Better things

“We could do this all day”, I said breathlessly as I kissed her neck.
“All day?” she whispered. “One of us has to work.”
Just like that, as BB King once lamented, the thrill is gone. Reality comes a knocking.

It was a glimpse (my choice of terms), a semi-frequent occasion where we dare to look at a life together. A life where she is free from her abusive husband and I can be with her. A life where I was strong enough physically and financially to support us. We would have our own place. We’d watch movies curled up on the sofa with our dog. We would go places and do things as a couple.
Someday.

Today, she is still married. I believe in my heart that she is doing everything she can to leave him. Even if I didn’t believe her, it’s not up to me in any of this.
Me, I forgot during that lovely glimpse, that I am NOT physically or financially secure. At all. I’m on disability living with my mother. In addition, I’m pretty banged up physically so working is out of the question.

Still, hope prevails. We’re good together. We have chemistry. We have the same dreams and the same nightmares. We both want one thing. Better. She deserves better and she makes me better. Maybe we both deserve better.

one for the ages

This summer truly has been one for ages weather-wise. In NH we have witnessed record heat and unseasonably cold days. We have had record droughts followed by record rain fall. And this all in the month of July. The old adage is true, if you don’t like New England weather stick around a minute, it will change.

I feel really terrible for the 75% of my neighborhood, and by extension every weekender in New England. It’s rained almost every weekend. If I was one of those poor bastards who slaved away to pay for a second home only to spend each hard-earned weekend under an umbrella, I would be pissed.
Yes, I know you can’t get mad about the weather. But it still sucks.

I have a little side business that I’m trying to get off the ground. I detail cars. What started out to be a few here and there has morphed into a pretty steady flow of work. Only problem is that I work out of my driveway. 3 conditions make my job difficult; cold, extreme heat and rain. And that’s all we’ve had lately.

Consequently, I have been watching the weather app on my phone fanatically. I only wish that it was accurate. We have lake/mountain effect weather here. The weather patterns are fairly localized and are characterized by sudden change. The weather apps around here tend to err on the side of caution and predict some rain nearly every day. This makes life maddening when you are trying to schedule work. Sometimes I either fail to schedule a job or end up canceling only to have it be a beautiful day after all. Lost $$$$$$$$. Fuck.

Today, I looked out of the window of the dialysis clinic and it was pouring. I texted today’s appt asking her what her thoughts were. We agreed to reschedule. It ended up being a beauty. But hot.
Too hot.
I really can’t work in this heat.

Most of my customers know that I am a dialysis patient. As my network grows and I pick up people in different towns I suppose it becomes less common knowledge and I try not to bring it up. But when it comes to canceling a job over health concerns I’ve learned to err on the side of caution and I no longer care if I may appear to be a weather-related pussy. I have to be careful.

With 90’s predicted for the rest of the week I have already reached out to my scheduled jobs and rescheduled. Not one person cared. They get it.

I wish I could be as easy on myself as they are. Just another entry in a long line of instances in which I slowly come to grips with the fact that I am disabled, like it or not.

Perception

My recent hospital visit really played into the narrative I have recently opened; that is to say that it did little to dissuade myself that I am indeed a FUS (a fucked up shithead). It may be difficult to do so, but please don’t argue with me on this. I know what it is and the key to my functioning is to be completely honest with myself.
A myriad of emotions are bustling within me. For starters, I’m embarrassed and concerned about the long-term ramifications of my recent hospital stay. Will future doctors treat me differently based on the nature of my last stay? Will I be taken seriously in my quest for treatment of whatever malady(ies) are next for me?
Why is that my initial assumption would be that people will think less of me, especially if they are part of my circle? Am I wrong in my assumption that people just look at you differently once they hear the words “psych ward”? Why would I think that those closest to me wouldn’t understand and support me? After all, most people that I have spoken to, doctors mostly, thought very little of the details of the situation and focused instead on immediately trying to get me into a better place.
I have told more people in my blog about the details of my last hospital than I have in my circle. My closest friends know all of the details, amazingly my family does not. My and oldest daughter is my health care proxy and she and my mother made the decision not to tell my other 3 children. They know that I was in, they just don’t know the details. I suppose I will tell them when I am ready but for now I will maintain my strict policy of not making people worry about me.
To the best of my analytical ability, and I am surprisingly adept in that area, I believe that is my biggest problem and the root of many of my issues. I am not honest with people when they ask me how I am and therefore it always turns about to be a little worse than expected when I do fall.

