A Shattering Realization

Romance is not a commodity that is guaranteed.  Nor can it be coaxed, coached, courted, or commanded  It alights, unbidden, on the breasts of the unsuspecting.  And I suspect that I shall never experience it again.

I’ve been a busy girl recently.  And all of my dating busyness has left me longing to hang with my girlfriends, gay friends, guy friends, my cats- anyone and anything that is not connected to the picked-over assortment of humanity that has presented itself as a potential romantic source.

A love coach has been courting my services.  She told me that healers don’t charge enough for their services.  Her fees range from 5k to 25k.  I think that establishes her firmly in the realm of someone who has a healthy respect for their services. She was offering a pittance for the sales person who was taxed with the responsibility of separating women from their money – all for a good cause – the fulfillment of a soul mate that we hear so much about.  I’ve dwelled many years amongst the imperfections of this creation and have spoken to a lot of people.  I haven’t met many who were living with, met, or who had otherwise engaged with the elusive soul mate creature – which I fear – is as mystical and unrealistic as the infamous unicorn.

One’s libido does calm down as one ages.  And even as I admire my fabulous, toned self, brimming with charisma and charm, I have to admit that I have always possessed a highly cultivated sexual selection process which has devolved into one that barely registers the opposite sex.  There was a foreign man, years ago, that awakened my desires and longing for a partner.  We met amidst the beauty of a soft autumnal Amagansett night and I was foolish enough to feel – soul mate?  I even dated a narcissistic  prof recently who briefly inflamed my staggering sex drive.  And there’s the 32 year-old that calls, voice brimming with testosterone and desire to recount his attraction to me and plan a visit to New York so that we can explore our mutual admiration.

I had rather hoped that I’d be looking into the eyes of my beloved at this point in my life.  I’d take in the craggy lines around his brows and labial folds.  Each crevice and indentation would be a memory that we’d shared, despaired over or had rejoiced in.  I’d imagined that his eyes would simply say, “home”.  Instead, I look into stranger’s eyes, framed by faces that are much older than the ones “advertised” in their dating profiles.  Seriously, men wouldn’t let women get away with such outrageous lying.  One man posted a pic of a muscular, tanned hunk, with blonde hair.  I didn’t recognize the middle aged, dark-haired, man spreading at the bar as the same creature.

The man that I dated last night hadn’t even bothered to dye his hair.  His pic must have been circa the 1990’s when he’d possessed some vigor and vitality.  So different from the tired, gray haired, overweight man who sat in my lobby, where I almost turned about face and retreated to my apartment upon visual contact. However, I pride myself on treating all with dignity, even those who in fact, do not posses dignity.  He was an affable fellow who shared a lengthy story of a libido that had destroyed his life, later in the evening.  It seemed that is career as an international consultant had taken him to Asia where he met and subsequently disassembled his life for a 28 year-old fashion designer.  He unapologetically walked out on his family, including two children, career, and moved to Shanghai, or such, I can’t remember, I was thinking about getting into bed with my cats at that point.  The much younger woman, as in criminally, what were you thinking your lecherous fool, took all of his money and invested it in her failing business, ignored him and five years later he returned to America, depleted, financially dissolved and heart-broken.  He loves her still.  I ask you, why is this man dating?  Oh, and he lives in a small one-bedroom apartment somewhere near the Whitestone bridge, don’t ask me for directions, with his son, a jazz guitarist.  He explained that he’s helping his son.  I wonder if the son is not helping the prodigal dad.

Then there was the Israeli physicist who lives in my building and whose acquaintance I mad in the midst of the Hurricane Sandy madness.  He took my number and called in multiples of five, leaving but one message in ten.  We managed to have a salad together one evening.  Then it occurred to me that the physicist was calling and rambling about physics and Israel, way to seduce a lady, with the hopes that he’d bore me into submission and I’d just invite him up to my apartment to end his monologues on quantum mechanics.

Of course there was another lost puppy whose wife died and who’d made a career of playing the sympathy card. I met him for the first time, after several long conversations, at the Metro North station on 125th street.  He’d trained into Manhattan with a twenty dollar bill and parked himself on my couch.  After hours of talking and boredom that bordered on paralysis, we went to the cheapest Chinese restaurant that I knew of and ate dinner.  He submitted his plea then that he couldn’t face the commute back to his friend’s apartment where he’d been living for one year and asked if he could crash on my couch. Horrors, one and all.  I’ll spare you the tale of the Harvard graduated engineer with fewer social skills than my cats, who was adamant that I view his before and after pictures on Facebook.  For some reason it was critical that I see  the proof of his body with an additional 60 pounds.  What did he want, some Facebook commendation?

