Tag Archives: single

Muscle Shoals

10 Oct


“Can’t have, now want.” It’s a simple principle, my friend said, and frankly a tragedy that it would be exhibited by such a person to whom I’d elevated to such heights. But there you have it.

It happened again this week. Every Thursday the latest Aloof Engineer has a pang for me. This time it was triggered by his having read my latest Letter from the Editor, which, oddly enough, I also reread the same day at various desks around an office I was visiting on a site visit. (I’m so famous in my tiny pond that I see my words on the fresh new issue of my magazine on desks everywhere I go. In my tiny pond.)

Anyway, I was polite, deferential, glad to be of use (Prufrock), but I responded to his shallow, sudden invite with an “I’m so busy” of my own.

Now I lie here, head encased in raging pain, as usual, huge career change afoot, trip to Providence planned for tomorrow, and “Free Bird” in my head. The latter is truly odd. But I can’t stop thinking “Can’t have, now want.”

But remember, each action has an equal and opposite reaction. Last Saturday night I went out on a date with the Aloof Art Director, a character so ancient, only some Bunky readers will know him. Foolishly (and all Bunky readers will know that I’m most foolish when it comes to mistaken affection), I thought we set a new pattern of earnestness on that evening, and hoped we would soon be seeing each other again. I mean, at least within a week. Boy, was I wrong.

Have now, don’t want.

While men throw themselves in front of buses to ensure that they won’t have to spend two consecutive evenings with me, every time I was taken out to dinner by a colleague this week, I was offered new work left and right. Meanwhile, because these guys occupy so little time or attention in my head(ache) lately, I’m on track to finish a novel revision before December.

So, hey, universe, I get it. No one man will want me until I like myself for the work I’m doing. No wonder my head hurts.

‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change

Something in You Glitters Like a Moth

11 Dec

20131211-232003.jpgLast night I stood in a very long line for a very long time with some very clever people who were enduring the cold with the hope we’d enter a bookstore and see a live rendition of The Moth story telling event. Ah, how many kindred spirits shivered together there.

I went alone, knowing I wouldn’t be alone for long. Standing in line behind two adorable girls, I examined each passerby for the potential to be my line friend. Pause, person, pause, pause, would no one join the queue behind me for some odd number of minutes? Was I the last person in NYC who felt she must arrive one and a half hours before an event to expect admission to same? Impossible… Oh! Hello. A gruff looking very Brooklyn (original, not bearded) dude just got in line behind me and cursed up an adorable cloud of dialogue into his phone. Yes!! My line friend.

We bonded nearly instantly, and he planned to tell a story that night even though he was a Moth first-timer like me. His friend joined us later, with the line lengthening far behind us. We all shared brown-bag whiskey and I bragged to myself that I’d just done something so real New York. So adventurous.

“It really warms you up!” I chirped. Line friends loved it. I heard my first line friend say to his other friend when he thought I was absorbed in my phone, “There are so many pretty girls here tonight!” They speculated as to the reasons why a largely literary event could attract pretty girls. The “improv” element, they decided, attracted actress types.

No, I’d speculate that self awareness breeds self-consciousness and therefore produces good-looking storytellers. But I only smirked into my phone and felt sure they weren’t talking about me.

More whiskey and idle chatter later, I pointed to line friend two and said, “You’re from California.” He looked only slightly like he was surprised, just a tilt of the chin. “Central California,” I prodded. “Bakersfield. No, further north. Salinas!!”

Friend Two pointed to Friend One and said as though I actually couldn’t hear him, “She’s really good.”

Friends for life, we entered the bookstore two by two and I asked “So can I cling to you guys now?”

“Clyyng, clyynnggue” said Brooklyn Friend One.

I’d told him that he had presence and he’d obviously do quite well on stage, should he get picked. We wove magic, we three, leaning against the back center wall and gazing at the empty stage.

A shuffling of storyteller names in a hat, and, unfold, Friend One is the FIRST pick!! First. We beamed at each other in a triangle of elation.

His story was stunning, as we’re the tales of all the speakers. But I did note one thing. Younger storytellers broke the terrible news of break-ups to us like they were the most shattering events in life. So cute these were the most significant blinks in their sunny existence. How preoccupied they were with finding and keeping love, how it must inhibit them from achieving their real goals… Why does that sound familiar?

I leaned back into books and felt the bindings with fingers wound together at my back. We’d talked all night about our writing aspirations and I believed myself. I really am, are, is, writing. Now.

I am writing now because clearly there is no relationship for me now, I said again to my therapist immediately before departing for The Moth.

“You need to flip the switch and believe that the relationship you want is out there,” he said.

I laughed bitterly. Chalkily. Psfffp pfffp hah. Hah. No, not for me.

