August 15, 2015 8:00 AM

There's an interesting philosophical conundrum I've begun to notice, the more I write about my experiences -- in creating a narrative, I am hardening whatever thoughts I have with a degree of certainty and continuity that may or may not have existed before those thoughts were strung together just so. Like most creative processes, not only do feelings become more vivid in making them material, but the material itself speaks back into your feelings. At worst, you risk generating a more thoroughly wrought, deadly self-deception; at best, you are freed of the overwhelming ambiguity of emotions, and can reckon with them as living elemental forces at play.

This time I'll start from the middle, or what I thought was my middle, upon which I was afraid I had centered my entire being upon. At the second bar she told me she wasn't ready to be in a relationship, and that she hoped we could just be friends. It was oddly undramatic. My scale of perspectives didn't waver, nor my affection. Maybe fundamentally I didn't believe her, but then that disbelief must burn so cleanly and transparently that it hardly mattered, because I continued to enjoyed myself, and her. It might also have happened that way because I had already accepted this possibility, and in fact many far more absurd scenarios, destroying and reconstructing them over and over to relieve my anxieties. Whatever the case, it was a strange moment in its utter ordinariness. Late at night on the corner with her chatty neighbor, I got the lowdown on the various sex-scapades of their building, and how to best hide branches in a potted floral arrangement. So much I didn't know I wanted to know.

I'm still not entirely convinced of my own emotional aloofness. Although I claim the moment wasn't the center, here I am, centering around it. I might've just dosed myself with a naive overappreciation of cognitive distortions, and am invoking a quasi-Buddhist mist of egoless detachment. If I'm not actually there yet, that's certainly where I want to be, and I appreciate the gravity of those ideals, the intense, life-long commitment they require. Nevertheless, no matter where I am, what has been revealed is the idea that I could be friends with someone who I have a natural empathy for in microcosmic ways, and inspires my generosity, buoyed by a mild and weightless hope of romance. This is a new shade of feelings worth exploring.