I’ve always been a believer in the old adage “when someone asks you how you are say fine, at the end of the day they don’t give a shit”. It’s harsh but there’s a grain of truth to it. Greetings are formalities and should be treated as such. I have always taken it a bit farther when it comes to admitting that I am not doing well, I smiled and acted fine. So when I did break down it was always worse than everyone thought.
Lately, fine was not happening. I was sick and my resolve to deny that dialysis was kicking the shit out of me was gone. I reached out to my doctor’s and they didn’t respond to my liking. So I tried to force their hands to treat me medically under threat of force.

I’m not crazy, I just fucked up. But this time I hurt the ones around me. Not only do I have to carry that around with me, but the pain is still there. The insomnia is still there. The memories of the outrageous, uncharacteristic and very dangerous thoughts that ran through my mind in which I vividly imagined every conceivable scenario in which I would end my life are still there. Now compounded by an unimaginable and insurmountably heavy sense of guilt for forgetting that there are people in my life that care for me, people who would miss me if I were to commit such an act.
Maybe that guilt would be less intimidating if I finally admitted that I am not doing as great as my fake smile and false assurances would suggest. Do they even want to know what it takes for me to get out of bed in the morning?

I hope I shake this darkness and never fall down this rabbit-hole again.


It’s not you

Three powerful words from my daughter.
“It’s not you.”
I added another creamer to my coffee, took a sip and let it sink in. She’s right, it’s not a good look for me. Cheater. Adulterer. No thanks. It was then that I made the decision to end it. My daughter always keeps me on the straight and narrow. I trust her for the truth. And there I had it.

She’s known about my relationship from the beginning and knows all of the details. She kept quiet at the beginning because she wanted me to be happy. But she had an opinion waiting for me. When I told her that I was feeling conflicted and was thinking about ending it she put it right in my lap by calling me out on my character. In a way only she could. Blunt and to the point. And also correct. That’s not who I am.

I ended it, whatever it was, yesterday. It was heart-breaking. We had spent some really special times together. We had real potential as a couple, if not for one minor detail.
Her husband.

I did it by text. Texting is all we have had lately. She works full time and isn’t around for me to see her on weekends. Those rendezvouses we had, fleeting and precious, were few and far between. While I didn’t use the words “break up” she knew where I was going with my words. As if she was expecting it. Just like that, it’s over. We wanted it to work, we really did. But there was just no way. At least not now.

I can’t believe what I just threw away in the name of “doing the right thing”.

A person who thinks and acts along Grey lines may have been able to pull this off. I tried to be that guy. The Grey lines guy. Who practices “relative morality”. It was a perfect situation for that. They were unhappily married. He was horrible and controlling in everything he did to her. Grey lines guy could rationalize all of it. I can’t.

I’m not black and white in everything that I think and do. But I have a firm grasp on right and wrong. I believe in codes. The Guy Code, for example, which clearly states that you do not fuck another man’s wife. I may not know him personally but I respect him enough to honor the code. It’s tragic that he is too ignorant to see what he has before him.

She’s amazing. If I actually thought I had a chance with her I’d fight with the strength of 20 men to get her. She always deflected but I think she’s beautiful. We were wildly attracted to each other, when allowed we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other. We shared so many interests and activities. We liked the same music and movies. We waxed poetic about the things we wanted to do.
Be seen together in public. Go for walks. Socialize as a couple. Snuggle on the sofa. Watch silly movies. And of course see each other whenever we wanted to.

None of it could ever happen and I began to realize that unless I saw some serious signs that she was actually able (she was willing, we talked about it) to leave her husband then it was just unfair to all involved to continue. She needs her husband right now for what he can provide. Things that I can’t.

