This, while not unusual, isn't to the liking of either of us. Not really.
In the past two years I've seen very little of him. He graduated in October 2002, and I'd been seeing him every day at school before that. He came to our Halloween party, we went to The Two Towers together (ahh, tradition), then he dropped by just before Chistmas 2002 to drop off gifts for the household before heading off to work. In a cunning scheme aided and abetted by his mother, I dropped by in February 2003 one Saturday morning. (That was the infamous Trip with the Flat Tire.) Our entire household descended upon him to wish him a happy birthday in June of 2003. He came to our annual Halloween bash that October, and then Return of the King, and finally there was that very bizarre glamourbomb/caroling descent upon his house past his bedtime around Christmas.
His schedule's been working against us. My schedule's been working against us. His military-brat/antisocial geek thing has been working against us. I schemed again with his mother to pull an April Fool on him (dessert and a book he'd been wanting to read a story from) but he'd gotten called into work unexpectedly. Stupid job. All the time he had free with his month off from everything, I had busy with work and overwork. He had the time free to come over -- but not the gas money, because of the unstable situation with the job. He doesn't count it exceptional to not see close friends for six months or so, because he's never been a one to keep in close touch. Hell, I don't think he's exchanged as much as an e-mail with Dawn or ralmathon since they all graduated, and the four of us were very exceptionally close. He'd certainly like to spend time with me, but he's not going to be devastated if it doesn't come through, and he's not going to re-arrange his life just yet to see me, because it hasn't been all that long by his standards. If it happens easily, great. If it doesn't happen right now -- wait. The time will come. It's not like either of us is going anywhere right now, is it?
Grar. Dumb military. Dumb antisocial gene. When I get back home, I'm going to have to coordinate the contact game with him again, and see what the new rules are now. After work'll probably still be a bad time, as I know how cranky he'll be likely to be getting, and while I can probably take a cranky Darkside venting at me, he'd feel bad if he yelled at me just because someone else made him grouchy. Takes too much energy to put the social face on after work... I'm touched that he actually enjoys talking with me regularly, frankly, because of that damn antisocial gene. Conditioning. Whatever the hell it is, he's got it in full. Weekends will probably be the best, if this is one of those nice standard nine-to-five Monday-Friday jobs. Used to be, I'd call in the afternoon on our mutual day off, and if he felt like talking (he usually did), we'd spend an hour or two giggling together. (Before he moved, back in 2000 and 2001 when he didn't have the scary evil commute and didn't have to crash immediately after getting home, we'd talk what felt like half the night... )
I'm the Grand High Duchess of Communication, and the Queen of Bad Timing. I have to calculate things like this. Where other people communicate in cups and buckets, I communicate with a firehose. With people who aren't particularly close to me, it doesn't generally matter when I call, as long as I remember to check the time and the relative time zones. This is because I don't call particularly often. With those I'm close to, however, I need to calculate relative schedules and make sure I don't overload anything in my general enthusiasm. I don't know Dawn's work schedule quite by heart yet, but I'm getting closer. (Between nine and ten her time on weeknights often works, and then Sundays and sometimes Saturdays... and there's always voicemail.) Bored Lunatic and a phone and numbers to call will wreak complete havoc, more so than on LJ. Especially while drunk.
I'm missing Darkside so much. It doesn't actually hurt, these days. I've gotten sane enough, he's patched me together enough. But it's lonely when I don't get enough time with the person who can always tell if there's something bothering me, who will pry it out of me if I'm willing to let it be pried, the person who I don't have to really watch what I say with (except on the brain-breaky because that's not mine to tell, and making sure to say "buffer error" instead of mushy stuff because he isn't mushy over me), the person who actually relaxes enough around me to show me real emotion, tell me real thoughts and worries and joys. There are surely other people who unbend themselves around me, but few others so very guarded who unbend around so very few.
I can't get enough of that. I've seen him interacting professionally with classmates, and I've seen him having fun with friends. It's like I know three different men.
One of them is polished and serious and focused, very task-oriented and professional. You might as well be working with an android, only he's got a sense of humor that flashes out from time to time.
One of them is lighthearted, but serious about gaming and anime. He's nice to spend time with, but he's still very intensely private about the stuff that actually matters.
And one of them ... One of them, the side of him that comes out around only the closest friends and family ... One of them has dreams, and hopes, and fears, and occasionally obscene observations about life, the universe, and everything. He listens, and shares this for that, and tries his very best to make everything right if anything's wrong. He screws up. Oh, does he ever screw up. But he doesn't mean to, and sometimes, after he's just put his foot in his mouth, I see a flash of his pain at having hurt me before he shuts down all the way to professional.
To that last one of him, I show myself. It's like I strip professionally, keeping an online journal. But there are some things that just don't go in here. It's to him that I can show those things. Sometimes I don't put things in here, because I want to talk to him about it first, and I'd feel cheap uncomfortably telling him something that I'd put out on the internet for strangers to see. It's the difference between admissions in private between intimates, and anonymous confession... but still, he comes first.