And then I wound my way downtown and knew for certain that I had new friends waiting for me in line. That much was easily proven true, leading one to wonder what else I should start believing.

Turn-Down Service

9 Dec

Books have always shared my bed. Since I was just half the height I am now, I’ve tucked in with pages and bindings surrounding me, adrift in the places they’ll carry me before I sleep.

You’re never alone with a book, I’ve written here somewhere before. And written here too are some lines about how when you’re single you can sleep with your books. I used to be giddy during the short phases between boyfriends when I could sleep morosely with hardcovers beneath soft covers. But now it’s just the norm. Three years of bookfriends in my bed.

That would be fine except now I am adding a newspaper section and moleskine calendar floating on top of the comforter too. Do I really never expect to share this bed again? I guess so.

At least I’m surrounded by love. And my life pursuit keeps me warm at night. I intend to become an author by osmosis.

Hopelessly Hopeful

29 Nov

20131129-130256.jpgMy subconscious has a hangup. It’s caught in a short loop of visions covering all manner of anxiety about packing. Almost every night of my life I dream about two things: love and suitcases. In every episode, I’m packing a suitcase, trying to get ready to leave a hotel, but I get lost in a maze of rooms and can’t find all the things I need to pack. Meanwhile, there’s always some guy, some new love, who compels me to stay and slows me down further. Quite literally, men get in the way of my preparations to go where I long to be. It’s not their fault, oh no. It’s all me and the quicksand in which I plant myself.

Last night I dreamt of packing suitcases all night, woke up to a misguided text message from my stepmother, and then returned to sleep and dreamt of another suitcase and another man. This guy was a tough guy, all muscle and brawn, but sweet sweet. He was actually standing between me and the suitcase, and I was clinging to him desperately in a literal sense, when I was again awoken by a text (this is why I usually put my phone on airplane mode at night).

Two dreams, two guys, unlimited clothes piled in messes in multiple rooms, and an eternal delay in getting to the airport. Never once in any dream have I ever made it to the airport.

Dear reader, I’ll interpret these pop psychology dreams for you. The airport and the flight are my career aspirations, which I obsess over constantly but never take any steps toward. The men are men, but I suppose if I’m being honest, I know why I’m single. I’m terribly afraid that a man will get in the way of what I want to do. Obviously that’s not true, and a little help, love, and support would be marvelous. But I guess I’m just a victim of childhood circumstances (psych 101) and I saw my mother give up her life and career when she got married, and then she told us her victim story her whole life after her divorce.

Guess what? My mother would have given up her life and career regardless of marriage. She was never ambitious or passionate. But she did pack us up and move us every year or so… sometimes more. That’s another topic.

Sigh. Lament, lament. My poor little subconscious can’t seem to get over the hiccup of packing and zipping up a suitcase and going somewhere. Meanwhile, in my waking life, I do that very thing weekly. And I have many admirers of my very efficient packing skills.

Probably, though, I’m never going where I know I should go, which is my desk, to work on my writing, to further my career. Yesterday on my subway ride to family dinner in the West Village, I came to an overwhelming, possibly partially hunger-induced conclusion. I’ve had inklings of this idea before but there alone on that plastic train seat, perched perfectly in my camel hair coat with rabbit fur collar (it’s vintage! I’m sorry animal friends), burying my chin into piles of the lovely cabled scarf I knit way back when I had the Bastard Architect boyfriend, legs clad in cute zigzag-patterned gray wool tights and two-toned leather and suede boots, hands wrapped in black leather and wool fingerless gloves with long wrists tucked into tea-length coat sleeves… I felt a wallop in my chest. I really am alone, and I really clearly seem to be alone because I’m on a track where my creative life/career will be my only satisfaction. As the universe bats one male prospect after another out of my path, the fatalistic part of me knows there will be nothing for me if I don’t do what I intend to do in writing.

Yes. This bleak expense of dissatisfaction is what dreamy, drifting girls gaze upon while riding the train. I highly suggest tapping one such forlorn soul on the shoulder and reassuring her the next time you see an apocalyptic reverie brewing. You can wake her from her dream and go with her on the journey she’s been planning in anticipation of meeting you.


16 Dec

“Married or single?”

Break eye contact, look left at countless photos of husband and children on the cubicle wall, “Single.”

Look down at the desk and reflect wryly upon the surprising depths of sadness in your tone.


“Girrrrrrrl, you say it so sad! I would be sayin’, ‘SINGLE!'”

Actually throw your head back in laughter, disturbing everyone around you.

Then when the lady with the clicky click keyboard leans in conspiratorially to tell you the lewd name of the cocktail she’d be ordering at the bar that evening, smile knowing that really some not-single people wish they were you.

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