Oh but I must add the 65 year old- way too old, yuck, psychologist, who grabbed my hand at the entrance to my building and placed it over his erection.  What buddy, you didn’t want to waste a Viagra?  I mean is this really what is circulating masked as available men?

As I back away from the financial abyss with God’s help, more rants on that later, I actually thought that it was time that I consider spending what remains of my years on earth with a witty, intelligent, soulful, and sexy-to-me, mate.  I get why men date younger women.  Who wouldn’t choose the passion and enthusiasm that youth offers rather than the gray haired disillusion that has presented itself at my doorstep?  Seriously, if you’re putting yourself out there, put yourself together first.  Don’t be crashing with your son, brother, Zen monk or other.  Have the decency to have put the past in the past and don’t expect sympathy votes for the last lady love that sucked you dry and spit you out.  I have my own horror stories to tell.

I had rather hoped that life would offer more than this monotony of loneliness where the deepest empathy and touch that I experience is with my cats.  I’m more involved in my hobbies and interests.  I no longer have to call my gal pal and ask her to coax me from my apartment as I had just a few months ago.  So overcome with depression and fear, I couldn’t find a reason to exit my apartment, or to live for that matter.  I’m much better now, but is this seriously all that there is?  Something, a la the brilliant Jack Nicholson movie, has to give.  So I thought that I’d never receive another job offer.  I just have to have another shot at love, don’t I?

Even Nosferatu has stopped calling or has been trapped in the depths of the Disney bubble, as he called it.  I’m not lighting any candles over here in his absence.  It’s just, you know, with another holiday approaching, without my mom, without a partner, I feel somehow cheated.  I believe that life is about love and connections.  I believe that we are here to learn to love, giving and receiving, at least that, I feel, is my lesson.  Boy, have I failed or what?  Does this place me at the back of the karmic line?  Will I reincarnate as a bat or something?

And finally, is romance just an urban myth?   Perhaps it’s all some hoax to keep the world populated.  What do you think?

Hope at the Violet Hour of My Despair

Royalty-free Image: Girl with arms outstretched at sunset on the…

My mother spoke comforting words into the pre-dawn night’s – her voice steady and calming through the phone, soothing my rampant, dark panic.

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.” My mother said.

“But it’s been a twelve-year dawn, Mom,” I would counter, smoking, nerves frayed.  Then…

“Even for us there will be a softening in the wind.”  She said, wisely, like a prayer.

And my spirit took comfort.  She, I believe, has found a softening in the wind, through death, though my spirit dwells with her still.  But at last, after a year of praying, meditating, howling, roiling, and raging at my destiny, I have three job offers on the table.  As the strain drains from my body, I find a softened, tired, grateful shadow, hands raised in a boxing position, still battering at windmills.

God came through at precisely the moment when I was drained, wondering how and if I could reinvent myself, fashion my being into something and someone that was marketable in this changing labor landscape.  I’ve sold 25k worth of jewelry and had about two months of liquidity left before hammering my meager stock portfolio.  A long over due bank loan against my apartment was the last resort and that’s scheduled to come through, though they are rechecking my loan since I am in Zone A – high risk area – post hurricane Sandy.

I need time to process the offers and to at last choose the one that is best for me.  I will take time to find gratitude in a battle wearied spirit.  I will thank the friends who have stood as encouraging banners against the winds of my despair.  At the violet hour of my discontent, there is relief.  I can rest without thinking that I may need to move, without dreading the next day.  Now I have to reapply myself to work.  This vast expanse of time has also given me some space to heal and pursue other hobbies, jewelry-making, boxing, writing….late nights and early afternoon mornings. http://tinyurl.com/a7m5ras

I no longer have an excuse to indulge in self sabotaging behaviors like refusing to eat because I can’t afford decent restaurants now; gnawing my cuticles thinking that is nourishment and protein; dating men who don’t interest me because I’ve lost interest in my tired story; driving through the hurricane soaked streets of New York with no gas left in the tank; waiting on gas lines during a blizzard; obsessively watching Rock of Ages because I find Tom Cruise unbelievable sexy in the role; waiting until dawn before trying to sleep.

My cats cuddle next to me in winter’s awakening dawn, fur-thickened Persian bodies comforting me and telling me that they knew all would be well.  I feel their silky purring reassurances and close my eyes – tonight there will be rest.

When you’ve walked the last mile on your road and can no longer see a clear path before you, believe in yourself and a higher power who holds you steady against the bruising winds.  A friend recently wrote that I should “keep knocking on those doors” and that “kindness rebounds.”

Thanks for the reminder.