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2002-09-15 - 9:24 p.m.

Back to work tomorrow- I've almost made a habit of writing the day before I'm back at work, with some little positive morsel that has made my 3 days off feel worthwhile (eg I washed my car, I got my pink slip, I paid my rego). I guess this three days has been very full so I don't feel like I've wasted it away, but there must be an in between, because it feels like I haven't had any time off at all.

I had two big nights (in bed after 4am head spinning liver not happy with me) in a row, and I'm struggling to remember the last time I had one. I feel like I've been a bit of a recluse lately. I suppose it doesn't help that I've been having training courses left, right and centre eating into my days off- but I'll get those days back, preferably all at once and on a weekend.

I've still got that "I feel hung up and I don't know why" feeling. I think I feel like I've come to a dead end. I have my permanent job, so that's something I don't have to worry about. I have decided to keep my car. All of that stuff. But I'm at a point that I was at the end of Uni where I need a new avenue for meeting people, and I don't know what that is. I love my friends, and I caught up with four different groups of them in the last 3 days, which is great, but I do need to meet new people.

At the start of this diary I talked of wanting to get "outside the circle" in relation to Ellie and Cindy, because it was too intense and fucked up. I think we sorted it out, and it was by each of us taking a few steps back, but we solved it by changing our circle- I still haven't found another one. Then with Annie I wanted "someone to get her out of my mind". This is a major problem because I don't know where to find this "someone". You never do I guess, it just happens. But it's worrying me.

The issue is not really how I feel about Annie at all. I'm used to that sort of thing. I think far too much in these situations, but it's something I'm pretty familiar with. It's just depressing recognising what I want to change and not being able to do it. Where do I meet new people?

I might just leave that for a moment and start filling you in on my weekend. On Friday I went to see one of the usual suspects at the Metro. There are a handful of bands which I can see ad nauseum and (more or less) never get sick of them. It was an awesome gig, and I was there with friends from work- the uninitiated in some cases- and it was great gauging their reactions, and hovering up the back near the bar getting the big picture. I figured I'd hang out with them beforehand because they would more than likely go home after the gig while my other friends would be in for the long haul.

I ended up losing them after the gig, I hung around in the foyer for a bit and told them I'd ring them to find out which pub they went to, but they weren't answering their phones (due, as it turned out to loud crappy music) predictably until it was too late, and I was already in a cab on the way to meet my other friends.

It was about when Cindy and I got to our favourite watering hole that I started feeling depressed. Maybe because I'd just been in and out of about 4 pubs and 10 sets of stairs trying to find my work friends and I'd failed. But more because I realised I really wasn't in the mood for this whole scene that night. I had building up to a "big night" for weeks, and in the end I found the idea of an all-nighter pretty uninspiring. It wasn't this revelation that upset me, more that I didn't know what my alternative forms of entertainment were. Don't get me wrong- as I said the gig was awesome, possibly their best yet, but I shouldn't feel like I need to have an all-nighter to make the night good. I could just as happily have gone to the pub with my work friends for half an hour and then caught the last train home or something.

This other group of friends- it's how I met Ellie and Cindy, but they go beyond that now- the scene itself is a bit tiresome. At one point, when I walked Cindy to her car, I was struggling to find any reason to go back there. I'm pretty close to Jean in some ways, and she is at times my favourite drinking buddy, but when her and the others start chasing wannabe celebrities that's when I draw the line. There are times when I am in the mood for these antics, and some of the semi-celebrities they like to hang around with are a lot of fun at times as well (well actually I'd say there is only one that I'm at all comfortable around) but tonight just wasn't one of those nights.

It was all starting to get to me. I mean I wrote that "I feel hung up and I don't know why" entry a couple of weeks ago and it's only been getting worse. Just when I thought I knew what I was thinking, particularly about Annie, things changed dramatically. More in terms of our friendship, not the whole unrequited love thing. I suddenly had this awful empty feeling of not having been nor being able to be there for her as a friend. It's not as bad as that really- of course I can be there for her as a friend, but I wasn't sure if that was enough. Maybe because I could see how much better equipped one of her other friends was to help her, it just made me feel like a failure in comparison.

Even that aside, I just felt neither here nor there, so when I started looking at Friday night as a "huge night" and then I realised not so much that it didn't live up to expectations but that it wasn't even what I wanted I got depressed.

