Friday, August 08, 2014

The Lost Art of Finding Our Way

Crap. Crappety crap. I'm so bad at this stuff!

I've had the week that went from plain sailing, hard work, great results, some great new clients, a perfect, blissful, sunsetted horizon to a huge bloody clusterfuck of hideousness.

Apparently I should have stayed married to the one man who could tolerate me until I was old and arthritic and tied to my bath chair by ropes, with drool running down my chin, because he seems to be the only one who can manage me on any level. (And it still very good at birthday presents). The other one, the brilliant, kind, slightly eccentric Englishman has gone, again, and not so much his choice as mine, because I seem to suck at keeping quiet.

There is a triumverate of women I know going through a divorce. Let's call them A, B & C. A is tall and statuesque, a raven-haired beauty, a studio exec who decided one day that marriage wasn't for her. B is, well, me. And C is a gorgeous blonde, who runs her own event-producing business. She just grew out of her husband one day and three children later when she realized that she was doing all the work. When we go out to dinner we're an amusing bunch in our dresses and our heels. Only three nights ago at a new restaurant in DTLA we sat around a table nibbling on carnitas pizza and English peas with burrata, the ABC triple threat, and all I got was "You look AMAZING. You are glowing" as I brushed my hair off my shoulders in feigned smugness. This is what you get when you're in love, I think to myself. You see, he's not even here and I'm glowing. And if it was a movie I would've looked into the middle distance and there would have been a little blurry sample of choice scenes: us swimming in the Oslofjord, us walking through a Norwegian wood and collecting blueberries, us striding through London and laughing, us sitting at his kitchen table on our matching MacBook Airs, occasionally stopping to look at each meaningfully, or bring the other a cup of tea or a fleeting kiss. I mean this is the moment in the movie when you'd be vomiting at the sweetness of it all.

And the ABCs are so on point. They know stuff. They have been there. A is a grandmother today. For the first time (a miraculously young grandmother it must be said, to a beautiful girl who looks EXACTLY like her). And C tells me I have to walk away and not give a damn and play cool.
Well I'm not cool. I'm not cool or urbane or slick. I am pathetically bourgeois. I want a nice boyfriend, a partner, someone I can do fun things with, someone who wants to bring me tea in the morning and plant lavender with me (sob).
And I messed it up. Royally. Lorde-like in my Royalty. I am a big fat ninny who doesn't know when to step back and couldn't play a game if the lacrosse stick hit me in the nose. I suck. I do. I suck.

The ABCs are not proud to call me one of their own. They have their lives worked out. They go on holiday to places like Paris and Rome where they meet tragic young writers who wear their grandfather's brogues and quote Hemingway.
And what do I do? I stay home with insomnia and weep. And I write bios at 4 am. And I speak to my girlfriends in London and give them the bad news. And I eat ryvita with ham and egg and down with mouthfuls of green juice, because I've heard it's good for me.

But, I did pick up a rather intriguing book:
The Lost Art of Finding Our Way by John Edward Huth

It's about finding our way pre-gps and pre-maps.
But it's also what I'm trying to do, now, constantly. Find my way.

I'm sure none of this makes sense. I felt the need to write it down, in a blathering, messy, I've-only-had-two-hours-of-sleep kinda way. I'm sorry. I feel I have failed, again. And you, dear readers, have only ever been there for me, full of love and support.

I wish I could post my pictures from Norway, of the lovely man swimming in the fjord, or jumping off a rock, or eating pie, or picking berries. I wish I could show you what an idiot I've been and I wish you could shake your heads wisely, and stroke your beards and agree with me. I wish you could see what it was like, for three or five days, to live in bliss, as things should be, sweetly and kindly, without friction or ferocity. I wish you could see why I thought that everything was going to turn out just fine.

Our demons are too rambunctious.
"As flies to wanton boys are we the Gods;
they kill us for their sport."

This is not meant to be.

I glimpsed it. I imagined it. And then it got swiped away, like an erstwhile Tinder lothario.

Please send chocolate.

PS I have a headache and am delirious from no sleep, and I have 22 people coming for supper. Do you think I might be a masochist?


Marla said...

