The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Life on the Rebound

It's Friday. Casual Friday at work. It's jeans-and-tennis-shoes day; it's not-my-normal-hairdo day. Another weekend is on the verge of history.

Another weekend to sleep in until 8 or 9, then wake up and lie in bed wondering what I might fill the day with. Last weekend, Labor Day, it was errands and money spending. The boring chores of life on the rebound. Actually, they're probably the boring chores of life in general; they just seem more mundane alone.

It's funny that we use the euphemism "on the rebound" for someone who just got out of a relationship. I always associate that phrase with the image of rebounding a basketball. But when I really think about it, I imagine the basketball too flat to bounce when it hits the ground, it just sticks where it lands with a dull thud and that funny sounds deflated balls make.

"On the rebound" cetainly is a euphemism then, a nice way to talk about an ugly thing. It's like saying "passed away" instead of "dead." One sounds like you have somewhere to go; the other sounds like you rode a horse off a cliff.

"On the rebound" sounds like you have a new lease on life. It sounds like you'll bounce into the hands of another (player? shooter? the metaphor breaks down at this point) and be happily on your way.

In my brief few months on the rebound, this hasn't felt much like the case. Weekends have lost their lustre, and I'm happy to return to work on Monday just because it gives me something to do, to get my mind off myself and be productive toward some other non-me end. The weekends are an opportunity to hang out with friends, go to movies, play games, and catch up on the things you abandon during the week (sleep, shaving, doing the dishes, groceries, the 8 hours of King of Queens reruns on TiVo). These are good things and I appreciate them, but my weekends are still predominantly spent alone: eating, driving, watching TV, shopping. On Labor Day, I was out running errands trying to look like I had somewhere important to be (or more accurately, something important to do), it was about 4 in the afternoon and I suddenly realized I hadn't said a word all day; I'd had no one to say anything to.

The most surprising aspect of life on the rebound though is the simple desire for companionship. Most would suspect a young single guy to be out for one thing, has one thing on his mind, and would ride a horse off a cliff for it. And while that desire arises often enough (though not compared to the likes of being 17), I find that it steps aside for the deeper desire for close company. The other desire, while certainly an end in and of itself, also seems to point toward this deeper desire as well. The desire for complete exposure in body and soul accompanied by ongoing acceptance.

This has been a surprise for me of life on the rebound. The near-physical manifestation of desire for this sort of company, sometimes crowding out the lesser desire of mere phsyical company. It says to me that we are made for more than simply satisfying our insatiable sex drives--that the desire for sex is only part of a broader and deeper desire.

It tells me that there is something else worth riding off a cliff for. I think, too, that it's something for which someone once did.