So it has to be this way. Love is just not enough…

no regrets and no hurry

I had a woman I was dating recently tell me that I talk about my ex too much. It was a deal breaker for her. She was the type (I’ve never met another quite as adamant about it) that didn’t talk about the past at all. She felt it accomplished nothing. Of course, with what I know about her she has some good reasons not to relive her past or some of the people in it. As for me, if you have read even one of my posts you will know that I talk about my past ad nauseum. It, and the people in it are a part of me and help to explain the person I am today. My past is my story, it explains everything about how I act, react, feel and think about everything. My ex is a huge part of my story, how can she not be? I spent almost 26 years of my life with her.
But I don’t talk about her because I’m hung up on her. I’m definitely not. That’s where my past lady friend got it wrong.

My new lady is more accepting of my ramblings. She knows that it is part of my process of moving on. Plus, through the benefit of my ramblings she gets frequent opportunity to shake her head in the best of “what the fuck” mannerisms. Some of my marital stories have that effect on the unindoctrinated. She has heard enough to know that my marital reality is that my ex and I are better off divorced. No threat of reconciliation there.

This post is not about my ex. We have a fine relationship now. We get along. I’ve moved on from anger, blame and remorse. She, for her part is quite comfortable with never accepting any blame, responsibility for her actions and anything resembling accountability at all. I’ve moved on from trying to understand. It’s over. This post is about Divorce.

I know a LOT of divorced Men. Some single and many with families. A lot of them have simple regrets, you know the ones, like not fucking the babysitter or new receptionist at work. Others have been through long, drawn out and messy situations. It surprises me how many of them wish they were still married. They wish they weren’t divorced. I couldn’t disagree more.

I like being divorced.

We weren’t good for each other, we get along fine, I have an amazing relationship with my children, and we have each gone on with our lives.

The other camp, the ones who say shit like “I wish I never met her…” , well their argument doesn’t apply to me. I could never say that, if not for marrying her I wouldn’t have 4 amazing kids who mean the absolute world to me and have validated my existence like no other accomplishment I could ever point to.

There are many reasons I am glad I am divorced. I have no-one to answer to. I do what I want. I buy what I want. I am no longer (neither is she) handcuffed by crippling debt. The kids are grown and my relationship with them is more that of a friend and the giver of only solicited advice. On a unique note, I no longer have to deal with the soul-crushing weight of watching someone spiral hopelessly down the drain of mental illness.

I like relationships. I have no problem, in fact I am quite comfortable with monogamy and fidelity. But I am in no terrible hurry to get into another. In fact, the fuzzy nature of my current situation is amenable to me. While I’m incredibly interested in the (married) woman I have been spending time with, I am in no rush to take things to the next level. The fact that she has a whole lot of things to take care of should she take leave of her husband (no guarantees and speculation from me at this point how long it will take if it does at all) doesn’t scare me. I’m not going anywhere for a while and I can wait and see, within reason, what happens. She may be feeling some pressure to move things along but if she is worried about losing me in the interim it shouldn’t. I really care for her and I’m not a shopper. If I like something I stick with it. It’s not like the remote theory, you may be watching a show but constantly search to see what else is on.
That’s not me. Some of my needs are being satisfied. It may surprise you that a good conversation, a nice dinner, the hug and kiss of a beautiful lady and the knowledge that someone cares about me actually go a long way with me. And these can keep me going for a little while more.

I’m a romantic who doesn’t mind being divorced. I can look at it as a failure, because it was, but it isn’t the end of me. The old me. The one that believed in love. He’s still in there somewhere. That guy is ready for a new life.

Eventually

that look

I was once at a black tie event. As I stood nursing a Scotch a coworker gave me a gentle nudge and she pointed to a man that I did not know.
“See?”, she said. “Look at how he looks at her? It’s like she’s the only one in the room.”
Once she pointed it out it was hard not to notice. In a sea of people, laughing and joking, Tracy’s husband was fixated on her. Every hair toss, every sip of champagne, every polite laugh and smile…he hung on it. Without saying a word, he told the entire room that she was his entire world.

