It’s Friday night and I’m binge watching Frasier. Peyton is at my parents’ and I am at once exhausted and angsty.
The week has taken the piss out of me. My credit card company is inept and drafted an enormous payment without my authority. As I type I’m currently $275 in the hole. That’s -$275, in case you think you’ve misread that. I bawled out everyone and their mother, but still they said, “You’ll be reimbursed within three to five days, Ms. Jones.” Three to fucking five days.
Work has been intense and particularly stressful and I have ignored moving my body which is the most important thing I do each week to maintain my sanity. Instead I swim in golden bottles of Sauvingon Blanc and get lost in my baby’s eyes as I do our bedtime routine. The love I feel as I look into those blue eyes overwhelms me, fills me with light and this eternal ache, a mother’s love mixed with stark raving fear for the future of my love.
But tonight I am alone and I have none of that love to anchor me, just the wine to float on
Will, the sugar daddy, was forced to cancel our plans to consummate our relationship in a bed instead of over the front of seat of my car and The Artist’s attempt at a booty call fell on deaf ears. I can’t be bothered, honestly. I have bigger fish to fry.
Something keeps coming up for me, this sense that I am unfit for a relationship, and it’s been all consuming these past few days and weeks. It’s been a real revelation; it all makes sense now. I’m the square peg and a relationship is the round hole.
Yes, I want to be treated with respect and loved and adored and all of that, but the honest truth is that I cannot give anyone much in return. I am a decent human being and treat everyone with kindness, but that’s not giving much. That’s the bare minimum.
I am able to skate by with men because I’m charming and sexy and “busy” — oh, so busy. And everyone thinks I’m open and that they know me, that they’ve learned a secret about me, but I’m performing to such a degree they don’t notice me hiding over there. And I have no desire to come out.
As a young man recently accused me, I’m good at “the game.” And fuck it if he wasn’t right.
I dance away and twirl just out of reach time and time again. I am transfixed by others just like me, shiny objects shimmering in the distance just as I shimmer in the distance for someone else. No one can catch me and as I’ve cried and lamented over the past years of my life at my bad luck it’s been because I choose the wrong men to focus on. I can accept my role in my own misery.
Like I said the other day, I don’t trust myself. It’s like I’m drunk on trust issues: my judgement is impaired. I shouldn’t get behind the wheel of my love life.
I like men who are falsely close, those men who resemble Labradors and who feel like old friends immediately. Petra and The Soldier were like that and this new man Poppy, too. Or I like men who can never commit to me like The Neighbor or the sugar daddy, Will.
There have been an extremely small number of men who’ve wanted to be present with and for me, but they’ve gotten no air time either in my life or here. I found them to be unstable, strange, clingy — which may actually have been true, but the thought of blending our lives together gave me hives and choked me.
I maintain that the man I will ultimately want will know me as Hy and as me and will love me all the more for watching me soar away and yet circle back to rest with him because he is my safe place, my rock. I’ve never had a rock before.
I am drawn again and again to the age-old saying of, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Truer words may have never been uttered.
I spent years suffering poor body image and low self-esteem in general and suffered an even greater strife of not truly knowing myself until now. At 40 I understand my wounds as if I had held the knife myself. At 20, 25 or even 30 I knew only a fraction of who I was and my marriage was doomed to fail because of this; my life was always on this trajectory though there was a part of me that tried mightily to solve for it, to be traditional and monogamous. But I don’t think it’s me.
I am wild and wanton, I push boundaries and crave newness. I have grown accustomed to my aloneness, but I recognize that if I had a base to return to I would again and again; happily. Like a toddler leaving her mother’s hip to explore further and further each time.
My own mother didn’t appreciate that kind of exploration, it was threatening to her and so I pretended to be the daughter she needed and wanted. And then I pretended to be the friend people needed and wanted, the wife, the girlfriend. Today I don’t have the energy to pretend anymore and being alone isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
I’m not a religious woman, but I believe in magic, the magic of coincidence and observation. What makes me notice these things now? They’ve always been this way, but now it’s like seeing The Matrix; I am me. And so I find it no small coincidence that this blog is named A Dissolute Life Means… for I am dissolute. Completely, utterly, beautifully. It’s like past me knew exactly what future me needed to embrace.
I am not ashamed of this and I am not trying to be anything but. I am a good person, a perfect person in my own flawed way. I have carved out the smallest little corner of the Universe for myself and I feel decently enough about it; it feels good, warm. I’m happy here with you all.
Men have become like ocean waves since my feelings have begun to shift, crashing on my shore relentlessly. I have to be more careful about poking around out there because they will want me if I say I’m available and the truth is, I’m not.
Not to the guy who lost the condom in me and came silently and not to the guy who disappeared for two months after our date and then I couldn’t remember him (or the date) when he texted again finally. Not the guy who popped up after weeks to tell me that his lifting buddy pointed out my apartments as we drove by and said, “Hey, I dated a girl named Hy who lives there.” and the guy texted me to tell me “Small world.” Not the guy who won’t let me wriggle away and pinned me down for a date. Not the other guy who wouldn’t let me wriggle away and who also pinned me down for a date.
I’ve named Hy after Samantha Jones from Sex and the City. She was always the character who was criticized the most as being one-dimensional, but I found Samantha extremely complex. What female character has ever been lauded as sexually free without being a caricature of a desperate woman? She just plain liked to fuck and wasn’t interested in anything more, unlike so many other slutty female characters out there who were ultimately looking for a boyfriend. There is nothing wrong with not wanting a boyfriend and I do not want a boyfriend.
I want to be free to do as I please, to go where I want with whomever I want. I don’t want to answer to anyone. Most importantly I don’t want to worry about anyone else. I want to focus only on my child and myself, my career, my health, my animals whose needs are so ever-present it’s a miracle I even get to sleep. One is beside me as I type, his black fur over-heating my thigh even as he purrs softly, ignorant of my discomfort.
There are risks to this route of course: if I don’t care, they don’t care. My time is less valuable and thus plans are more like suggestions rather than commitments. Fades are the name of the game instead of graceful goodbyes. It’s the tax for the reality of the situation but it’s all I want to spend.
Watching Frasier I’m reminded that 20 years ago we we talked to each other more, dating was a relational exercise more than just words on a screen. We heard each other’s voices, expected someone’s complete attention.
There were endless debates on how long to wait to call a boy, etc., but that was so easy compared to today’s dating challenges and I want to return to basics. I want to do only what I really want to. I’ll walk *this* far and no more. If no one is there where I stand then I will change direction and I suspect that I’ll make a beautiful pattern in the sand as I walk here and there trying to discover which way to go, deliberate and mindful of what feels right for me.
I might be alone tonight, but I’ve never felt more by my own side.