December 7th, 2004



This weekend, I visited Ratha. It was kind of awkward. I like Ratha, and I think she likes me (although I keep changing my mind about what it even means to like a person as a whole, as opposed to liking certain of their behaviors or characteristics), but it seems that our desires of our relationship are fairly mismatched at this point. Further complicating things, we each have individual problems that, in my perception, are causing us to be less sparkly and less able to play off of one another. Ratha is filled with doubt about her current plans as regard her career—she's unsure both of her ability to succeed and of the praiseworthiness of those plans even if they do succeed. She is terribly ambitious, but more out of fear and guilt than desire. Meanwhile, I find myself without any strategic aims, mired in tactics, lonely and dissatisfied. I feel like at this point my ability to innovate—to try things out even if I'm not sure they'll work—is almost spent, both in financial terms and in terms of the psychological energy that it takes to deal with change.

On Saturday we went shooting, which was probably the high point of the weekend from a mutualist perspective. Ratha shot mostly .22 and I shot mostly a Glock 9mm (both of which were rented), and we both managed to hit the target almost every time at 7 yards, which I guess is nothing to write home about but does prove that I've improved somewhat. Then we did some shopping, and in the evening we watched a movie, Waking Life, which qualified as kind of a mind-altering experience. On Sunday we went to the art museum and in the evening we went swimming. Most time that wasn't spent on any of the activities I just listed was spent talking, either about my problems, about philosophy (I read Ratha's philosophy paper and we talked about that as well as some other topics; I'm worried that my influence was more discouraging than helpful) or about our relationship.

At this moment, as I write on the plane, I feel fear. I worry that any belief I had that I was anything special was an illusion. And I compare Breakout and Risu and though I know that they were products of quite different processes, I worry that I may not be capable of re-creating the process that would lead to another Breakout.



Charlie and I had a conversation once involving the concept of a “home”. He identified it as a location with which one felt most closely affiliated, or which one felt most connected to one's identity. (I may be getting this wrong, as the conversation was probably more than a year ago at this point.) I was confused; this didn't seem to match up with anything in my experience, and I told him so.

Recently I came to the realization that while this concept may be coherent, at this point I'm pretty sure I don't have a home. I've moved four times in the last 9 months; the Fairfax was just a place through which I was passing, Ratha and I didn't live at 5440 Claybourne long enough for me to ever really feel like the place was mine, 806 Heberton was obviously just a stopgap, and as far as my current place, while I haven't entirely given up hope that it will start to feel like it's “mine”, it certainly hasn't happened yet.

I think there are a number of factors that might be relevant here:

  • Ownership of the property is important. I don't like being a tenant; I really don't think anything is going to change that. Given that I don't own any real property at the moment and don't have the means to do so, I feel more at home now where the person who does own the property is someone with whom I have a personal and not only a business relationship.
  • None of these places have been even potentially permanent. Regardless of my life arrangements and plans, it was clear that I was just passing through.
  • I haven't lived with a family. I wanted to think of me and Ratha that way, but I guess our relationship was always pretty lopsided and never really sustainable. I want a cat. I've been wanting a cat ever since I moved to Pittsburgh. My new place doesn't allow pets, and even if it did, I'm not sure that would be the best environment for a cat. I'm thinking of making that a requirement for the next time I move, but maybe that's unrealistic, if I'm still going to be renting. But the people in my current place—well, they're friends, but I don't expect to live with them in any kind of a sustainable way. One day I expect to go my own way from them, and while that's okay, it means that I still don't have a home.

It's disheartening, because I think I would really like having a home, but it doesn't seem like there's anything I can do about it right now.

There was another entry I was planning to write, about how each time I met Ratha (i.e. encountered her after being away from her a while) it was like a fresh start, but things never lasted. However, that seems to be disproved now. Probably for the best that I didn't actually write that entry, it wasn't very rigorous or insightful anyway.