Sunday, November 10, 2013

Empedocles is hot, then he's cold—wait, that's Heraclitus

This week was rough. I made it through, no longer aching, looking around at options, drowning myself in logic and lexicon and four glasses of wine on Friday night. I've been focusing on homework most of the weekend, and on Saturday ran into Empedocles at the Pie Tin library. Actually, he approached me to inform me he was researching and prepping for grad school applications (the first round of deadlines is December 1st). He said that's why he'd asked for alone time Friday night, so I tried to respect his needed berth. I texted later that night and offered dinner on Sunday, since I planned on a crockpot full of Moroccan Chicken and very few children at home. Today, just before I ate, I sent a text offering to drop a plate off at his place so as not to disturb his work or privacy. He didn't respond so I ate alone and kept working on my homework. An hour later Empedocles called. Dialed my number. Expected me to answer. I don't do telephones. I text because it spares me from talking and tripping over my tongue. But I did pick up. He asked me for a refresher on how to get to my house. I gave directions and he said he'd be right over. I was under the impression he was coming for a container of food, so I didn't clean, didn't put on makeup, didn't worry about much of anything. He arrived a few minutes later, chatted briefly, checked out my bookshelves, asked to use my bathroom, and then sat in my rocking chair and began to tell me his stories. 

My cousin shared a post on introverts this morning on Facebook. I'm not certain where I stand. I spend most of my time alone, and except for when I'm pining for affection and connection with one particular person (lately Empedocles) I'm fine with that solitude. Today, I think I may have wanted it even when he was here because I don't need another week like the last. But oddly enough, I think introverts are drawn to me. They open up. There are a number of introverted people whom I would consider wonderful, fulfilling friends. 

Empedocles is in every way an introvert. When we are in large groups he is often completely silent. Even with me it takes him time to warm up, but when he gets going two hours can easily pass that he elegantly supplies conversation and I attentively listen and make comment in counsel and encouragement alone. I'm not going to lie; giving one on one time to people in this manner is largely my social staple and I adore it. But I paid close attention today, to the fact that by the end of his banter I was exhausted. And I found myself frustrated to know where I stand with him. He thanked me when he left, not for the food, but for listening and being here for him. His hug today was warm, human, inviting. My concentration level hovered above zero for the rest of the evening.

There is a Katy Perry song that fits Empedocles.

I'm going to learn Greek. I've ordered the textbook.

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