I woke up around 10.30, which wasn’t as late as I expected, but I just couldn’t get going. Too lonely, exhausted and depressed, too plain numb to feel or do anything. I did something almost unprecedented for me, which was watch a DVD over breakfast because I was feeling so depressed. It didn’t help much.
About two months ago I wrote an email to the makers of a podcast I enjoyed, three frum (religious and Orthodox Jewish) and geeky women. In the next podcast, they said that my email was “awesome” and one of them asked if I was single. I didn’t reply, partly because I thought they were joking (I’m vague on the difference between flirting and teasing as women don’t generally flirt with me and I definitely don’t flirt with them. And certainly no one flirts with me in public, on a podcast) and partly because I was seeing someone by that stage (the woman I broke up with yesterday). Now I’m wondering if I should email back or if it’s too late, whether we really have anything in common (from her Twitter account, I’m not convinced we do; even within the boundaries science fiction and fantasy, we like different things and I think she might object to my politics), how long I should wait to avoid a rebound relationship, whether I could really have a long-distance relationship with someone on another continent…
As is usual when I meet someone I like, but who inevitably turns out to have very little in common with me, I wonder if we have enough there for a relationship, if it is time to “settle” as I said yesterday, to make do with someone who isn’t my dream girl (whoever that could be) and pick someone vaguely right who seems to tolerate me. It’s usually academic, as I have yet to meet the woman desperate enough to settle for me (OK, not strictly true, my ex seemed to like me a lot, until her issues got in the way, but that’s one person in a lifetime of waiting). I know most Jews believe in bashert (destiny, soul mates), but I do find it hard to believe that there is someone out there for me, in all my strangeness and brokeness.
I do honestly believe that God wants me to be alone forever. Maybe as some kind of kapparah (atonement) for something, although I don’t know what. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but many Jews do and sometimes I wonder if I was an adulterer in a past life and now I’m being punished by being alone and celibate forever. Whatever the reason, I only hope it’s worth it. At shul on Shabbat I overheard the assistant rabbi say to the guest speaker rabbi, “That’s Luftmentsch… he’s not married…” I have no idea what the question was that provoked that response and it was probably innocuous and not intended as some kind of moral judgment on my life, but I do feel like I have “SINGLE” carved on my heart. Maybe it would be better if I had it on my forehead, maybe then single frum women might come up to talk to me, or someone might set me up on a date (not that that went well when I tried it).
There’s a game I play with myself sometimes where I ask myself, “If I was single, lonely and miserable for twenty years and then was happy and loved for forty years would it be worth it?” The answer is obviously, yes. So then I go down to thirty years of happiness, twenty, ten… I usually keep answering yes until I get to about a year. Even one year of love and happiness would be worth it, I feel. Less than that and I think the price is too great, although sometimes I hold out for a full decade of happiness in recompense for a lifetime of misery. But I worry that I won’t get even that year of happiness. I had a birthday recently and I’m now undeniably in my mid-thirties, older than anyone else in my immediate family when they got married. The year I have just completed had a sort of totemic significance for me, as it was the age my maternal grandparents both were when they married, and the age of my uncle when he got married. So I do feel a bit that time is running out. I do want to have children and while I don’t have a biological clock, per se, my wife will and as I have no desire (or ability) to go cradle-snatching, that could be an issue, particularly as lately the women I have met aren’t interested in starting a family.
On the plus side, I have began to plan out my “holiday” (a chunk of which will be taken up with chores, but there we go). I feel a bit better for having set down that to do list, even if I might not manage stick to it if the depression persists for more than a few days. I intend to go out shopping in a minute, more to get out of the flat than because I urgently need anything. Although it is not encouraging when half an hour after writing the to do list, I am already running twenty minutes late.