After having a beautiful six year relationship that ended last year, I've spent the last year single, and its been a strange experience.
I don't understand dating. I really don't at all. I understand the rules for it, the expectations confuse me and paralyze me. There are expectations of actions and statements, (at this point, he should be saying this. at this point she should be doing this.) There are expectations of roles, (he is the one who is supposed to make the first move.) There are temporal/ chronological expectations (now that this stage has passed, this action is now allowed). But even the idea that a date is a contained experience, with knowable easily identified boundaries is difficult. I've been on several dates that weren't dates, and been out several times on what apparently, much to my surprise, were dates!
Its weird though, thinking about this doesn't save you from the madness. If anything, if makes the experience all the more harrowing. It makes you unable to formulate even the most basic certainty, instead always trapped/wrapped up in hysterical anxiety. The curse and blessing of the hysteric is the position that he or she gets to occupy, through their active non-acting. The discussing of the thing, keeps it in stasis, keeps it both from happening and from not happening. It keeps it in a strange place where it can be viewed and turned around from all angles, but never really touched or thrown away. It instead haunts in a very constrictive way. For example in games such as Soul Caliber 2 or Super Smash Brothers Melee you have access to a feature where the trophies you gain or the characters you open up are viewable in a somewhat 3-D form. Using your control pad you can move the "camera" or your gaze around the object, zooming in and out. But as one moves around the image, you constantly bump up against or fight invisible walls, which restrict how the image can be viewed. When one imagines the space, its difficult to understand why these walls are there. Why can't I just move freely around the object?
This is of course what the hysteric cannot understand cannot know. This distance is all that can be known. This viewing of the object, not one with it, not apart from it, but trapped within the hysterical gaze. It is from here that the object can be known in some way, but always at a distance which always feels irrational, stupid, silly.
I got an inkling of this the other day, while spending a day with an intelligent, beautiful and charming girl. Whether or not the day was a date or not I had no idea, but all I know is that I did enjoy very much spending time with her and would have loved to see her again. But throughout the day, I was constantly confronted with statements by her, actions by her and forced to think, is she coming on to me, how should I respond? Should I hit on her back? What the hell am I supposed to do? I like her, but do I like her that much?
Strangely enough, my predicament reminded me of a scene (which I probably shouldn't have been reminded of) from the film The End of Evangelion. In Eva 02, with her internal power depleted, Asuka is pierced through the eye by a fake Lance of Longinus. Along the lance through her head, she slowly slides to the ground, her legs locked keeping her back arched slightly and off the ground. Despite the Eva having no power, she reaches up towards the sun and the sky, yelling that she will kill her attackers (the new Eva Series). Within Eva 02, she is reaching up, trying to get her unit to go berserker. Instead another lance is thrown from high above, at her arm, cutting it in two right before her eyes. That's what hysteria feels like. In the midst of an act, on the verge of certainty, one finds themselves split yet again, split back into paralyzing uncertainty.
Back to the day with that wonderful girl, whenever I would say finally, okay that's it, you're going to act on this, from out of nowhere, I would find that certainty split and sink back uncertain yet again. Second guessing myself doesn't quite explain this, because second guessing is like thinking it over before you do it or you don't. It's more like having something precious stolen from you, and not knowing who took it or where it was taken too, but all the while knowing deep down, but unable to reconcile it, that it was probably you all along.
Lana, gof na'ma'ase yu' no? I guess the trick will be ultimately finding somewho is communicates their hysteria just as bad as I do.