Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Single Life

Ah! What a day to day affair life is. (Jules Laforgue)

Days come and close with the exactness of a clock.

Rearview mirror, but no reverse. Just straight drive. That’s what life is, after all, isn’t it?!
Filling up time and hours with the solitude of a single life’s plans: groceries, walk in the park, yoga mat, feed the cats, pay bills, call family during the weekend, meet random friends for dinner during the week, work.
Nothing more. Nor less.

A year of coming of age. Maybe more than a year. Maybe immensely more than a year. And of finding that foothold once again.

For ten years now, I feel like I have been moving along pushed in one direction or another by men who have entered and exited my life. For the first time, I feel free and swimming on my own. I’ve been floating, mostly, this year. But I feel, for the first time, in the freshness of a spring afternoon, watching the playful and free geese in the park, that I am slowly swimming, not just letting myself float. Baby strokes, yet, but I am swimming…

Not sure yet where I am headed, but as long as my breath keeps me alive and my arms above water, I’ll continue to swim.

There is literally no limit to what you can do with yourself when you’re single. You have no one to wake up in the morning for, no one to ask for permission to listen to music, nor anyone to ask what they would like to have for dinner. No one to clean after in the bathroom, either …

The walk in the park seems endless. Could be endless. No one but the cats to come home to. And the cats can surely wait for days. Maybe I’ll do a movie today, but I am not bound by any commitments, so, I might skip it – with no remorse.

The visit to the bookstore, or to Hallmark has no time boundaries, either. Why should they?! As my friend, A., said: “I am free to just ‘be’”. And I am taking full advantage of that, trust me!
The weekend is wide open, a white canvas waiting to be smeared. Dinner could be leftovers, or sushi from the Harris Teeter counter, or a burger and fries at the neighborhood pub.

Like swimming in a calm lake. Being in a relationship, I guess, would be swimming in marshes, thick and full of algae, the mud and vegetation dragging you down. But the water lilies and lotuses smell so good!

I can sit on my back porch and watch my petunias, and lilac tree, and azaleas, and lilies, and carnations for hours. No one inside to call me in for lunch. Or dinner. Or ever.

And this no-commitments and no-strings life is so curative. So stripping you down to bare bones to ask you every day: “do you like what you see in the mirror?”. You have plenty, way plenty opportunities (and time!!!) for this question to haunt you daily for sure! So therapeutic! Because the first pimple you see, it’s cleaning time!

The night falls calm, fresh and soft like a velvet veil … Over it all a saddening and deafening silence. It seems with no ending. But I secretly know that the sun will, in fact, rise again tomorrow, over a much similar new day. For now, I get lost in the night. A confused bird is trying to break the silence. So does a scared dog.

But other than that my soul is one with the silence. And the darkness. A lone soul, and quiet one, too. Submissive. Alone but not lonely. Enjoying the companionship of the darkness and the silence. Filling up with nothing but presence! Bountiful! And plump with life.

Thinking of people I once knew. And marshes I once floated over.

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