My beloved Fiona serves a sentence of five months hard labor in Doha, Qatar. Meanwhile, I sit and wait for the time to pass. What is a man, newly quasi-single, to do?
It’s not like “Hall Pass,” mind you. No hanky-panky. I’m a man of integrity and I love my wife very much. Besides, we’ve not even been married long enough to talk about a seven-year itch.
My single friends, envision a life where you continue to do as you do as a single person, but take the pursuit of sex off the table. My married friends, think back to your single days, and how you’d spend your newfound abundance of free time.
My divorced friends, you don’t have to imagine. You know where my head is at right now. Empty, empty space. Lots of it.
The first six weeks were hard. From the first morning of not waking up with her in bed next to me. From the first afternoon of having no one to relate the events of my day.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t say those early weeks were also kind of awesome. Evenings a snifter of rare bourbon, all mine to enjoy, without fear that the bottle will be sullied away into a glass of Coke and ice. Warm up the turntable, drop some vinyl, plug in the headphones, close eyes, dream. Write down the movies that play across the insides of my eyelids.
Before long, the new ideas dried up. I began rereading old material, revising along the way. It made me nostalgic for my partner as I relived the doldrums of life before marriage.
I got sad, tired, and bored.
I rearranged furniture. I hung wall art. I tried new things in the kitchen.
I began to go out, exploring my new neighborhood. Some bars were full of college kids, wide-eyed and stupid. Others occupied by a smattering of thick hillbillies, bitter divorcees, and other untouchables. Not sure which was more depressing.
One night very recently I watched “Her.” Spike Jonze’s concept of a man who falls in love with a disembodied woman resonated with me. Every morning and night I talk to Fiona and every morning and night I feel more desperate for her presence.
Which brings me to today. It’s official. I’m in a state of distress. The novelty of life minus wife has faded away. The horrible magnitude of this has finally sunken in.
I’m thankful for the friends and family I have in the area who make it not easier but at least deal-able.
As for now, I count the days. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.