“Why do I still miss her?” M— thought as he walked into his apartment. “She didn’t even like me.”
It had taken M— seven years to find a woman he would be willing to call his girlfriend. The woman he missed was the first woman he had loved since he left his hometown to make a life for himself. He left in his late twenties and had met her in his mid-thirties. The life he had lived in between was one he needed but would rather have done without.
“Lost,” he thought, “I’ve always been lost. Whenever I find comfort, wherever I find comfort, I leave.” M— finds jeans more comfortable than sweat pants, an aspect of his personality she had tried to change.
She, the woman he missed, had been good to him. Because of her, he learned about himself that he preferred to be alone. It was something he already knew but hadn’t learned. He was Meno if she was Socrates. His life had made him most comfort in loneliness.
M— was cursed with memories. Whenever he tried to situate himself in any place, he first remembered being pushed out of a dance circle at a junior high school dance. He can see it happening, as if he were watching it from the bleachers. There he was, slowly walking around the outside of a group of his classmates, looking for an opening. When one appeared because two of them went off to slow dance by hugging each other while slowly turning in a tight circle, he cautiously stepped in. Before the next singing of the chorus, C— had pressed both of his hands into M—‘s chest and was telling him that he wasn’t wanted. It didn’t take a lot of force to get M— to step back and away. He had already been unstable on his feet.
Recalling this event led his thoughts to other dances with other classmates and different “friends.” He can still see girls snickering and then walking away after they noticed his intention to ask them to dance. He didn’t want to spend all of a Meatloaf song with them, but maybe some Bryan Adams or TLC.
M— filled his life with more memories than experiences. His memories were more predictable and changed less often. They provided a structure he couldn’t build for himself.
She gave him structure. She had rules that he was able to follow. It was when he found the confidence to make his own rules that things started to fall apart for him. Unaccustomed to the rigidity of a self-imposed structure, he faltered. Walls are thin when you walk on top of them. He didn’t know how to live with a woman because he had never learned how to live with himself.
Still, he missed her. F— was different but the same in the ways that mattered. She had put a life together for herself. He could see that she followed her own rules, too. F— listened before she spoke, which he noticed right away. M— could feel that F— was reading him. She was smarter than him in all the ways that mattered.
M— emptied his pockets into his desk drawer, grabbed a soda water from the fridge, and sat down on the sofa. He looked at his phone to see that there were no new notifications. “That’s about right,” he said aloud. He opened his text messages and started one to F—: “Hey! It was great seeing you again. Let me know if you want to grab dinner sometime this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!” He hit send and threw the phone to the other side of the couch. M— looked at the book that has been sitting on the coffee table for a few months, grabbed the TV remote next to it, flipped open the recliner, and turned on the TV.
A few hours later, F— replied: “thanks you too :)”
“The phone autocapitalises,” M— thought.
21:04 November 6, 2021
—I just poured my first glass of wine of the night.—
I was going to write this out by hand but my mind is running and I don’t think that I’d be able to keep up if I were handwriting.
I doubt that things are going to work out with F—. I like her but I don’t think that she’s interested in me. Fair enough, I wouldn’t be either. We only met twice.
I’m thinking about creating a life for myself that I live alone. I want to be entirely self-sufficient. I want to be able to take care of my emotional needs without other people.
I remember reading a book called How to Live Alone but I can’t find it. I must have given it away. Is that irony? Whatever it is, it’s funny that I’m sharing a book about being alone.
What if I were to write my own manual for how to live alone? I could see how it goes, try new things, and make notes that I could type up into a book. It’s something to think about. It’ll give me something to do.
I still miss her but I don’t know why. My head and heart aren’t lined up. She doesn’t even like me. Why am I fighting myself to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me?
I think that living my life alone is entirely possible. I’ll have to figure out how to deal with loneliness. To start with, I have to stop agreeing to meet people. I’m too quick to say yes when people invite me out. I feel like they’re doing me a favour. I suppose, they kind of are.
Anyway, I need to just stop saying yes to events. I don’t get invited to many so it should be okay.
How am I going to fill my time? What am I going to do to keep myself occupied?
Before I left to come here, T— told me that I need to write a novel. It’s been nine years and I still haven’t done it. I could do that. It’ll take me a while. I already have bits and pieces all over the place but I could put something more cohesive together. Then, when I decline an event by saying that I have plans, I will — I’ll plan to work on my novel.