On Valentine’s Day I went out with my single friends.
The bar was packed. After a toast to being single I wandered off, as I tend to do in new bars. I like to just be alone sometimes. But I couldn’t find a second to myself. There were men everywhere. In fact, the place was like a man zoo.
The attention was nice but I didn’t want them, not a one.
My man diet, I have realized, could be more than just a diet.
In fact, the longer I go without one the less I want one. The “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra is now stuck on repeat. A problem I’m sure is very common for single parents. But is it really a problem? When you’ve been in my shoes and married to my ex-husband why would you ever want to take that chance again? It’s going to take time and a lot of trust… trust in myself, before I can trust someone else again.
Don’t worry though.
I’ll be looking into this, along with everything else swimming up in that head of mine. Here’s a question I’ve been saving up for Wonder Woman (turns out my insurance does cover her therapy sessions):
“Why do I look at them (men) and just see giant boys I’ll have to take care of someday? How long will this last? How long do I have to fast from them to want them again?”
A few hours later we left, dashing into the frigid air for the walk back to our car. I grabbed a cigarette but couldn’t find a lighter. The air slashed up against my face, ripping at my cheeks and down my neck.
“Damn it. Can someone please give me a light,” I said totally exasperated.
And then, almost as if he’d been dropped onto the sidewalk from some movie set, a man appeared ahead of us. He was walking quickly, clearly on his way somewhere, but I noticed him reach into his pocket and pull out a lighter before my friends even had a chance to react.
He was getting closer. I could see his features now, rough and dark. Beautiful.
Then he raised his arm and stopped just long enough to light my cigarette. By the time I turned around he was gone.
Unlike every other man that night he didn’t throw me a line or try to get my number. And for that brief second when our eyes met I felt as though I could feel a part of him. His eyes, it seemed, had pain behind them. Some kind of pain or love or a combination of both. Whatever it was I could tell it was real, refreshing and free of any bull shit.
He was a man.
And a reminder.
A reminder that swearing off men is easy until one shows up.
If I told you I was happy when he walked away so quickly, that I didn’t have a chance to even say one word to him – I’d be lying.
We do need men for some things, I guess I’m just not sure what. And I do want a man. I’m just not sure when or how that is going to happen. But we shall see… all I know is that taking the time to think about this or not think about it – whatever it is I’m doing – is very nice.
My secret - I am a very light smoker, but a smoker none the less. It was either a cigarette or a gun when I left my husband. I'm really proud of how far I've come on my road to quitting but I'll save that story for another day.]
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