What’s Wrong with a Little Mystery?

The funny thing about being married is that no matter how complicated the responsibilities of making a home and starting a family get, there is great romantic simplicity between husband and wife.  The games and the teasing, the flirting and playing hard to get… the mystery of falling in love is but a distant memory.  Or at least it was for me…

In the month or so that I’ve been back at the apartment, I’ve been “lucky” enough to find my way into the arms of another woman (twice to be exact).  While my mind has told me not to make too much of something purely casual, my heart seems to have never gotten the memo.

Jane has been an acquaintance of mine for several years now.  We’ve always had a bit of chemistry between us, but the boundaries of my marriage were always respected.  While our interactions have been limited over the years, she has come to learn about the struggles that Mary and I have had.  To me, she is more of a friend than just a person I see from time to time.  She understands me; she seems to appreciate me for the person I am.

So when an innocent night out at a nearby bar to catch up about a month ago turned into a lot more than either of us expected, my already lopsided world turned completely upside down.   My pain over Mary suddenly found its match:  excitement about Jane.

After that night, Jane and I started to exchange light yet flirtatious emails.  A week seemed to fly by, and once again I found myself at her apartment, with one thing leading to another.  But this time we also spent hours lying in bed talking about nothing… and everything.  My heart was hooked, and I couldn’t wait to see her again.

The weekend came and with it my promise to visit my parents on Long Island.  It was great to see them, and I couldn’t have been any happier…

That is, until I received a text on Saturday night!

“What are you up to?? I’m out with friends but it’s boring.  Can I stop by?”

Jane!  My heart sank in my chest as I broke the news that I wasnt able to see her.  Little did I know that it would have been my last chance to do so for over a month!

Jane took the news well of course…after all I owed her nothing.   But then the games began.   A day without texting…a random “hello” from me gone unanswered…a paragraph written to make her laugh or tell a funny story responded with a one-word answer or a simple smilee face.

I tried playing it cool.  I went days without texting, I made sure that my text response times weren’t too quick.  But no matter what I did, it seemed that she had the upper hand.

Finally I texted her today to let her know that I would be on vacation for two weeks.  She wished me a safe trip and said she would see me when I returned.   And that’s when the insecurity of the married man — the guy so unfamiliar with the games single people play — reared its ugly head.

“I hate to ask this but have I done anything wrong since two Saturdays ago?  You are a mystery to me, miss!”

“No I’ve just been really busy,” she replied.  “And besides, what’s so wrong with a little mystery?”

I smiled and recalled my life before marriage.  With uncertainty comes anticipation and excitement.

And yes indeed…a little bit of mystery.   🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Walking the Dirt Road

Life is a highway…or at least that’s how the song goes.

I, however, prefer to use the metaphor of a train…probably because much of my life has followed a plan of sorts.  Indeed, most of us do our best as children and adolescents to live up to the expectations of our families.  We go to school, work hard to get into a good college, fall in love, get married, and have kids.  Or at least that was what my parents — and their parents — always preached.

The train tracks of my future were laid out by those who loved me for as far as the eye could see; all I had to do was get on board when the time came.  Everything seemed possible then…I was going to lead a happy and successful life…or at least what I pictured as successful.  Graduating high school in 1998, I was ready to go.

ALL ABOARD!!

My train has certainly seen its fair share of action.  It’s scaled the mountains of academic success, passing along the great Ivy League’s Cornell University.  It’s thundered its way through several rocky relationships and around the challenges that early adulthood has presented.  As my friends and I reached our late 20’s, one by one we began to get engaged…and eventually married.  We forged pathways to our dream jobs, and finally we could find our own way in the world.  Sure I started a little late compared to some of my friends (Mary and I were married one week after my 30th birthday), but I couldn’t have been happier to keep my seat on the train.

Little did I know that my days aboard the Perfect Express were numbered…three years worth of days to be exact!

It’s been several months now since finding myself bloodied and bruised by the side of the tracks.  Mary’s wish to get divorced effectively hurled me from the train ride that has been my life, while my closest friends and family remain on-board, furiously racing to their final destination.  I still wake up every morning broken-hearted and praying for a way back onto the train that has simply left me behind, but deep down I know that I can never go back.

So here I have remained since April…stranded in the middle of nowhere…with nothing but tracks as far as the eye can see.

