I went to Houston today. The dean is sending me & a coworker to something called the ACBSP Conference. Even after doing some research on the event, I’m still not quite sure what it is, or at least how it benefits anyone. I understand the event consists of roughly four days of speaking engagements, covering a wide range of topics that all seem irrelevant for what I do. Anyways, this is where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing tomorrow, Saturday, & most of Sunday. I don’t like losing my weekend, but I won’t complain about free meals & a free hotel room.
I will own that I wish I were going with a different coworker. I gather that this particular coworker either fancies me, is an incessant talker, or both. She doesn’t quite understand that just because I’m at my desk working, I’m not necessarily available for a conversation. Sometimes, what should have been a 1-minute water bottle refill turned into a 15-minute conversation I would have never missed. One day, she left her keys in her office door, and I made the mistake of trying to be polite by informing her. I started to think she wouldn’t let me get back to my office until she had to leave. I made certain our seats on the plane are not adjacent.
No other updates on the romantic front. Erika and I have been talking. If I haven’t already mentioned the following, Erika had a falling out with her best friend, and she’s been reaching out to me for support. Her texts and calls were initially very sporadic, only making contact when she was in pain, but our texting & conversations have become more regular. Apparently, there are still some feelings between us on both ends.
I know longer have reservations about leaving Athens. I still like it here, but as the saying goes, “You can’t go home again.” If I were retired, things might , might, feel differently. There’s just not enough time in the day to enjoy it like I thought I would. I get up, go to work, go to Jiu-Jitsu or the gym, then come home to go to bed, and process repeats the following day. I imagined working out at the Ramsey Center, but it’s not exactly in a convenient location. It’s not a burdensome drive, but it’s more expensive than my current gym and going there would take an extra half-hour or so out of my day (granted, it is much nicer than where I currently work out, so that could be a justification). Aside from that, seeing my old TKD club may be frustrate me. My ankles can’t hold those stances anymore, so I can’t rejoin it. Even if I were physically able, I just don’t have the time. Even if I were physically able and had the time, the long-term club members have grown into the types of people who probably shouldn’t be comprise my close friendships. Even if I stayed here long enough to retire, and my ankle joints magically got younger as I got older, I worry I’d be just a weird, old guy in the midst of a bunch of college kids. Coming back somehow forced me to let go.
So, why don’t I just move to Saint Louis and be with Erika? For one, I still feel guilty about Hollie. I certainly don’t want be with her. I feel like I led her on, and I feel like I should be alone as sort of penance. If I were to move to Saint Louis to pursue a serious relationship with Erika, there’s a specter in the back of my mind looming over me saying that I’ve worsened Hollie’s life by giving her a glimpse of the life she wanted only to yank it away from her. Logically, when I go over everything that happened between us, I don’t think I can be faulted for anything. She made it clear that her mom would have to live with us if we got married, her mom has a hoarding problem that Hollie is unwilling to address, and Hollie defaults to taking her mom’s side. After my dad died, I took solace that at least I’d never have to live with a hoarder again. I certainly can’t live with a hoarder while someone who’d only enable that disease. Still, the guild always permeates me when I think about doing something that would convey that that particular relationship is fully dead and buried.
Beyond that, I also haven’t been feeling a strong desire for the physical benefits of a relationship. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve never had sex, I’m getting older, or both. I’m inclined to believe that first reason is the culprit. After Erika and I broke up this past January, I haven’t felt very much sexual desire. Don’t most men continue to want sex well into their forties and beyond? Forty is still several years away for me, and I just feel numb. The thought of having sex seems like it would be more of a chore than a pleasure. Wouldn’t pursuing marriage with any woman be unfair if I couldn’t fulfill those desires of hers?
I’m tired of wrestling with all of this nonsense, but in a couple of days, Erika and I will certain talk again, and after we hang up, the next round will commence.