“What did you do today?”
I cried like a druggie in rehab pleading with God and my dead father to help me. Also, I slept. Tried to sleep. To ignore. To escape. Between sleeping and crying, I tried to be normal.
“Nothing much, I ran some errands,” I replied on a Saturday night out at the bar, trying to be normal. Going out with friends for the first time in a long time. Friends that were good enough to forget that I ignored them for the past eight months. Because that’s what happens when I’m in a relationship.
Everyone likes me better when I’m single. If you lined up the town and asked them to raise their hands when they saw a cool person, and then presented Me, In a Relationship and Me, Single, the hands would most assuredly go up the second round, and I would raise my hand in line with the rest. I’m not good in a relationship. Perhaps because I don’t think I am, and perhaps because it never really mattered before now. Because when you date assholes, you can be a bitch right back. So dating a good guy is a complete shock in terms of how to act and how to behave and how to live.
So of course you push this cool person down the same worn-in path as before, and as you go, you look around and know that the two of you don’t belong there.
And I am angry that the Universe could present me with such a being when I’m not primed. I’m not prepared.
It’s not that I don’t feel worthy, exactly. But that I never saw myself with someone so all-American, so normal, so right. Because my life was messed up the moment my father died, and surely God doesn’t think I’m ready for a life that isn’t messed up. Surely, I should keep punishing myself. I am not ready for such greatness. Surely, I am not ready to lead a normal life yet, with barbeques and endless cuddling and television. Life is jaded. Always and forever. This will never heal.
Being single, it doesn’t matter. But being in a relationship – the good kind, at least – brings all this other responsibility. And I don’t really care for all that. To care about someone so deeply and they just might up and leave, or want you, or die, or get sick, or let you down, or need you, or care about you back. I get anxious. So anxious I can’t breathe.
Okay, so I have issues. The kind that should be capitalized and underlined, and you should take note of it.
But I’m working on that, and back to Saturday night, I declared that it was the beginning of “New Rebecca!” exclamation point, let’s take another shot, done and done. I was fabulous. I smiled and was totally level-headed and ingratiated myself back to the good side of the Universe through two hipster bars, three slices of bacon, spinach and yellow-tomato pizza, and a pair of four-inch heels. Cue the soundtrack as the shot pans up and fades out. Walk out of the theater with a happy ending. It was fun and I laughed.
Sunday morning, I got up and cleaned the wine bottles from the counter, threw away someone else’s cigarettes, and vacuumed the dirt from the corner. And somewhere in between, I found a little bit of normal.