Dear Tantalus, I feel your pain

It isn’t often that I wax personal on this blog but Rob made a comment to me about safety that made me realize an example he may have not realized. I keep my blog at arms length from myself because of personal safety as well. This post is playing close to the heart I wear on my sleeve.

Dear Tantalus,

I feel your pain. You were cursed by the gods to forever have fruit run from thy grasp and water recede from thy lips. Forever do you stand in Tartarus looking upon that which you cannot have. I feel your pain.

I have all to often ended up in similar circumstances. I find a man whom I look at and could see as a potential partner and something interferes to keep us separated. I have taken to calling this class of guys “untouchables” for my inability to be with them. It may be that they are literally too far away from me and we both realize that long-distance is no way to build a relationship. It may be that they are too far away from my spiritual needs, always at odds with my bizarre stance on religions, God, sexuality and the LDS Church. It has been that they are politically apathetic and uncaring about the world around them. In a few cases they weren’t where I was sexually and I was unable to follow where they wanted to go. And in a couple of cases they were not comfortable enough with themselves to come out to their families and/or others close to them.

In an effort to escape the madness that surely must plague you Tantalus, I have taken a vow not to spend time with/approach these untouchables. It is like the last time you were fed up with the constant failure to reach your goals and you went on a hunger strike. To avoid the pain of disappointment I have vowed to not become entangled with these guys who (as it was pointed out to me) are “safe”. Men whom I can fall for but ultimately can’t have in my life.

I have had this vow in place and yet, as you have likely discovered my demi-god compatriot, it does nothing. There I am standing and talking with friends and along comes a guy with whom I could see myself dating. He is caring and strong and yet intimately aware of his weaknesses. He is quite politically active and deeply spiritual. He is adorable and reminds me of an economist I once knew. He has just the right measures of dry and wet humor and would probably be the type willing to stay morally clean until marriage. He could be the perfect guy. And yet as I reach out to him and come to talk with him I come to realize that he is yet again an untouchable. He is tantalizingly out of my reach and I wonder why?

Why is it that I try to protect my heart from feeling this pain only to have it dashed with agonizing despair? You stole the ambrosia of the gods and brought their secrets to mankind, you fed your son to the gods at table and for this you were punished. What did I do to offend the powers that be? Why does this happen so often to me? Is it just because I am nowhere near ready enough personally for a relationship that I find semblance of them to satiate my emotions? Or is it because I want something I can’t have?

So tell me Tantalus, how do you cope with your punishment. Do you stop seeking food and drink? Or is the pain of your hunger so great that you must try and satiate it even though you know it will be a disappointing failure? How do you live or do you merely survive?

Yours in Torment,

~David