Hard Few Days

 

Everybody knows the boat is leaking. Everybody knows the captain lied. 

I’m having a hard time. I’m listening to my lyrical hero: Leonard Cohen. He reminds me of Bourdain. I’m still not over his suicide. It made sense. All smart people are depressed. I’m drinking expensive white wine and diluting it with club soda - because it’s noon and a spritzer doesn’t seem as shameful. 

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I never used to drink, but that was because I lived with an alcoholic. Now that he’s gone, I drink (not usually during the day, but I have been drinking every day for a while now). It always feels like a treat, and that’s how he thought of it too. I am trying to be careful not to have more than 3 a night. Three is still too many. I’m not bored but I am lonely. I am busy and I fill my time so that all day, every day, there is something to get done. I miss the distraction of a partner.  I miss his playlist. I miss the constant presence of a silent partner. I miss being able to blame someone. I miss planning a future. I miss the prospect of children. 

The other day, I overheard someone ask a friend, “ what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say: marriage”. Immediately the word confinement came to me. I’ve been thinking about that since. It makes me kind of upset that I didn’t think of ‘love’ or anything remotely typical. I know I am weird and different. I am a loner. I am happy alone. 

There are times when I cry because I am lonely, and because I am conflicted: I want my independence. I don’t want to answer to anyone or compromise my time, my wants or my needs. However, there are times when I just want a friend to stop by and give me a hug, bring me a bottle of wine to share and drink together, mull over the world, and life. 

When I have a shitty day, that’s when I realize I need friends. Many of them are far away and busy. I blame my social media. I over-post and infiltrate all streams. People see my every move, and every meal. They think they know how I am doing and what I am up to. Those posts are begging for attention. I try to keep this in mind when I see friends postings and I try to reach out regularly. I don’t do a good job. 

Today my post garnered the attention of one good friend and one new friend. Afterwards, I made some art. It’s a better way to communicate than instagram. I am writing. I feel a little better. I have also had three glasses of white wine spritzers and it’s 1:30pm. 

It’s my first day off since April. 

Active Listening

I must have been around 8 years based on the pictures I remember seeing. We had arrived in the afternoon and I remember having to be woken up when we reached the dock. It might have been raining. I was drowsy or grumpy when I had to step into the little motor boat. The weather was fierce and I hid under blankets on the floor of the boat as it bumped against the choppy surface.  It felt like forever. The boat slowed and I emerged, looking out to face a giant rock on top of which a house sat.  The familiar scene of Georgian Bay. 

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After dinner I remember sitting on the couch. The couch separated the dining room and faced away from the table and towards the fireplace. I curled at the end of the couch. The adults may have still been eating. I had my back to them. There must have been a fire lit, but I don't remember it. 

I remember Leonard Cohen. It must have been "Take this Waltz" and I may have fallen asleep before I could hear more. I remember being drawn to the darkness of his voice. I didn't pay attention to the lyrics. I have the strongest memory of sitting on that couch alone,  listening to his voice harmonize with his backup singers. I was absorbed by his sound completely. I don't reminisce often. I'm not nostalgic, and I think that affects my ability to remember - but hearing his voice when I was on that couch is clear as water.

I remember walking down the rock and into the forest on the other side of the water.  I may have been exploring alone. I often sang as I wandered. Mom told me that I was misbehaving and was sent outside. She says I went under the porch and found a snake. I don't remember the snake, or much else from that trip.

When I listen to Take this Waltz, I imagine rough waters bashing against a hill made of one big wet rock with a house on top, where I sat alone among family and where the voice of Leonard Cohen made a permanent imprint on my brain. I am reminded that no matter how grumpy, I can always feel better with music.