Sunday, September 13, 2009

Letters from the wasteland

The title of this post comes from my favorite Wallflowers song of the same title. I used it, because I want to talk about something I really feel. And that is alone.
Now, I don't want this to come off like I am having a self-pity fest '09. That isn't my goal. My goal is to express how lucky some people truly are.
If you are reading my blog for the first time, let me elucidate. I was married at 25, divorced by 26. A marriage that lasted a grand total of 8 months. It was not a divorce of my choosing.
Now, since then, I have dated. And many of those women I have dated have been wonderful, great people. And in their own ways, I loved most of them. I am also happy to say that I love them more now, than I did then, as I have remained friends with the bulk of them.
But, and this is a huge but (that sounds funny. Everyone get in a chuckle, I can wait), the simple fact of the matter is, at night, I go to sleep alone. In the morning I wake up alone. And that is my dominant thought throughout the day. I am alone.
I think about an episode of Scrubs that really addresses this. Here is a link to the penultimate moment of the show that I feel really locks this down:
Go ahead and watch it, I'll be here.
Get it? Good. Dr. John Dorian is right. Nothing does suck more than feeling all alone when there are plenty of people around. If I could be so bold as to explain. I have the greatest family and friends on Earth. Seriously, in that regard I am one damned lucky man. And while I wouldn't trade any of them for anything, you and I and the guy down the street and some dude living in Outer Mongolia all know it's not the same thing.
I'd say about 98 percent of my friends are either married, engaged, or in a relationship. This makes hanging out with them quite awkward. I am either the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, whatever, wheel. And there is that ever present feeling of jealousy. I look at them, remembering what I thought I had with my ex-wife, what I've had with a couple other women, and it stings. Because I want that. I want it again.
Each day that passes, each second that ticks by, I feel some of my life's goals slipping away. I feel like time is mocking my attempts at building some sort of life, like my attempts at rebuilding are feeble. And I have to be honest with you, I am growing tired of people telling me I have time. Time, despite what the Rolling Stones may say, is not on my side. Time is far from on my side. People say, "Well 30, you are still young! You have plenty of time." No. I get that they are trying to make me feel better. But no. I am a fairly intelligent individual, and I get how all of this works.
So then the question become, where do I meet someone? Thirty seems a might long in the tooth to be hitting the bars. So you say, "Jason, what about the interwebs?" OK. We'll give that a go. Mega successful so far. Naught and not. I am half convinced I am just going to have to wander the streets with a sign around my neck that says, "Single man here!!" But then, I'd probably just get chucked in the mental institution. I could work the old charm on Nurse Ratchet.
People say, "Well, men don't have a biological clock like women do." You know what I say to that? Bullshit. I want to be a father. Really, I do. And here is the thing. I'd like to be able to enjoy my kids. I don't want to be the father who can't play with his kids because he is too damn old. I want to coach baseball or football or hockey.
I have a sort of calculation here, using previous relationships as a sort of guide. Say I meet someone tomorrow and we really hit it off. Goody. That would be great. And say you need around a year or so to really determine if this is the way to go. The one you love, the one to spend your life with. Takes me to 31. So we get engaged. Then there is wedding planning. A year? Year and a half? About right. 32, or a little more. And unless the woman I meet is willing to start having kids like, on the honeymoon, could I be looking at 34, 35, 36 when I have my first child? Perhaps. Could some time be shaved off of that? Sure. But it's more likely to be added.
Here is the worst part. Every now and again, someone comes wandering into your life, and you think, "Hey now. There could be something here. Something special. Something worth exploring." And you grab it.
Then something occurs that you didn't foresee but should have. The light that is shone into your life by that person is ever so brief. Like a match in a dark room, and gutters out. And there is that realization that you have failed again. And it's like a sucker punch to the gut. It knocks all the wind out of you and sends you reeling, looking for that light once more. You are left with a sense of bewilderment, of confusion, of disappointment.
Here is what I would say about that. It's not desperation. It's not obsession or fascination. It's the hope of salvation. And I mean salvation in every sense of the word. I firmly believe that when two people meet and connect and are in love, there is a sense of salvation there, of each person saving the other's life. John Steinbeck once said, "A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ." He is right. He could have used lonely in place of sad and it would've worked just as well.
I know I am far from being alone in this regard. But sometimes I can't help but feel like a man adrift on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific. No hope in sight. There's land out there somewhere, a lot of it, but it's certainly not on the horizon.
This is starting to sound like a pity party and I hate that. I am not one for self pity. So let me try and turn this on the right track.
To those of you out there, my friends and family who have that person in your life that completes you, I say congratulations. From the bottom of my heart, I mean it. Don't take it for granted. Remember just how lucky you are. Because you truly are.


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  4. you know, that isnt one of my favorite songs by them(and i adore them as you know) but i didnt realize that was what it was about. I just looked at the lyrics and i see the song completely different now.