Last night, I met a friend and, as we often do, we discussed the affairs of our contrary hearts. With the developments over the last few months, there was a lot to catch up on. While we were chatting, and I was ticking off the current situations with the various amours that have half-heartedly populated my life, she pointed out almost with surprise, “So for the first time, you’re actually single.” And the fact is, she’s right.
Over the last many years, I have been involved with a few people intermittently. But like burrs under the proverbial bonnet, it was never over, because it never really ever began. There were friendships, and a few benefits and all the possible permutations one can imagine in the two ambiguous words, “it’s complicated.” Nobody could fault my justification – single and mingling – and I figured that since no one was getting hurt, how could there be any kind of fallout?
In their indirect and loving ways, all my friends let me know how I was screwing up. I attracted the wrong people at the right time, the right people at the wrong time, the could-be-right, the not-so-wrong, the lost and the found and everything in between. There were laughs and lots of grist for the literary mill… but yesterday, over wine and fairly unassuming conversation, all of them disappeared without so much as a “catch ya later!”
It’s a shock to discover that the story you’ve been telling yourself – that you’ve been single for the last 5-odd years – is actually an utter fabrication. And today, with no one to have a conversation with in your head, no loop of the person's expressions playing through your mind’s eye, no sudden laughs breaking through at inappropriate times when you imagine what he would have said, you find yourself at a loose end for the first time in a very long time.
And it’s weird.
Everyone from astrological theorists to interested friends have a theory. Apparently, anything from 'a time for new beginnings' to ‘just a phase’ is a fair diagnosis. But what’s really weird is – I breathe easier. There's a lot to be said for walking around without a voice in your head. There's much more to be said for all that space that can now be devoted to doing sweet fuck-all if that's what you want... no waiting for a phonecall, no wondering if you're going to or should meet, what it would mean if you do or don't, how the evening shall end, if your legs are shaved, no raunchy texts or making/fending off booty-calls...
The flip side?
With so much space cleared out, there's an overwhelming flood of new people. Suddenly I'm being singled out for my vivaciousness, my rapier wit, my deep profundity, my simmering sexuality, my (pick any quality and fill in the blank)... And with them, comes the possibility of opening the doors to some other form of complicated. After all, who doesn't like being appreciated for all those superior qualities, eh?
The only difference? After having put in so many years of hard life, one simple lesson stands out. Just because they have the good sense to love you, doesn't mean you have to drop your standards and love them back.
One small step in type-face.. One giant leap in Life.