It was a completely unexpected source that kinda dragged me momentarily out of my hole, or at least made me feel a bit better. Caddie (God my pseudonyms are starting to sound like the seven dwarfs) strikes me as someone going through a tough time who just needs someone to talk to. And on Friday night she was as fed up with me with the whole scene as well, and when she decided she was going home, she first asked me to come for a walk, then offered to drive me home. Basically she felt like doing *something* but just couldn't stand being where we were. So for the 15 minute walk to her house and the half hour drive to mine she just talked, and talked, and talked. And I listened. And (I hope this doesn't make me sound callous) I felt really good about myself. Because I knew all she needed was someone to listen, or someone to talk to, and I was fulfilling that role. Occasionally she asked what I thought about things, but if I didn't have an opinion I generally answered honestly that I didn't know. Other times I did give her some feedback. I guess in a way I was kind of touched that firstly she wanted to give me a lift home, an hour return trip, and also that she wanted to open up to me. To be perfectly honest there were times at which I tuned out, and some of the things she was saying sounded so similar to some of our other friends in the group that I was just thinking "God not another one", but my overall impression was that she was fairly lonely and needed someone to talk to.

So that was Friday night. On Saturday I "woke up way too late feeling hungover and old, and the sun was shining bright..."

It was a beautiful day that begged me to go out and absorb some of it, but its pleas went unanswered. Still, I mopped the floor so my mother was happy. Then that evening I caught up with the third circle of friends for the weekend. Well, only two of them, but they belonged to a circle that formed when I was selling Ice Creams to rabid masses of concertgoers and basketball fans in the latter half of the nineties. We ate Spanish food and drank literally litres of Sangria (the perfect poison when you spent the last night drinking beer- there was no way I could have done that again or for that matter drunk wine).

This time I quit while I was ahead. My friend Steph was planning on going home when the sun came out (to the extent that she had brought sunglasses with her), but I decided based on past experience that a good night is not necessarily a long night, and I caught the last train home. I was very drunk though, and rather than going staight to bed I messed around on the computer for a few hours. Then when I put my phone on to charge I found I had 3 messages, and decided 4am was a fair time to reply to them- I hope they had turned their phones off.

Today was another fine day, and another in which I didn't get out of bed until well after midday. This afternoon I caught up with my Unifriends. We went down to Cronulla, walked along the Esplanade, ate Ice Cream, had a drink, then had pizza and chatted for a few hours. It was nice, and I must say I'm feeling a lot better about myself than I was in the early hours of Saturday morning.

I had toyed with the idea of meeting Annie for lunch today, but as I mentioned I wasn't awake until after lunch. The thing is it didn't really bother me. And this is a point I was at a few weeks ago. I'm happy because we have a reassuring consistency in our relationship, I don't need to see her all the time to make sure we still have the same dynamic as we did last time. And it's probably healthier for me in the long run to focus on my other circles and not get hung up on one. But I get paranoid for some bizarre reason that if I go too long without catching up with Annie she will forget about me or think I don't care about her. I don't know. At least I recognise that it's stupid. If I had dragged myself in to see her today it would have been more for those reasons. Instead I sent her an email saying it would have been nice to catch up this weekend but I slept most of the day- what are you doing after work Tuesday or Wednesday? And then I get this fear of rejection- it's perfectly feasable that she will be busy on both those days, and part of me would rather not ask in case she is, because if she says "sorry, I'm busy Tuesday and Wednesday" my stupid subconscious will take it personally.

Ah it's all coming back to me now. Mountains out of molehills. Having things stick in your mind that the other party doesn't even remember doing or saying. Welcome to Unrequited Love 101. Maybe there is hope for me yet to get to the point I was with Tanya in about Feb '98 where I just accepted I was in love with her and concluded it wasn't such a bad thing even if it wasn't going to get me anywhere, and got on with my life (predictably as soon as I was happy with that aspect of my life all this shit started coming down with Krys- oh well, lets sort out how I feel about Annie and get on with the next unknown wave of emotional torment).

Anyway, back to work tomorrow as I said. Then meeting up with the gang from Saturday night, plus Steve, an old primary school friend who is going overseas for a couple of months. So that's another circle- I've got the whole bloody Olympic rings happening. Now I just need to catch up with my high school friends. Not enough circles... who am I kidding?


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