This post is the first of five chapters in my not-hiatus series explained here. Basically, I’ve fed the first few lines of some Casters’ Court chapters into an AI network to see what it comes up with. In this alternate-universe version of chapter one, Mage agonizes over his predicament then gives us some unexpected dating advice!
On nights like this, I don’t lock my door to keep other people out, but rather, to keep myself in.
As long as I have the presence of mind to set the lock when I walk in the door, I’ll be fine. It typically takes about half an hour for my resolve to break, then another twenty to twenty-five minutes for me to undo the lock. It’s a brilliant spell, actually. Every time I cast it, randomizes a completely new unlocking mechanism that I have to figure out to leave my apartment. The concentration required to solve the puzzle usually distracts me enough that, by the time I’ve gained access to the outside world, the endeavor seems pointless.
The same holds true on mornings like this. Once again, my concentration starts to slacken, and I’m forced to rely on other people’s input to keep the locks open. I can’t take this anymore. I can’t let this happen again, and I want to do something about it before it becomes a habit. Not only does my apartment lock-up feel completely arbitrary, but it’s also frustrating at other times when I’m supposed to be enjoying that very same freedom. It’s like my mind is trying to say “This is the most unfair thing about life that I’ll ever have to experience. It’s not fair and it hurts me, and it really scares me. It’s not fair to me, period. I want to go home, and I want things to be okay and it hurts, and it scares me and I wish I had the power to do something to stop this from happening again…but it won’t. That is why I decided to step back into what I do, what I’m doing, and where I’m trying to be.
If you’re just entering into the dating world on your own, and if you’re not sure what you love, don’t try to guess what it is your friends and partners do. Forget the advice of friends who say “You’ll never have the time for him!” or “He has so much to offer you that you cannot put into words.” You are not unique, and that will help you if your friends aren’t here to help you.
If you’d asked before if you would date somebody of that age, if you’d asked before if you would date someone over 35, then I encourage you to tell those friends. “You can ask someone else, but we are all different, and I hate the idea of anyone feeling uncomfortable talking about our own experiences in this era.” Remember why you fell for, and feel ashamed of, a certain guy in high school – who was “too nice”. Because in 20 years, if you’ve found out what he didn’t want when you got to high school, or are going through a breakup, or are facing a new job, or if you haven’t had dinner with anybody in five years, it might not be worth being able to talk about it. Just feel free.
And finally – it might be good for your confidence!
Who wrote it better? Discuss by commenting!