6.5 The Drawbridge

We are now officially back to our regularly scheduled blogs full of anxiety and doubt. Before any addiction can be properly confronted, there is the issue of awareness. A problem can’t really be dealt with until you understand, like really understand, that something is wrong. Otherwise, for me at least, I’d continue making the same stupid decisions over and over again. My addiction is the inability to get out of my own way. I call this The Drawbridge, a metaphorical wall that quickly builds up between myself and those that I want to get close to.

Think of it as a reverse drawbridge leading to a medieval castle. The concept behind the drawbridge is to join two pieces of land together. The reverse drawbridge does the opposite of joining two places together. When implemented, the reverse drawbridge not only causes disconnection, but also serves as a wall. Fucks you two times.

I’m going to stick mainly to relationships and how The Drawbridge pops out of nowhere, to the point it seems someone other than me is operating it. Let’s take a real situation that happened a few weeks ago. I’m at a bar for some live music and my friend is performing. I’m standing at the bar and during one of the performances, a woman sitting at a table across from me catches my eye and smiles at me.

The Drawbridge has the opportunity to connect the two of us. Instead, it gets cranked up and becomes a wall. My first thought, She’s not smiling at you. Not smiling at me? But there was no one else around. Despite this pretty concrete information that I could say was definitely true, The Drawbridge has done its job. Cut things off before we even uttered a word to each other.

After one of the musical performances, there was a break. Now the woman appeared right next to me at the bar and ordered another drink. Another smile. She makes a comment about the performances. The Drawbridge will not budget because she was definitely not talking to me. BUT THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE AT THE BAR. We made small talk against the better judgment of The Drawbridge. But still - still - I refused to accept that 1.This woman was actually interested in me; and 2.That she actually wanted to talk with me.

So, what to do? I could build a time machine, something I’ve talked about before. After thinking about this time machine idea, I’ve come up with something different. A chance to fool The Drawbridge. A five second time machine, so I can go back and correct my immediate mistakes. I think this would improve the quality of my life substantially. I’m just not good in the moment, I need to process things. I’m fairly good if I need to make snap decisions in a business situation. When it comes to my personal life, I need that five second delay to work around The Drawbridge and figure out a way to fool the operator.

For example, let’s say I spent the evening with an intelligent, funny and all around great person, like I did a few weeks ago. We leave together and come to an intersection. Her place was a few blocks away and my place in the opposite direction. The Drawbridge came up and convinced me that she didn’t want to spend anymore time with me, so I said, “Tonight was fun, you’re heading that way? Okay, I’ll see you again soon!” Five seconds later when I was halfway across the street, I stopped and thought, Wait a second, why didn’t I offer to walk her home? You know, have more time to spend with each other and enjoy the company.

Rewind this scenario and return to right before I said the stellar line above. I still say, “Tonight was fun, you’re heading that way? Okay, I’ll see you again soon!” When I walk across the street - BAM - I go back in time to before we part ways and say, “How about I walk you home?” To which she agrees, because before The Drawbridge got a chance to do its thing, I had the knowledge of those five seconds. I had the opportunity to understand that all signs pointed to the fact that this was exactly what she wanted me to suggest. Now, if only this time machine was real. Not much to ask, right?

But I’m aware of The Drawbridge, so perhaps this is a good first step to recovery.