Anyone who has taken any kind of math (from my generation anyway) knows what parallel lines are or at least once upon a time they did when it comes to up on a test. Parallel is defined as this: (of lines, planes, and surfaces) side by side and having the same distance continuously between them. “Parallel lines never meet.”
Did you see that? Let me repeat that…
Parallel lines never meet. Like ever. NEVER.
Yesterday was July 4th (actually last week by the time I get this posted but I digress) and yes, I’m going somewhere with this. I honestly tried my best to find some poor unwitting victim to come to our house and force my cooking and bad hostess skills down their throats for a few hours yesterday but alas, there were no takers. There rarely are. You see for some reason unbeknownst to me, we struggle to connect…I struggle to connect. As much as I want friends and community, something stands in my way. More than likely it’s all of this *see all the word vomit in preceding posts for reference* that drives people away or repels them before they get close to begin with. And it hurts. It hurts especially when I get to see these same people with others (also people I have tried to victimize with my company), wondering why I couldn’t make it fly. I usually nurse the hurt for a while, blame the husband’s lack of effort and desire to interact with other homosapiens, and eventually get up the nerve to try again. Sometimes it works. A victim is found and fed and they seem to enjoy the encounter. But it ends there and I’m left wondering if it was the food poisoning I probably gave them or if I said/did something offensive as I am want to do without realizing it. Thus the cycle repeats.
Back to July 4… It was just another day of wiping butts, refereeing fights, washing dishes, walking dogs, and avoiding Facebook at all costs. Why? Because even just the sounds that crept past my music blasting through my earbuds and the smells that filled my nose with every metered breath on my run through the neighborhood full of people I didn’t know reminded me that everyone either had somewhere to be or were THE destination marked with citronella torches and signs stating “Gate is open. Come on in” so I REALLY didn’t need Facebook to rub it in my face that the people I DO know are getting together with each other and having the grandest of times. No, I didn’t. And I did fairly well until today when I did my morning scroll and swiped past one post after another showcasing what was labeled as #blessed, “enjoying our freedom”, and #merica while holding adult beverages, posing with friends while making silly faces, hugging, and eating gloriously unhealthy food. I hurried to scroll past one only to be greeted by a cascade of more. I struggled to breathe and fight off tears more with each swipe while drowning in a flood of mixed emotions. I tried to think of something funny that said “Yo, jerk faces, some of us losers were ALONE yesterday with nowhere to go and no one to see” but everything I typed screamed desperate fool so I backspaced it into oblivion and sat staring at the cursor. I want to be included because I’m wanted, not because I’m the sympathy case, the loser with braces and Coke bottle glasses who was invited to the sheet school bash because someone’s parents made them. I want to be seen because I’m me, not because I’m dancing around in my underwear until someone notices me (no, I don’t do that. It’s just a word picture because that’s kinda how I communicate.)
This is when the realization struck me.. parallel lines. I’m over here on a track, a line, if you will. I have a career that is both blessed and cursed with uniqueness that no one in my circle can relate to. I have a family life that is so spectacularly ruined that people can only shake their heads in disbelief on the rare occasion I open up about it. And then I’m married to someone with a lonely career where making connections takes effort, more effort than he deems worth it. Then there is literally everyone else and their tracks. I exist in the same universe as the rest of them but on a different plane, one that I have come to realize will never intersect. It hurts to think about the fact that my kids are almost grown and know nothing of friendship that extends beyond the confines classroom and school calendar. As introverted as I am, I still long for connection. A few times I feel like I have found it but when reality rips off my rosey-tinted Prada shades and I’m reminded yet again that imagination is cruel and more than capable of conjuring up a seemingly perfect friendship that is and was never anything more than a figment of said imagination.
While I’m confident there are other parallelers in this world, I can’t help but feel like the child peering through the window at the joy and community others have created, all the while knowing observation is a close as I will ever come to it. Eventually I think I can convince myself to stop looking altogether and accept my role in my own world because after all, parallel lines never intersect.