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Woe and frustration

...My dating life continues to be an unmitigated disaster. Every person I meet, no matter how much they may like my online, vanishes as soon as they come into telephone or email contact with me. Some disappear courteously, others discourteously, but none remain.

Logically I ought not to place so much weight on one sphere of life, but my feelings tell a different story. You mentioned how you felt strongly attracted to your boyfriend one night. I feel a similar state almost every day....simply a passionate desire to be held. You might even call it a permanent emotional connection....to someone who does not exist.

The craving for love is sometimes overpowering, especially at lonely evenings spent with only a cat for company, empty nights spent staring at a pillow, dreams at night filled with the desire to be held and awakening to the cold silence of the wooden floors, rueful banter with co-workers of my endless standups and unreturned phone calls, masking the crying hunger for intimacy that is becoming a magnificent obsession. My only escape is to plunge into the office and the delights of VxD service calls and ecx [eax] dword ptr instructions; or at home I can vainly try to submerge myself in tracts on neo-Keynesian monetary policy. But that is rapidly failing to paper over the anguish inside.

The problem is not the weight, face, intellect, or what I always used as excuses. At every single major political meet I attend at least one pretty female takes enough interest in me to connive some excuse to spend hours with me at a luncheon or rally. Outwardly I am piled with compliments from male and female alike on my slick clothing, quick wit, massive intellect, and powerful speaking style. Nothing translates into more than superficial friendships.

It is I who fear intimacy the most even though I know it to be my most deeply desired need. I draw back in terror as others draw closer, cursing myself for my cowardice even as I suffer under its oppressive yoke. A girl may take pains to draw me into conversation at a council meeting; I respond with monosyllables and flee to the washroom or some suitable hideout, then emerge and stare longingly at her talking animatedly with someone else.

Why the fear? I cannot say. So swift and sudden is it that it just takes over, conquering, acting without thought, without reason, killing hope of love, hope of friendship, hope of anything in my life other than the mocking silence of the four walls and the helpless meowing of the cat.

I was supposed to have quit seeing prostitutes a long time ago. Yet why am I writing this letter at 3 am? Because at midnight, after yet another AOL date stood me up, the pain and longing were so great that I returned to the brothels once more, spending $160 and missing the last bus, then because my bank account was empty unable to hire a cab and forced to walk home from downtown in freezing weather. Yet I will say that it felt good. It felt good because, grudging, inexpensive, and half-hearted as it was, it was the only time in many weeks that I could hold a woman in my arms. The feeling that evoked within me was indescribable.

I did ask tonight's prostitute for a certain form of tenderness. Her reply was a curt "No; I'm here to provide a service, not to be your girlfriend." The harsh words are still ringing in my ears, yet I know, with the certainty of the damned, that whenever something even remotely resembling the dream of a lifetime materializes, I will flinch and run away from what I want more than anything else in the world.

Private email, Mar. 13, 1997.