I know the look. As a dedicated and professional people watcher I look for such things. It’s strictly voyeuristic you see. Noone had ever captured my fancy to such a degree. I have always craved someone that would stand out in a crowded room. Not because they are the most interesting and beautiful person in the room, just because they are to me. I never thought that guy would ever be me. Until now.

“I love the way you look at me,” she said. She didn’t elaborate. She didn’t have to, I knew exactly what she meant. I looked at her like she was the best thing to happen to me. I looked at her as if she was the only thing that mattered. I looked at her as if she was the only one in the room when in fact we were in a crowded room. It was strange and wonderfully refreshing to be the one doing it for a change, as I had resigned myself to forever be the one watching another do it. Finally, it was my turn.
I pulled her close, reveling in the surreal moment. Is it luck? Or do I dare say that I deserve her? I don’t know. Just as our relationship lacks labels, it also defies explanation. Just as I can’t explain all of the natural phenomena that go into creating a brilliant sunset on a summer evening, I don’t have to in order to enjoy it.
I can’t explain you. I can’t explain us. I’m just grateful that I have finally experienced looking across a crowded room in pure adulation, wishing I was with you but secure in the knowledge that you will be leaving with me.
They can stare all they want. You’re with me baby.

the Heart comes first

We’ve all heard it. “The heart wants what the heart wants”. Never has a truer and more powerful statement been made.

If you read me you know that I met a girl. It might not sound like a big deal to the average person but I don’t meet a lot of women. Mostly due to the fact that I had very low esteem after my tumultuous marriage and subsequent divorce from which I emerged beat down and with little confidence and less desire.

It’s hard to explain the powerful feelings that overcame me when I first saw Lisa. It felt urgent, I just had to meet her. It was surreal how powerfully I was drawn to her. Her smile melted my toes and her voice became etched in my brain. I suppose the word smitten comes to mind.
So I made a move.
In order to not get her in trouble at work I slipped her a note, the plan being that I would make sure I was in her lane (she is a pharmacy tech) and slip it to her when noone was looking. And that is where it gets tricky. As I handed the card to her I noticed the wedding ring for the first time. I tried to pull it back but she wanted it. She opened it. She texted me later. We talked. We laughed.
I proceeded against my better judgment and moral code, as did she. Knowing that it may not end well we began a relationship that may possibly have been doomed from the beginning but we both want to see where it goes. As luck, good or bad depending on your vantage point, we now have very powerful feelings for each other and there is no turning back.
The heart wants what it wants.

I am very conflicted. My morals kept me from cheating throughout the entire course of my marriage despite being very unhappy. I never touched a woman, especially one in a relationship because it isn’t fair to the man. Yet here I am. There’s no fault to attribute to anyone. I should have checked to see if she was married before I made a move and she had admitted that she didn’t help the situation by accepting the note when she knew that it would only open a can of worms. Despite them being extremely unhappy, her husband is a misogynistic brute who treats her terribly, I know that it doesn’t make it right. But I’m addicted. And she is to me. The chemistry we share is beyond words.

We try to behave when together, to keep this realistic but we can’t keep our hands off of each other. Despite the tractor beam that is our attraction, we also have so much in common. Long, deep conversations have revealed so many things in common from movies to music to pet peeves and hopes for the future. As for the true test, yes we can also sit in absolute silence and not need to say anything at all.

Now we face the ultimate challenge. She has made concrete steps towards leaving her husband. She has told him how she feels and is trying to plan where to go and what to do should she move out. In this area I’m not the best fit for her. I don’t have my own place and I can’t support her financially. Is love going to be enough? But I would do anything to be with her. She is what I have been looking for the longest time and I really can’t imagine my life without her already.

I wish hope and desire equaled good results. I want her. I need her. I hope that I deserve her. I really think that I do.

This is crazy and ill-advised but it feels so right.

The heart wants what the heart wants, after all.