Well. I won't bore you with my story, but I had a guy as lovely as yours. It went farther...we bought a home together in a semi-exotic location. I sold my home, left my career and in less than 90 days, he walked. He left me holding the bag on the house. I was skinned alive. Three years later, the house is finally sold, I am back in LA, trying to figure out who I am and where I want to be and I DON'T KNOW. I am 59. I lived my whole life in LA and suddenly, don't fit anymore.

We were together 7 years. Now, I found out later that he was a very bad guy and I had no idea and all for the best, but still.

Two things I know for sure: you do not suck, and while your friends might have their lives worked out right now, they didn't always, and might not always either. I want someone to plant lavender with too, and someone to snorkel beside me in warm tropical water. For now, I have to be content with grasping the oxygen mask to my face and saving myself.

What's my point? I don't know. Your post just touched my heart.

Lou said...

Sublime writing as ever - maybe you do it best with insomnia?! I can't offer any platitudes as I suspect that despite my newly advancing years, I am in fact a novice in life, a self-imposed veal calf who has not made choices that have led to things like this. Not necessarily a good thing! Here's some virtual chocolate; you are human and you did a human thing. That does not make you bad, just sad (temporarily) and I hope that passes soon. And as for Marla's comment - such wisdom on the web. We are all just muddling along, some just hide the pitfalls better than others. I say: lay it bare. It is what we all relate to. Sleep well. Lou x

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you said that was so terminal but could you just say sorry, I will never go there again, I love you, I'll change... (you might not but at least you're showing willing) That is, if you really want to. You sound like someone made to be in a couple so I figure you'll make the effort if you possibly can. Love the way you write by the way. (Also Dover Beach - my ex husband faxed that to me at the moment when he was so in love with me that he said 'missing you actually physically hurts' - ten years later he left me so brutally I had pains all over my body for months. But now I'm better and in love again. From Rilke: "Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror./Just keep going. No feeling is final"Good luck, Anna

Janelle said...

oh miss W! you're glorious in every way! we're all trying to find our ways...some days are better than others...and you're ALIVE and living and feeling. and you write beautifully. so. here's lashings of virtual chocolate from tanzania (squashed in the mail bag). keep on ridin'! and writing!love's a bitch sometimes. but you absolutely rock. much love toujours x janelle in tanzania

Lib572 said...

Oh !! Don't think people have their lives worked out ....we are all on a roller coaster it fast or slow and sometimes we look and everyone seems above us ..and sometimes ..look everyone is below ..but we are always passing .. Life is never still
I am sorry for your sorrow will smile at this in a few days sucks but it will be better u know ...hold the faith !!!
Hugs xx

Julie Mangano said...

Such a touching post. My heart aches for you and your loss. Sometimes we are so close to the pain that it's difficult to look beyond the wreckage of a lost love. Grieve now and then look ahead. Your special someone is still waiting for you to find him. xo

Miss Whistle said...

@Marla I can't tell you how lovely it is when people share their personal stories here. As human beings, the thing that connects us, is learning that other people have gone through similar versions of hell and have come out the other side. The image of you with the oxygen mask trying to save yourself is beautiful. Good luck. Thinking of you. xo MissW

@Lou, my lovely veal calf, thank you! We will continue to lay it bare, despite the opposition! Have a lovely weekend. xoxo

@anonymous, i know you're right, but this is so circular (see Rihanna) that I don't think there is any going back, but I will take that Rilke quote and post it everywhere -- instagram and twitter - it's beautiful, thank you. xoxo

@janelle, my lovely friend in Tanzania, how glad am I to have found you. I want to come ride with you in that beautiful place you live! Take care. Much love xoxo

@unknown, you are so right, we are all on the damn rollercoaster. sometimes we're up, and sometimes we're down and we just need to hold on tight to each other, and be glad for the friends that support us. as they say in england, "swings and roundabouts" (to keep the carnival theme!). xoxo

@julie yes, i know that is true. it's very very good advice. he's just waiting out there! thank you. love, miss w xoxo

LPC said...

:(:(:( <3

Julie Klam said...

I love this post so much I want to bronze it. Also, this guy would be nuts to let you go for anything short of gunning down his family. YOU should be WORSHIPPED! xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Yes it is swings and roundabouts to keep the carnival theme and it's so damn exhausting !
But you have good mates accross the world ..a nice mum and a sage head and that will get you thru shit low times !
Hugs from uk
I am only anonymous cos I can't remember my google pass word to log in .lol x