But this morning I had an epiphany.  I finally found the courage to look away from the train tracks, and there I saw it:  a small, dirt road meandering its way over the nearby hills.  The mystery of what lies beyond is nerve racking yet irresistible — difficult to fathom yet impossible to ignore.

Today I find myself wondering what awaits on the other side…how much more is there beyond the tracks I’ve been riding for so long?

Maybe…just maybe…I’ve been going about things the wrong way.  Maybe there’s more to life than the train.

Good or bad…for better or for worse…I’m going to walk my way down the dirt road.

Leave a comment

Filed under Getting to Know Myself

Sick and Tired

I am sick and tired…

  1. Of waking up every morning in a state of depression.
  2. Of feeling helpless as the hill of dirty laundry in the corner of my bedroom builds into a mountain (I have never been one to proactively take care of mundane chores, but this is getting ridiculous).
  3. Of letting the list of emails in my Gmail inbox grow…why does my spam folder keep telling me that I need a penis enlargement??!  I’m happy with my size thank you very much!
  4. Of dreading the packing and preparation required for my upcoming trip to Greece.  I should be excited, damnit!
  5. Of the air conditioning not working in the living room area of my apartment.  Why did Mary pay the repair man 1000 bucks to “fix” it a month ago, when clearly it still doesn’t work?!
  6. Of spending hours on end checking Facebook, Instagram, Match, and WordPress for any sort of news or social stimulation.  I used to laugh at Mary for being obsessed with her friends’ status updates, and now doing it myself is one of the highlights of my day.
  7. Of going through the motions getting to know the plethora of lonely women of Match…or the friends of friends who were introduced to me as potential dates.  It’s sort of like watching myself from a vantage point; I’m able to have good conversations and even flirt when appropriate, but for the most part it’s just a shadow of myself going through the motions.
  8. Of eating unhealthy food way too often.  It’s a horrible habit that I picked up when things got tough with Mary, and it’s proving to be a difficult one to shake even now.
  9. Of feeling sick and tired.  lol

Perhaps I should make a plan to help get me out of my funk today:

  1. Grab breakfast with Lauren (my best friend Sam’s wife).  She’s been really supportive through all of this, and she’s very good at cheering me up.
  2. Scale the mountain of laundry!  Even bachelors have their limits.  😉
  3. Take care of any outstanding work-related emails.  They’re not going to take care of themselves, despite my sincerest hopes.
  4. Download some Greek music and blast it as I knock off items 2 and 3.  It’s been 10 years since I’ve been to Greece, and I deserve the peace and tranquility that awaits me in the Agean Sea.
  5. Do something athletic…maybe do some laps in the pool at the gym on 70th Street.

Well, the list has been made, and I already feel a little bit better.  It’s so easy to get lost in the pain, but I find that a little structure can go a long way.

Here’s hoping, anyway!  🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Feeling Down

Getting to Know Myself Again

You know, this is my fourth post, and I have yet to mention my name (or at least my pseudonym).  It’s Jack, by the way.

I suppose it’s best that I put off mentioning my name until now, because this post is all about getting to know me.  And just maybe — if I am really lucky — this will help me take the first step in really getting to know myself too.

Perhaps I should start explaining things a bit.  You see, I am 33 years old but have spent no more than six months as a single man since my college days!  Of course there are the last five years with my wife (soon to be ex) to consider, but then there are the six years with my ex-girlfriend to take into account as well.  There’s really no two ways about it:  I have no idea how to properly handle myself as a single person!

Looking back at my years on this planet, it is certainly safe to say that I haven’t been much of a ladies’ man.  A bit pudgy and very shy as a teenager (not to mention going to an all-boys high school), dealing with the opposite sex was not exactly my forte.  Girls never seemed to pay much attention to me, and my shyness around members of the opposite sex pretty much nailed down my virginity through the ripe age of 20.  Good God…I’m just realizing now that I have only been single as a non-virgin for a year of my life!

I’m not sure I believe in the whole “sowing wild oats” thing being a beneficial part of developing as a mature adult, but I would be lying to say that I haven’t thought about it throughout the course of my past relationships.  Maybe getting out there and having fun is just what I need to give my self-confidence the boost it so desperately longs for right now.  I’m not saying I want to be a “player” or anything like that, but it would be nice to take a more casual approach to dating and sex.

I realize that I don’t exactly have a huge fan base yet (nor do I expect to ever have one), but if you’re reading this and would like to chime in, please feel free to comment.

