Sleeping single in a double bed

18 01 2009

With Glenn going out of towne on business, it makes me so sad.  It’s comical in some aspects, though at this moment laughter isn’t springing forth.  Once in a while though, usually when my ass touches the icicle cold rim of the toilet at 4 in the morning, or when I take clothes out of the dryer only to find he’s let a pen slip in and ruin my favourite slacks; once in a while I reminisce about the single life.

How I never had to see anyone’s forgotten underwear laying five inches away from the hamper; and the coffee rings on the counter top were always cleaned up; and how I never had to show my claws when I wanted to watch something on tv.  But as much as I cherished those little freedoms, there is something sad about not watching the tv with only the four walls for comfort.  There is something heartbreaking about making coffee for one.

I went directly from being a child to being a wife to being a mother and even after I left my husband, I was always searching for the next Mister Right to fill in those gaps in my life.  Being single was such a fear for me that I would date even the guy who swore naturalism was a clean lifestyle to the guy who thought sucking my toes turned him on in lieu of sex.

It wasn’t until I was leaving my second serious relationship, when I was moving away from Chicago, that a good friend and mentor pulled me aside as we said our goodbyes and said the most valuable words I needed to hear, “You don’t need a man and until you learn that, you’ll never make it work with one.”

The whole drive in the UHaul down to Charlotte, her words stung me.  At first I went through this whole argumentative denial process, professing to myself that she was wrong if she thought for a second I had ever been with a man out of need.  Who did she think she was?  And never make it work?  Bah, it wasn’t my fault that relationships hadn’t worked – which is still true to this day, mind you.

But slowly the meaning took hold and I began to realize that not once in my life had I ever mowed the lawn, taken out the trash or paid the bills because I had to.  I had done these things out of irritation that no one else had yet bothered, usually huffing dramatically the whole way to prove my point.  I had never really depended on me; I had always depended on someone else and their need for me in their life.  And what a startling revelation it always was when it turned out that I wasn’t as needed as I thought I was.

So once in Charlotte, I wanted to make my mark.  First goal was to make it one year on my own.  Let me define on my own.  No calling up a relative to bail me out, or leaning on a man because a pipe burst (or needed to for that matter), no dating a guy simply for his arms.  It was difficult the first few months.

I remember one day I was sitting in my car at the car wash, waiting in line.  And as I watched the guy in front of me do his car, I was inches from getting out and asking him for a hug.  I mean I literally sat there in my car processing how I could possibly convince this random stranger to just hold me for a few minutes.

And as I stopped in my thoughts and thought how pathetic am I, it hit me again what my friend had said about my need for a man.  Was I really so dependent on men in my life that I would actually contemplate asking an unknown one to hold me?  Yes, I was.

May 26, 2002 I moved into my first apartment.  It was only mine and my children’s names on the lease and it would be only my money that paid those bills.  And it wasn’t until 2004 that I first even went on a date.  No hugs, no kisses, he paid and I met him at the restaurant.  He turned out to be a wash and so did the next couple guys, but I was determined to continue to be independent unto myself, no sex – I had a showerhead, no gifts or gestures or promises.  And it was so nice.

Then came Glenn.  I actually first ‘met’ him in an online game in the spring of 2004, but we were just friends.  Good friends.  And it kept getting better.

Then my life kind of got topsy turvy.  My grandmother died and while I was home for the funeral, I got laid off – displaced was the word of the day.  I had a car accident and my mother kidnapped my children.  My ex husband wouldn’t disappear and a guy I had been dating turned out to be gay and just trying me on for size (silly me, I bought the whole saving myself for marriage line).

So with a broken vehicle, scared shitless of my mother wandering back onto my doorstep to come for my kids once more, no job and feeling like a fool – the bottom of the barrel fell out.  I told Glenn that I would be cancelling my game subscription and we exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch.  The very next day he began calling me, every day.  And it just kept escalating.  And then he began making the haul from southern Florida up to North Carolina on the weekend to see me.  I still remember his reaction about no sex – I’m not coming up for sex, though I won’t turn it down if you want it, I’m not stupid or anything.

By the end of the year he had decided either I was moving down or he was moving up and it all was wonderful, despite my need for independence.  I started realizing I didn’t need it.  I had proven to myself I could depend on me if need be and finally I could truly appreciate having someone in my life.

I still look back on the single days wistfully when I have to pretend to enjoy watching 24 or when I choke down the beer soaked bratwursts he loves to make – but no matter how much I enjoyed knowing the toilet seat would always be down – it pains me so greatly now when I know it will be just me.  Even for these few days.

I doused his pillow in his cologne and curl up in his grease stained tee-shirts and I cry. I cry because it feels like the one thing in my life that made me feel whole is gone and while I know it is only going to be for a few days, each minute is such an eternity of solitude.

He knows me better than anyone has ever taken the time to do and he can size me up with just a glance – though I would never let him know as such.

For the first time in my life, having my man not with me makes my heart hurt.  My throat swells with tears and my eyes well up with even a sideways look at where he should be sitting.

I look at the floor where his clothes should have missed the hamper and see none there and I cry.

The coffee pot is half full and cold and I burst into tears for the lack of my livelihood not being here to drink the rest.

I never imagined that I could hurt this way.  Not even when my husband would go out to sea for months on end did I ever ache like this.

I want to lie in bed all day and smell where his head has been.

I even miss his early morning blasts from the rear that send me running out of the room.

I just want him home again.



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