The Ring

“I like your jewelry. You have a very unique style.”
She put her hand to her ear as if to say speak up.
Fuckin’ masks.
I’m trying to make small talk through my mask, a plexiglass screen and her mask. I had to try, though. I was too intrigued not to. Lisa the pharmacy tech had been all I could think about since I first saw her.

Tan, blonde, a pretty smile, outgoing personality and awesome personal flair with the jewelry; an abundance of bracelets and rings and neckwear ranging from Native American themes to what I would find was her Grandmother’s ring on a chain about her supple neck. She reeked of individuality and she seemed to be about my age. I was smitten.

Over the course of several medication pickups (not a big deal I’m there all the time lately) I attempted to get to know her a bit. Last time I was there I sensed a twinkle in her eye when she saw me in line. I’m pretty bad at physical cues and I haven’t been laid since Obama’s first term but I do vaguely remember the dance of flirtation. I had to make a move.
Today, before I fired up the Fatboy to head to the pharmacy I decided that I would make a move. I feared public humiliation and I didn’t want to get her in trouble at work so I made a little note and tucked it into an envelope.
Hi. I think you’re amazing. If you’re not married, engaged, or dating, I’d like to take you out.
Name and phone #

When I approached the pharmacy I was excited to see that she was working today. She looked up and there was the twinkle again. Then another cashier summoned me from Lisa’s line. I obliged, only for Lisa to finish with her customer and jump over and offer to take care of me. I lowered my mask and said hello. As I did I pushed the envelope across the counter.
“You’re so sweet”, she said. As she grabbed it with her left hand I saw it. The friggin’ ring.
“I need that back. After seeing your ring finger I think I made a mistake”, I said.
“Nope”, she said. “I’m opening this.” I went home feeling somewhat defeated. I changed clothes and began doing some yard work. My phone chirped 2 hours later.
Hey! I feel the same way about you. Yes, sorry but I am married. I hope that’s ok I would like to get to know you as a person, even if it’s as friends. Is that ok? I could tell you my situation but you don’t want to hear about it.

We’ve been texting all day. Her last text was a pic of her in a bathing suit. What have I gotten myself into? I would never touch a married woman. But I like her sooooooo much.

Friggin’ ring.
Friggin’ luck.
Nothing is ever friggin’ easy.

I may have to end this before it starts

Serendipity moment

“You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
I love this quote. It transcends sports and applies to all walks of life. Life is a numbers game and the more attempts you make the better your odds of success. As it applies to my dating life, I am batting 0.0%. Admittedly, I haven’t taken many shots or swings but I have whiffed like Charlie Freakin’ Brown so far.
2 crazy chicks and one quiet one with a boyfriend.
I give up.
Single is fine. Single is good. Single is easy. It’s the lifestyle that best suits me. Funny, now matter how many ways I say it, it’s a lie. I hate being single.

I thought about renewing my Match profile but that was a miserable experience the first time around and I was glad to cancel it when it expired. If I liked them they didn’t like me and vice versa. The few that did like me…well I hate to be superficial but the pictures really didn’t do it for me. I’ll leave it at that. The rest, the ones that swiped and kept going, I know why they did that. The words “financially secure” were missing.

I get it, money is important. Being “secure” is important. Having your own place is a must and living with your mother is a serious turn off. Even if I got past that, my brutally honest Match profile doesn’t include the terms “dialysis patient”, which I’m sure would be a real “deal-sealer” over a first date cocktail.
“Why be so honest?” one friend asked me. It’s easier. I like to get it out of the way.

Goddamn, Bella. Why did you have to fuck me up so? You made me feel things that I had forgotten how to feel. Yearning, heartache, desire, intimacy, a fire in my loins and a fire in my belly. All of those things that my loveless marriage stomped out like the remnants of a campfire. I had done so well without feeling those things for so long, I had convinced myself that I didn’t need them. Only to be awakened and painfully unrequited. As Meatloaf once lamented, I was all revved up and no place to go.
Now I want those things again. Alas, I fear it is not to be.

