Stalgia

I’m sitting up later than I should be awake, mourning the loss of a hard drive. It had my music collection, which I hadn’t backed up recently. All of it is likely recoverable, but it means tracking down some amazingly obscure music.

I’m at our new kitchen table, having recently moved in with my love, and I’m listening to streaming versions of songs that remind me of that sense of newness, that incredible feeling of discover that comes with finding someone new and clicking with them hard. I’m realizing that this is one of the strongest reasons that I am non-monogamous. I cannot imagine living my life without experiencing that feeling again. As is, I experience it far less often that I’d want.

There are things on that hard drive that I may not recover, and many of them are the only remaining vestige of some brief experiment in sex and affection during the only period in which I was single in my adult life. There are sensations I’ve had that belong only to that period, and that, as far as I know, I’ll never recapture. I miss them. This is not to say that the trade-off is not worth what I’ve given up, but there’s a trade there.

I’ve had more success dating in the past few weeks than in the previous thirty years. This is a fine thing, but all such experiences are truncated in a way. I do miss that uncertainty, that sense that things could wander off in some direction wholly unexpected.

I wonder if I’m too old for adventure. Or too staid, or too taken. It seems like there’s very little room in my life for things to surprise me, unless, ironically, I plan on it somehow.

This is somewhat melancholy, but it’s really a sort of bittersweetness. In a sense, I’m really just letting go of something, and moving into a new stage. This marks the first time that I’ve consciously moved in with someone, the first time that I’ve consciously chosen to tie my living space to someone else’s. It’s happened before, but it was always because I was a minor, or out of necessity. I jumped into this with my eyes open.

I don’t know where things are going. I just know that they aren’t as exciting as I once hoped and are more comforting than I’d ever imagined. I don’t want to lionize that interstice; I was lonelier than I’ve ever been, and horribly, horribly unhappy. But it had its melancholy charm, and the thought that I can’t reach that minor key beauty again is a sad thing, even if the beauty itself was also a sad thing.

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