Now I have a half share in an amusing themed blog I can post more
depressing, whiny, solipsistic thoughtful stuff on here. Yeah. That's you warned. Get out your tiny violins, there will be moaning.
The slightest of "romantic" (a misnomer) entanglements has just evaporated on me. It was doomed anyway, and after the momentary sting of hurt and the wounded amour-propre, it's sort of a relief. An Eeyore kind of relief, but a relief all the same. Being alone is one kind of a thing. A muted thing, but not an awful thing. There are books, music, DVDs, eccentric food for one, endless writing (though not of the right kind). There is (very occasionally) cathartic cleaning and mean laughter with girlfriends on gchat. I know how to 'do' it. But the anxious, sick, self-doubting, emptiness that I have been discovering recently was far more lonely. Liking someone makes you vulnerable to getting kicked in the guts, and all the consolations that have kept me so happy for so long seemed dusty and inadequate - I felt dusty and inadequate.
Because the problem; I think, with the spectral possibility of some kind of relationship was that it highlighted what I am missing. Let's be clear: there are lots of things I'm not missing, and lots of things I am enjoying. I can amuse myself very happily for big swathes of time solo, and even though I am desperately out of practice, I'd say I was improving. I am not looking for Anything Heavy, or really, anything at all most of the time. But there are indubitably things that are much better with someone else. I sound pathetic, but remember I haven't been on my own since I was nineteen, I am fumbling around, discovering things that the majority of the population discovered aged 23. A late developer. A shy late developer in a foreign country, where people of her age are all busy having children and not keen to go out dancing, or even looking for new friends.
Things that are better with someone else (who absolutely does not have to be a boyfriend, except possibly the first part of No. 3, which could get awkward with your friends. So I hear):
1. Sundays - always mildly suicidal, Sundays on my own make me feel 85. Somehow, having a dog makes it even more senior citizen-esque, possibly because my neighbourhood is filled with elderly gentlemen walking ugly dogs early in the morning. 'Bonjour messieurs'. 'Bonjour madame'. A bit of arse sniffing from the dogs, and and we part - they head back to their proper Sunday lunch, I probably head back to my MacBook.
2. Watching shit tv and being snarky about it. Good tv on your own is fine. But tawdry, crap, reality tv loses its sparkle when you watch alone, I think. This would be fine if I was watching the same tawdry, crap tv as my imaginary friends in the computer, but I'm not, because of the Belgian thing. Sigh.
3. Sex - obvious. There have been evenings when I have contemplated answering one of the "cherche femme qui ne veut pas être seule ce soir*" ads in Kiss and Ride. Not for very long, what with the danger of getting chopped up, or imprisoned in someone's basement, this is Belgium after all. But still. I miss hugging too. I often want a hug, and noone (except my children, and they only under sufferance) hugs me in the WHOLE OF BELGIUM. Thank goodness I have a dog who, although too big to fit on my knee, will submit to having his ears pulled companionably.
4. Takeaways. You have to pretend there's more than one of you to justify the amount of food you are ordering. "Yes, 4, no I mean 6 pairs of chopsticks please".
Oh, I dunno. Sometimes it seems like the infinite potential of being single is in fact just the infinite potential for rejection and hurt. Sometimes I think I will sit at this table at this laptop until I fall over dead and get eaten by stray cats. But sometimes the good bits are amazing. Often I am optimistic that things will be ok, probably in a way that I can't even imagine right now. Things have a habit of doing that. But mainly I find myself thinking over and over again that I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING.
I am going to have some gin now. Because gin is good alone. This much I know.
(*Looking for a woman who doesn't want to be alone tonight)