Leave a comment

Filed under Getting to Know Myself

When All Dreams are Nightmares

It is 3:44 am in New York, and I just awoke for the second time since going to bed at 12:30.  This time Mary was walking parallel to me at the opposite end of one of our favorite restaurants.

I instinctively yell out to her just to say hi, and her first reaction is to cringe just a bit while pretending not to hear me.   My eyes immediately search ahead of her walking path to find another man sitting alone at a table for two.  It’s clear what her final destination is.

“Mary!”

My voice defies logic and pride, and Mary finally stops walking, looks up at me with an expression of utter sadness (and a pinch of regret), and then continues to join her date at the dinner table.

I miss my wife…I miss my spot at our table.

But as much as anything, I miss sleeping through the night without waking from dreams only to rejoin this nightmare.

Leave a comment

Filed under Feeling Down

A Day with My Best Friend

Have you ever made plans with a best friend with the utmost intentions of seeing the plans through, yet because of life’s craziness you simply fail to get it done??  Odds are that those of you married or in a serious relationship are saying yes a lot more often than those of you single and/or young enough to still take the time to hang with your best friends on a lazy Sunday in August.

And I’m not talking about something quick or easy like seeing a movie or grabbing a drink at the local bar.  I’m talking about spending all day (and likely through most of the night) competing like you’re back in high school, acting like you’re still in high school, and finding just a moment or two to share the parts of your psyche that only those closest to you understand and appreciate.

Sam and I met up in high school back in freshman year.  Our competitive nature was evident even then, as was the rest of the population of Chaminade High School.  For those of you unfamiliar with Chaminade, it’s a all-boys, Catholic high school on Long Island, where friendly — and sometimes not-so-friendly — competition is at the heart of all things.  Whether you were the varsity quarterback or on the chess team (as Sam and I were), winning meant everything, and the rivalry that Sam and I share is truly at the heart of our life-long friendship.

So it’s rather fitting, then, that we finally make good on our promise made almost a year ago:  to go head-to-head in what we’ve dubbed “The Dual Decathlon!”  You see, over the years, Sam and I have tested wits and athletic skills in many types of games…easily enough to fill 20 rows of the Google spreadsheet we created just for this event (10 “athletic” and 10 “intellectual”).  Oh yeah…it’s on!!

I’m off to Long Island to kick Sam’s ass.  What’s on tap for today you may be asking yourself??  Without further ado:

1.  HORSE  (Best of 7)
2.  1-on-1 Half-Court Basketball (Best of 7)
3.  Pool (8 Ball — Best of 7)
4.  Bowling (Best of 5)
5.  Table Tennis (Best of 7)
6.  Air Hockey (Best of 7)
7.  Mini Golf (Best of 1)

As you may have correctly deduced, Sam and I aren’t jocks by any stretch of the imagination.  But that doesn’t stop us from killing ourselves to win.  I’ll say it again…

IT’S ON!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How the F^#* Did I Get Here??

How the fuck did I get here?

For those of you unaccustomed to profanity, please allow me to offer my sincerest apologies.  You’ll find that this blog rarely contains wording unsuited for prime-time television (or for a night at home with the kids).

But seriously…WTF!

It’s been three weeks since moving back into my apartment (sans ex-wife and ex-dog) on the upper east side in NYC, seven weeks since moving out to accommodate my ex-wife’s commute (until the start of her new apartment lease), and about four months since being told by Mary (name changed for privacy reasons) that she “wants out of our marriage.”  Yet nowhere in that nest of time frames and numbers of weeks, months, and days is there any solution to the pain and utter loneliness that fills my mornings and nights.

The hurt is just as raw as it was last week…and the week before…the sad realization that my life — at least my life as I have known it — is forever changed.  The family that I had sacrificed my time, money, and parts of myself for has gone.  And what do I have in its place?  Time…time…and more time.  I spend my days keeping busy and being around my friends and family, but inevitably I find myself back where I started: in a half-empty apartment haunted by the echoes of Mary’s laugh and Bradley’s bark.

This blog will certainly have more than its fair share of depressing sentences, paragraphs, and even entries, but before you choose to click away, I offer the following clip from Love Actually to help put things in perspective with regard to the man I am, where I’m coming from, and where I plan to go:

2 Comments

Filed under Feeling Down