One of the many profound changes since leaving my husband nearly three years ago is losing my ability to sleep. From my earliest memories I can recall lying in bed completely awake worrying about something or pondering the meaning of the universe. During waking hours I can chatter on about meaningless drivel but late at night my brain goes places I don’t quite understand. I think it is why I tend to write better at night, as during the day my mind becomes distracted by all things trivial.
There is a song by the brilliant Jazz musician Thelonius Monk that perfectly explains my frame of mind post-divorce.It Begins to tell ‘Round Midnight ‘Round Midnight I do pretty well till after sundown Suppertime I feeling sad But it really gets bad round midnight Memories always start round midnight round midnight Haven’t got the heart To stand those memories When my heart is still with you And old midnight knows it too When some quarrel we’ve had needs mending Does it mean that our love is ending Darling I need you Lately I find Your out of our my arms And I am I am out of mind Let our love take wing some midnight, round midnight Let the angels sing For your returning Let our love be safe and sound When old midnight comes around
The lyrics capture the essence of a broken-hearted person trying to shut down for the night while mired in misery. At this point in my grieving, I no longer think of my ex-husband. I haven’t for some time. The man that he was in my life has become erased replaced by this guy that I talk to occasionally who feels sort of like a brother. The fact that my husband was gay allowed me a type of closure that I suspect would be difficult in most divorces. Since he was gay, I knew there was no hope of any reconciliation and no list in my head of things I could have said or done to change anything. I no longer mourn for my marriage or my destroyed life. But I do mourn for the sense of being loved that is completely absent in my life now. I keep telling myself it will get better, it has to get better, but I feel trapped in a state of pure stasis. Other aspects of my life have moved forward and in some ways I feel much stronger, but the emptiness remains. Awkward painful date, after awkward painful date, only make my moods darker, my spirit more tarnished and jaded. And I lie there and think this it, this is my new future. Despite everyone telling me it is just a matter of time, the more I try, the worse things seem to become, so I stop. I do nothing, I focus on my work and try to get out of the financial disaster that my divorce has left me in, and nothing changes.
But it could be worse, as I look around and see some people with selfish destructive partners and think to myself.
Well at least I am not in that situation.
I have male friends who I have no interest in dating, who tell me they will always be around if I am ever looking for a hookup. And then I have the admirers, the stalker types who get obsessive and creepy. I don’t quite understand it, but I am never without a few stalker types at any given time. Men still shout rude comments as I walk through my low-rent neighborhood. So I am getting some attention.
Having a decent conversation with a person who makes me laugh and who laughs at my stories, someone that I feel comfortable with and who doesn’t make me feel bad about myself or judged. Someone that I find physically attractive and is close to my age? Someone who does not immediately cringe at the story of my divorce. These things elude me. I would rather be alone than with the wrong person, or just any person but this existence is soul crushing.
I don’t remember how to date or flirt, I don’t know how to let my guard down for a moment and it seems like predator types surround me. Men who flirt with me as a game, or just want sex. Sex is easy, I could always get sex if I wanted it. But the detached sexual experience does little for me. Sex with strangers is usually somewhat awkward and self-conscious and generally lacking. Some people can have sex, with nearly anyone and perfectly enjoy themselves but that person isn’t me. So I remain in this frozen part of my life, a place I never thought I would be waiting for something to happen. I try to focus on what I can do that is positive and will move my life forward. And every night, for me usually well past midnight, I desperately try to fight the haunting feeling that it will never change.
And this is a bit cheesy of me, but I sang this for one of the burlesque shows I used to produce a couple of years ago and made this video as a promo. It is hardly a perfect recording, and I kind of screw up some of it, and it is recorded from my computer…but…