It's like prison. No other way to describe it. No matter what my plan of escape is, there will always be three walls and a barred gate keeping me here.
I went out last night with a friend to a bar where the women hung out with men twice their age, and tried not to betray their disgust when the withered old hands snaked around their thin waists. Fathers living out some sick fantasy about their daughters, and the whole time my friend kept egging me on.
“Go on man. You're like, better than any guy in here.”
It was the kind of rah rah, go team go bullshit you'd expect from the well meaning friend. The equivalent of a two man pep rally. He didn't understand where my head was. The whole time I kept thinking about how I couldn't possibly compete with the kind of green these guys laid out on a daily basis to their ex-wives just in alimony, let alone on their arm candy. No one in their right mind would even want to. Those women weren't there to meet mister right, and those guys were only there for the girl of the night.
So there I was, standing in a crowd, my hands at my sides, standing still. I was careful not to move in the off chance I might bump into someone as we watched a cover band do their best impression of another band who did it better, and all I could think about was how much I hated this scene. How much I hated it years ago, and how much I still hate it now that I am single. The heads of men bobbing up over the crowd like a spinning buoy, surveying the sea of bleach blond and tight night dresses.
Last week is a mystery. I drank like I was trying to die, and maybe I was. Maybe that was the point. I drank long islands by myself until the night was a slide show of events I don't remember the order of, and at the end I threw it all up.
I woke up in my bed, and I didn't remember how I got there. I went outside to check my car and there were no dents, in fact I parked it perfectly. It was like a magic trick. On the driver's side window was a little spot of grease, like maybe at some point I passed out in my car, and fell asleep on the window.
I searched the house, the parking lot, and my van for my missing glasses and they were no where to be found.
My phone had a crack in the glass covering the camera and there was a video on there that I had recorded the night before. The only evidence that a night had even occurred.
I hit play.
A bleary eyed me looked into the camera as I walked through the streets of my neighborhood.
“You know what I hate? I hate that I have to do this.” I said into the camera. “I hate that I have to be here another year and that I spent so much of my life waiting. Most of all...”
The video flipped and streaks of street lamp light blurred across the screen and everything went black with a cracking sound. The me from the night before cursed his stupid clumsy fingers, and the video ended.
She messaged me today. She asked me how I was feeling? Was everything okay? I answered back with one word: lonely. She told me that it would get better, that I should just give it time. She said that her life was crazy, and that was the end of the conversation, if you could even call it that.
I picture her going out all night to bars with her Jersey friends, living it up. Newly single, ready to mingle, the kind of carefree living afforded only from living at home with your parents. She was able to move on, the center of attention of all her would be suitors, all men wanting to stick their fingers inside her, and here I am staring at a blank page trying to figure out how best to channel my rage into something productive. Lying to myself that if I just stay busy it'll be alright.
I must go out to meet people, that's what my mother tells me. I must work out, get in shape, I must do this, I must do that, but at the end of the day, these four walls are my prison, and even when I leave, in my mind I am still here.