I traveled with my girl over last weekend, leaving the city to celebrate a chum's birthday with a few hundred of his friends and relatives. The interesting thing about this gentleman, as is the case with a good number of relationships in my life, is that there is no rational reason for why we have such strong camaraderie. We are polar opposites. He is the East coast to my Western Mountain boy. But, somehow, we get along incredibly well. Most of the time we spend in eachother's company occurs one on one or with our respective partners. On the occasions that either of us have a gathering that involves our autonomous and separate collection of friends, an invitation will get extended to the other. Should the person accept the invite, they will come into a situation where they are surrounded by people they don't know, and largely cannot relate to. Such is the case this past weekend.
My girl, dressed in her newest vintage red polka-dot halter dress, and i arrived at the party and realized we did not know a solitary soul, minus the birthday boy (and his wife). We mingled. We chit-chatted. We jabbed. All of it completely meaningless. Anyone could've played my head-nodding part in the conversations i partook because the subjects never rose above the level of small talk. An hour passed, and i found myself exhausted (from the effort it took for me to show i cared about the stress this person experienced from maintaining his second home in the Berkshires) , and completely disinterested in pursuing any vein of dialogue. Only until the last guests left, and i had exquisite solitude with my host, did i find my spirits fueled and firing.
On the ride back into the city, i gave this much reflection. Was it snobbery on my part? Was it elitism? I didn't think so. I've had conversations with complete strangers on the subway that washed my soul with warmth. The solitary unifier amongst all of my most profound relationships is my ability to find a comfort at revealing and living out some aspect of myself. If i am clammed up, disconnected from myself, or conceal my basic properties, i grow numb to the exchange.
This principle comes shining through in my interactions with my friend K. When we gather, i will note the commencement of our appointment, and then four hours later, i will again glance at my watch as perplexion overcomes me at the expanse of time. We converse on so many subjects (most recently his purchase of a leather hood for his girl) that draw out of me a ribbon of stimulation for me to constantly chew on, i find i lose my perception of passing time. In fact, when you establish a profound connection with someone, when you reveal and offer yourself, you momentarily slip out of the gulf stream of time. In that instant, you feel connected to the universe.
That's what "The Lustful Quality" accomplishes for me. At any moment, when i face a vapid suction of beauty that this world so frequently presents, i gain comfort in knowing, that coming here, i can allow the mechanisms that i've formed inside of me to affect my civilized reaction to the ugliness a reprieve. Instead, i'm able to express myself while tuning into the harmony that runs through all of us (and that is so frequently distorted and overshadowed by all the noise our psyches endure).
We all, at the end of our line, want to feel connected. The sensation of connectedness gives us value, like we serve a purpose in all of this screaming, dryer-tumbling chaos. Like our life isn't just a meaningless passage of time. No one, after all, wants to feel meaningless.