I am on a bus in rush hour heading through the inner city, this particular bus in this particular neighbourhood is always an adventure. So many stories I could share of awkward people pining for love. Today is no exception.
I started reading Neil Strauss’ new book last week. You know, the one who wrote “The Game”. This time it is “The Truth: an uncomfortable book about relationships”. I have been enthralled since the moment I laid eyes on it. White soft cover, gold lettering, and gold trimmed pages, with a maroon ribbon book mark. It looks like a Bible. The first image you see is an anatomical drawing of a heart, a brain and a pelvis, all on a stark black page. A book that looks spiritual, is about love and relationships, and has scientific anatomical drawings in it – I am already hooked. I love it so much that I am reading it today, on the bus, at the bus stop, at the store – every moment I get. I muse at what comes up for me. First, I recognize how conspicuous I feel reading something resembling a Bible in public, I feel myself projecting judgement onto myself by the others on the bus. Interesting – what is that about? Second, I am reading about Neil’s time in rehab as he delves into the mystery of his own sexual desires that have led him beyond the edges of integrity. I am reading about family day. This hits home. I was once a person visiting someone in rehab on family day. The staff tore open the deodorant I had brought my partner that day, on the off chance I was trying to smuggle substances into the facility. I remember feeling offended that these professionals, having never met me, would assume ill intentions. It occurs to me today that I have a pattern of getting terribly triggered when people don’t trust me, or don’t understand me. Also interesting. The third thought happens just after the handsome man sitting beside me yells ‘back door!’ to the bus driver so he can manually override the side door to let someone off. He then apologizes to me for speaking so loudly, and we exchange some pleasantries about the adventures that always happen on this particular bus, in this particular neighbourhood. Our eyes lock for a moment, and I see kindness, excitement, and a little bit of mischief. He is flirting with me. I enjoy lingering in his gaze a little longer, even though I know better than to pick someone up on this bus, in this neighbourhood. He gets off at the next stop. I am left wondering, did he look over my shoulder to see what I was reading? Did he assume it was a Bible? Or did he see the words ‘sex addict’ throughout the text? I giggle at my own quirky insecurities, realizing I will never know if it was sex, religion, or something else that inspired him to seek out a connection today.