I know what it is: loneliness.
Thoughtfully, I tell myself that I am no more alone than I have ever been.
We are born alone; we die alone; yadda yadda yadda.
Still, I feel alone and empty, yet full of static, dead tree-trunk weight.
The D word came up. Not divorce. I won't allow myself to think about that.
It was suggested that I need to go out on dates. That we need to go out on dates. This suggestion came out of a 48 hour session of tears and deep breaths and blubbering and other symptoms of a marathon emotional crisis. The suggestion did little to help solve the crisis.
When he suggested it, my thoughts were sarcastic. Yeah. Right. Who the fuck would I go out on a date with anyway? Where do you meet people to go on dates? I don't particularly relish participating in any kind of commonly-assumed dating-type of related activity. I'm too old for this shit.
After the d'ing conversation, I go on a business trip. There is a work related conference. Suddenly I realise I am peeking at the hands of all the men I meet. I am looking for wedding bands. As if this means anything, anyway. My Man never wore one; whereas plenty of men who do, play the field. I can't help myself though; it's part of putting things (these men) into context.
I don't want to date any of them; still, I scope them out for potential availability.
I am still wrecked with exhaustion. Wrung dry from the emotional crisis in which the d word was broached. (I repeating: dating NOT divorce). I cannot bother looking at these men at the conference any more. I want to focus on work not on men as prospects. I am so very tired of everything.
I take my plate of hors d'oeuvres to a quiet spot in the back of the room where I can sit on a step and forget about chit chatting and men and the possibility of dating. I can stop - everything - networking, thinking, life; just for a few moments. Before I really begin to enjoy this moment of solitude, I sense someone approaching. A man has scoped me out. Somehow I sensed the double-take, the checking me out, the coy approach to sit not right next to - but close by - so a tactful introduction could be made.
I take a breath to sum up the energy to deal with the impending interaction.
When he does clear his throat and stretch out his hand and smile when he introduces himself, I am lured in. His features are individually wrong. His eyes are too small and squinty and his lips too full. His nose a bit bulbous, but they fit together to make a most attractive man. His smile sweeps me off my feet. We chat and laugh and chat some more -- nothing about work or this stupid conference. I forget my self-pity. As well as being charmed, I might even be charming.
We exchange business cards and go on our respective ways at the event. I text him from the crowd to tell him I enjoyed our chat. He responds: we should share another drink before the end of the night. But I only get this response after I have left the venue and have gone to bed.
The next day, I am walking through the lobby; I see him through the revolving doorway. He is putting his bag in a taxi. "Hey!" I yell. He turns and smiles. A big, seemingly*-sincere grin.
"Hi, Ellie! How funny ..." (I assume it is funny that we bump into each other here; we didn't know we were in the same hotel) "I'm off to the airport now."
"I can see that." I don't even hesitate in saying: "You were my favourite part of the conference!"
He doesn't hesitate in returning the compliment, "And you were mine."
He is all seemingly*-sincere big smiles. I want more time with this strange, oddly attractive man. Timing is all wrong. He tells me to stay in touch. He waves good-bye from the taxi.
The tree trunk has turned to butterflies. I chastise myself for letting myself get carried away by a chance encounter. I wonder if I should write him.
You texted him first. If he's really interested he'll write you.
I'm annoyed with how quickly I have joined the anguish-filled games associated with 'dating'.
*Seemingly because I suddenly don't trust my judge of character. I don't trust men. I have become a caricature of a single woman of a certain age who thinks there must be something wrong with a man if he's around my age and not married.