Welcome to 21st Century Dating

Oh, how the sweetness has turned sour. How my words have twisted under misguided intentions and strings drawn tight, the tiniest fiddle playing for my honor. Ha ha ha.

Poor soul. Poor me. Poor every sad creature that finds complexity appealing. It is not appealing, you know. Complexity breeds contradiction breeds indecisiveness breeds heartache. And over what? The fear of being alone? We are all alone, you fool.

Give me the heartache. Give me the pain. We can be human leeches together–be my punching bag, I give great head.

The darkness is comforting, after all. The human condition, this tearing at the seams of the heart and the blood dripping between soft fingertips, trying to hold it together as it breaks and bends and falls apart in your hands. Human folly at its best. Platitudes that have no place in the real world, where nightmares walk the streets and fear is your leash.

It will break. Nothing you do will stop this inevitable betrayal of humanity, and the act of ripping your soul from the pristine beauty you call perfection and displacing it into a distorted dreamspace where you convince yourself that you are good enough, that you don’t use the people around you for your own benefit, and your self-absorbed nature is minuscule enough to cancel out the bad things you do when no one is watching.

First date.

“I’m trying to figure out how to tell you that I’m a terrible person.”

My response cuts swiftly through the open air between us.  

“We’re all terrible people.”

And yet surprise still finds us. Surprise finds us late at night when the terribleness that I held back on date one finally cranes its neck to look him squarely in the eyes, and reveal the truth. The truth that I am not ready for a relationship. The truth that I am bad at feeling, worse at expressing those feelings, and find it nearly impossible to accept those feelings. Impossible to do, with those feelings, what lovers are meant to do.

Surprise finds us the next morning when my own nihilism and pessimism, that felt like home so many months ago, settles into the shadowed edges of my soul. The creases and folds that hide the truth are peeled back with bloodied hands, begging for him to see me, demanding that he walk away, and yet hoping that he’ll stay.

But not for his benefit, no. For my benefit, for my sanity. Because at the end of the day we are all selfish and terrible and the beautiful moments when we accept the bad parts of ourselves and release them into the night, give them wings to fly far away, in those moments when we acknowledge the darkness itself, we are able to sit in a pool of self-pity and turn that piss into wine.

So we drink that wine and move on with our lives. Another date, another hour, another heartbreak. Welcome to 21st Century Dating.

Published by Atlas Beaumont

Writer, philosopher, sociologist. Day job in education. Lover of cats, coffee, cinema, and all things good.

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