t attracted to her. She was perfect. I’d found the first of my friends outside my current circle, and I didn’t want to lose her. By the end of the evening, I did something I hadn’t ever done before: exchanging contact information with a perfect stranger.

(At this point, there are a few directions I could take this story. For now, I think I will jump over crucial details and just complete this primary tale, leaving the other threads for subsequent entries.)

Even though Alicia has been remarkably busy finishing her M.A. and holding onto a couple of jobs at the university, I’ve got to spend a lot of time with her since we first met at this party. We’ve gotten closer over long evenings of good food and deep conversation. I enjoy her company and her view of the world. And each additional perspective helps me make a bit more sense out of life.

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