It’s late at night again when I write this. This time I haven’t even tried to sleep; I know I’m not ready for it.
I’ve read, as I do most nights, and earlier took a call from a friend travelling in England. It’s quiet but for a soft hum. I hear it every night and have concluded it’s probably my tinnitus.
I had a bad day on Sunday. If I have a bad day, it generally will be a Sunday. It seems a day empty of meaning. It’s a lifeless day with quiet skies and silent streets.
As I did the week before, I woke with a dream in me that seemed significant. This time I was among family and friends when I did an injury. Though the injury was physical, I became convinced within the dream that what I had cruelly damaged was love. It felt like a parable I needed to understand.
It was the dream and the conversation the day before with my nephew and the dread of Sunday that combined to set me askew. I think we all know what it’s like when the blues come upon us. I was restless and shiftless. I couldn’t settle for any activity or positive thought. There was no satisfaction in anything.
Normally on a Sunday is set myself to write, but I knew that was a waste of time. I didn’t have the patience for it and all the words had gone out of me anyway.
Dark thoughts beset me. I wondered what the meaning of me was. I knew I had no purpose. I went along, surviving well enough, but not getting anywhere. I contributed nothing but, as so many are, was a mere consumer of life in its repetitious, meaningless cycle. I got my empty thrills from the streaming services and sport and the like, which amount to spiritual valium.
I went further, articulating the specific failures of my life. I felt neglected by my friends but recognised that it was my fault. I’d been blind and oblivious when I might have made it different years ago. My friends now are mostly married with children. Their life has taken them away from me. I exist on the edges of their awareness.
I might have made a difference to it 10-20 year’s ago, but I was riding high on lifestyle. I had a rota of friends I would meet up in sequence. I’d be out for drinks at least once a week, and often more, and frequently dinner also. I lived well. There were women, too, though few meant anything to me. I was busy, but I didn’t put anything away for a rainy day.
Circumstances intervened, to be fair, but I should have been better prepared.
I was a good catch back then. I was actually acclaimed as the most eligible bachelor at one place I worked, and took it as my due. Now, look at me. Older now, and getting older all the time, and recovering from cancer.
I need, for so many reasons, to find someone to love and care for, but am lost knowing how to go about it – how strange that seems. I look in the mirror and wonder why any woman would go for me. The last of my good looks are gone, and while there’s intelligence in my eyes, I look damaged.
It’s no easier when you consider that I’m not the fluent speaker I once was, and struggle to hear a conversation in a social environment. What have I got going for me still? Well, I’m still smart as a whip. I have some wit still, though struggle to express it. I’m tall? I don’t know. Once I would have thought an ease of manner, along with social poise and a certain worldliness set me apart. Now they’re irrelevant. Even my confident exterior is tarnished. I’m not a good catch anymore.
Add to that the undeniable bitterness I have towards my workplace, possibly misplaced, and the narrow horizons offered to me by a parlous financial situation – when once money was no object.
I have squandered much over the years, but the greatest waste has been of time and opportunity. I had a good time, but still…
And so it went. What it amounted to was a question about the very point of my existence – particularly if I’m only going to experience more of the same in the years to come.
Writing this tonight it all seems true, but my relationship to it has changed. I’ve backed off from the edge and realised I must do something to change the course of things. What’s done, can’t be undone, but the future is yet to be made.
I always knew there would be a reckoning. I figured it would come when I felt over my health travails, but I don’t think it can wait.
I’m not sure what the answers are. New friends don’t grow on trees, and it’s hard to find love when you rarely venture from the suburb. The job I can change. I guess it’s the same as always, I have to find a way. I’m grateful I have the fortitude and steadiness to act on it.
I have a new dog in a fortnight. That will make a difference. Next goal is to survive at work until mid-January, then, all bets are off. As for the rest of it? I’ll have to be creative. I want to tell a different story. There you go.