Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stolen fragments of happiness

Had a splendid Thanksgiving with the siblings and nieces and nephews. Jerusha and I resolved the tension that's been burning between us, to the delight of her daughters. She even offered to pay for a GRE course so I can do better on the exam for my re-applications.

And I planned to cap off a great day with an evening of fun with Little Marty.

The evening turned into Black Friday (although all we shopped for was groceries), Shabbos, Saturday night, and breakfast Sunday morning. Don't know when I'm going to get my schoolwork done, and I'm so demoralized by the faculty that I almost don't care. I'm not going to excel in Dr. Jerk's classes -- so I might as well just do the minimum and eke out a passing grade. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to focus and hit the books again -- there are barely 3 weeks left in the semester.

But I clung to this weekend with Little Marty because I felt like I've got a limited amount of time left in which I'm young and pretty enough to garner some male attention. I no longer really believe I'll fall in love and get married. If it happens, I'll certainly be prepared, and appreciative. But I don't really believe it will happen. So I've got to take what happiness I can find, wherever I can find it. Even in the arms of a man who can only love me for a night or three, not for a lifetime.

I've held off describing my sexual activity on this blog, largely out of respect for my many friends who read it. But I also need to be honest. As a single woman in my thirties, I need sex. I am flesh and blood, and it's unnatural for me to be chaste. So I'm not.

Maybe that makes me a worse Jew, or a hypocrite; I don't know. I think it's best to try to adhere to as many mitzvot as I can, rather than chucking the lot -- not keeping kosher, not keeping Shabbos, not keeping anything. I am doing the best I can with an intolerable situation. I need closeness, I need touch.

And Little Marty can deliver all that in spades.

What he can't deliver is any kind of a future. This I know, and rue. He just is not ready to settle down again; he married too young the first time, and needs to sow some wild oats. That is the only role I can play in his life -- not wife, not even girlfriend. He can't give me that right now, and by the time he's ready for it, he'll probably want a much younger woman (he's four years younger than I am, and not as constrained by a biological clock).

So I have to steal what fragments of happiness come my way with Little Marty. And as fragments go, they're plentiful. It's been a long time since I spent an entire Shabbat with someone; usually I go somewhere for meals but return home to a lonely bed. It wasn't just sex; we played board and card games, we looked at pictures from his adorable youth and childhood. Saturday night we saw Borat, which surpassed all expectations for me; I thought it was the most hilarious 87 minutes I've spent in a movie theater ever. I laughed harder than I've laughed in months -- this after getting DSL and downloading plenty of Ali G and Mind of Mencia naughty bits.

I tried to do what my classmate Little Buddha would recommend and just stay in the present. Just shop for groceries with Marty; don't focus on the large, lonely, 40something woman in line ahead of us, who bought 10 cans of dog food, 5 prepared frozen dinners, and a box of day-old pastries. I felt like I was seeing my own future -- ringless, husbandless, overweight, loved only by a pet.

But I didn't let myself dwell in the future. I just watched Marty as we shopped, paid for the groceries, and cooked together. (He did most of the cooking, being a professionally trained chef. I mainly washed dishes and vegetables; occasionally I was allowed to peel something.)

I let him hold me close, I let him nuzzle my neck, I allowed him any number of small intimate liberties. I let him hold my hand walking back from the movie theater -- I didn't reach for his. He reached for me partly because his hand was cold and mine was warm, partly just because.

There was beauty in every moment, and I tried to savor it. To stay in the moment, not think about tomorrow -- not even think of ten minutes from now. Watch him cook, watch him eat, watch his hand move to stroke hair off my face. I was trying to store up memories for the rest of my life.

This is similar and different to my experience with RD-SOB, the other recently divorced man I became entangled with. He wasn't honest with me. He waffled. He wanted me, he didn't want me, back and forth, and I got so bruised and battered, emotionally. He hurt me, time and time again, but only because I let him. I finally saw him for what he was: an embittered man who wanted to kill his ex-wife for ruining his twenties, and due to legal constraints, he could not. He took all that aggression out on me; doesn't take a Freudian to see it.

So I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, with Little Marty. I never thought that my loneliness would feel so much emptier when contrasted with what he gives me, and what he can't give me. I honestly thought I approached this entanglement with a clear head and a strong idea of what I would get out of it. I can't believe how bereft I feel, knowing that for the first night in four days, I'll sleep alone.

I've gone back to a technique I employed with RD-SOB. I visit breakup-songs.com. Before I had DSL, I'd read the lyrics and hear them in my head; now that I've got youtube, I can actually listen to them. I listen to them, and sometimes cry, and the time passes. I know that the more time that passes, the less I'll feel this unrequited ache. I just have to get through it somehow.
Copyright (c) 2006 "Ayelet Survivor"

3 comments:

  1. In a sad and somewhat unsimilar way, I know how you feel. It's really, really important to savor the good moments - even if the emptiness afterward is all the worse for them. I wish things were different, for both of us.

    Love you.

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  2. Why such negativity? You're in the graduate program not for the grades but to learn as much as you can for your sake, in order to do what you want to do very well. Why not show Dr. Jerk that you can excel. Give him what he wants -- and more. Each day is a new beginning. In the Buddhist way, make the most of your time. It's not that you can't have goals and work towards them. Stop thinking of the faculty and what happened in the past. Get to doing in the present.

    You deserve better than Marty and the little he can offer you.

    Turn off the negative thoughts and let anger or whatever drive you forward in all ways.

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  3. Wow...

    I just found your blog, and I can relate to alot of what you are going through. A lot. I don't post everything about my life on my blog, if you know what I mean.

    It's hard, and just know that there are a lot of us out there with you, bearing our pain privately.

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