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Vulnerability, September 29th, 1996 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox


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archived soapbox: September 29th, 1996
"Vulnerability" [permalink]
    keywords: love, relationships, life, happiness, emotions, rejection
    soapbox #: 52
    written: September 29th, 1996
    words: 426

"Vulnerability", an Essay

Yeah, I'm rambling about love again. My apologies to those who prefer the usual sardonic rants on bad business and religious psychobabble.

I think I figured out why I feel so averse towards love sometimes. It didn't hit me immediately, you know, like the feeling you get when you rest your hand on a screw. It took many years of curiosity as to why I both hated love and loved love ("Odi et amo," Catullus said.).

Why I am sometimes bitter towards the emotional side of my spirit is because love makes me weak. It makes me vulnerable, it makes me helpless, it enslaves me, it makes me weak. Say, for instance (this is completely hypothetical, honest), that I was to encounter a beautiful and graceful woman who enraptured my experience-scarred heart. Her countenance then repainted itself crystal clear in my mind over and over, savagely tearing apart any attempts by my mind to fend it off. Well, it succeeded and I was then enslaved. I was cheerful when she was about and depressed when she was not. My finely-tuned concentration (put to good use surfing the Pepsi web site and marking up HTML!) was lost. What did I have left?

God probably told Satan, "Let's just be friends" when he cast Satan down to Hell. Zeus probably told Prometheus, "Let's just be friends" when he chained Prometheus to a cliff. She just told me, "Let's just be friends."

The suffering begins.

If this were to happen (again, purely hypothetical), can you imagine how powerless I would feel? Ben Turner, firm and without emotion, reduced to an insecure, infatuated fool? What would people think? Where would my hard-earned reputation go?

I figured it out. I don't like being put in vulnerable situations. In fact, I go out of my way to avoid them. Sometimes I'm too much of a strategist for my own good, concocting the equivalent of Alexander's battle plans for use in a skirmish in Iraq. But when I engage in the war we call courtship, I am immediately put in a losing situation. The woman has the man at her mercy and there's no way he can get out.

So this isn't for me...
Absolutely not...
Without a doubt...

Bah, who am I kidding? Back I go into Love's Hell again...


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