I need to focus on my health. I need to just get a hobby. I need to spend my money on my motorcycle. I need to spend time with friends. They’re safe, I don’t feel the pain of rejection when a friend doesn’t call me for a few days, weeks or months. I need to get the idea of a relationship out of my head, it’s just not going to happen.
If I keep telling myself this, eventually I’ll believe it.

Now, Universe are you listening? I am putting it out there that I don’t need or want a woman in my life. Now would you please see to it that I find it in the last place that I look at a moment when I least expect it? I think it’s called Serendipity. Yeah, I need that.

That, I think, is the only way it’s going to happen.

Back in the game

My buddy and fellow blogger Steve of MSich Chronicles paid me the ultimate compliment yesterday when he linked his post to my blog. Just an aside, please check out his blog, he is a great writer and has a very cool story to tell.
I found it amusing because he mentioned my blog with particular reference to a series of posts I have written about yet another failed attempt at finding a meaningful relationship. As it tends to happen, it got me to thinking.

I have been divorced for almost 3 years. For the first two I don’t even think I tried to meet anyone. I was content in being alone as I tried to deal with the most pressing matters of my life: multiple hospitalizations, starting dialysis, battling the Social Security Administration over my disability claim and adapting to life 100 miles from all of my friends and family left me worn down and very cynical. I also think it is safe to say that I didn’t like the way I looked or felt and really believed that nobody would want to be with me. With the additional variable of living in an area where most of the age appropriate single women weigh a metric ton and have a better mustache than I could ever grow, it all adds up to single.

Last year I decided to dip my toe in the dating pool so I created a MATCH profile. As in real life, it was honest and to the point. Sure, I mentioned my sense of humor and my love of movies and blah blah fuckin’ blah but I also touched upon my health issues and my financial situation. By that I mean that I live with my mother. It took me zero time to realize that most, to be fair not all, women were looking for the words “financially secure”. My profile bordered on having actual crickets. Nothing. Zippo. Jack shit. It was abysmal but very telling. I had no regrets however, my attitude was and is that I would rather be honest up front than have a awkward conversation later.
Then I “met” Bella.
A fellow blogger and I developed an amazingly strong bond despite many miles between us. The prospect of her pending divorce and ability to possibly relocate gave me hope and consequently I allowed myself to feel actual feelings for her.
It ended badly. BUT, I don’t regret it for a second. She did me a favor, she awakened feelings in me I hadn’t had in ages. It felt good.

It took me a while to bounce back from that. I let my MATCH profile expire and decided to do some work on myself. I got back to the gym. I started a little part time business detailing cars to boost my bank account. I joined some local organizations to keep busy and be available in the event someone has a sister or cousin they could fix me up with. Then one day while playing poker at a friends house I met her.
She was the best friend of my buddy’s new wife. I was enthralled by her as she walked by and it wasn’t long before we became FB friends and then in real life. We became fast friends and soon we were talking daily. I will admit it now, I read into our blooming friendship. I wanted more. We started to hang out but soon it became evident that I liked her more than she liked me. We talked about the prospect of dating. She wasn’t ready. I don’t think I listen very well because I pursued her anyway. She asked if we could just hang out as friends and see what happens. I tried, I really did. But it didn’t work. She wasn’t ready and I couldn’t operate that way. The sound in my ears of me liking her more than she liked me was deafening. We parted ways. It’s too bad. I miss her. But I have no doubt that it wasn’t going to happen no matter how long I hung on.

So here we are. My romantic woes, as it were, are so notorious that Steve felt compelled to mention it in his blog. And that’s ok. It’s a good thing. And I’m in a better place. My own assessment of my romantic viability has changed for the better. I wasn’t rejected, I simply met women that weren’t right for me. It’s not an indictment on me. One didn’t care that I was broke and both thought I was a nice guy and attractive.
And as usual, I have a trick up my sleeve.
I met someone a few months ago. I did some work for a very nice woman, the first attractive, age appropriate woman I have met since moving up here. She has been quietly reaching out to me through FB and text all along but I did little more than politely respond. I was kind of seeing someone and I don’t like to confuse things. Now that thing is dead, I called her.

We’re going out Thursday.

I’m back baby.