I went with Helen and her two brothers to visit some old family friends of theirs today. They’re people I’ve met several times before so I’m quite familiar with them, and yet after about two hours the pressure started to tell. Frankly, I’d had enough by then.
It seems I don’t do the routine social thing any more. When a group of people comprising different ages and types get together, the conversation is inevitably geared towards trivialities, the lowest common denominator. It’s all about skimming the surface of reality, and only runs smooth as long as all participants hold broadly to the axioms endemic at that surface, or can at least play the appropriate role for as long as the occasion lasts. I used to be quite good at that, but not any more. My axioms are moving further and further from the conventional, and I have little tolerance for role playing now. And so today was spent observing rather than connecting.
Connection is what I miss these days. It needs to be one-to-one so that the dynamic is undiluted, but what little I have is either infrequent, as in the case of Helen, or tenuous. I know where I could find it. I could find it three thousand miles away across an ocean, or half a mile away across three fields. It’s just that I’m not in a position to force the issue, and I wouldn’t want to do so anyway. Precious people are more difficult to come by than precious jewels. You can’t buy or steal them, you have to wait for them to fall from the sky like life-giving rain.